Reviving civic pride

2008-08-22 00:00

Many people have felt for some time that our city is well suited to be an event destination. We must concede, I think, that we are unlikely to capture the market as a holiday destination and that we must build on those opportunities that draw people to the city for other reasons. One of these is the presence of the provincial government and, in particular, the many meetings and functions that are arranged by various government departments. If there is any doubt about the proliferation of these events, one needs to be acquainted with the Royal Showgrounds, as we are, to appreciate just how frequently the facility is used for this purpose.

Apparently, when Germany hosted the 2006 Soccer World Cup the organisers and the government set out to change the global perceptions that German people are unfriendly and cold. Above all other priority objectives, this was the most important. The excellence of the infrastructure, the money lavished on facilities, the efficient organisation and everything else were incidental and would speak for themselves. But Germany wanted visitors to leave with a new perception of German hospitality and national character.

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