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Like a Local contest seeks residents’ take on Belleville’s tourist attractions

Like a Local

Belleville’s tourism staff want to hear residents’ stories about their favourite local businesses through the Like a Local contest. Photo via city of Belleville [1].

By Tamara Pilon [2]

BELLEVILLE – The city of Belleville [3] is holding a contest called Like a Local [4] to engage with the community and get residents’ opinions about their favourite businesses.

Some of those opinions will be included in the city’s next visitor guide [5], a booklet distributed to tourists.

Elisha Purchase [6], the city’s development and tourism assistant, said residents are getting a chance to submit their memories about times they’ve spent at their favourite business in Belleville. The top 10 submissions will be featured in the visitor guide.

In previous years, material for the guide was gathered through visits by tourism staff to locals businesses of interest to visitors, said Purchase.

But this year, they wanted to get Belleville residents engaged in the making of the guide. That’s how the Like a Local contest was born.

“Traditionally, we’ve often looked at some of the biggest attractions when we’re putting together our visitor guide,” said Purchase. “But we thought that engaging the locals would be a nice addition this year in getting some local feedback.”

The goal is to help tourists get recommendations from the people who know the city best, she explained.

“I know as a consumer, if I’m travelling, it’s nice to often hear from locals as to what they would recommend when you’re in their hometown and their area.”

The 10 contest winners will not only be featured in the guide, but will get a $50 gift card to a downtown restaurant: Capers [7], Chilango’s Mexican Restaurant [8], Earl and Angelo’s [9] or Paulo’s Italian Trattoria [10].

The winning submissions “can be used as part of the city’s marketing efforts as it relates to tourism promotion” throughout the 2019 year, according to the web page for the contest.

The judges – members of the city’s tourism staff – are looking for entries that are creative, descriptive and original, Purchase said.

“Instead of saying, ‘We like to go get ice cream from Reid’s Dairy [11],’ we’re looking to get descriptions like, ‘What kind of flavour do you get? Who do you take with you? Do you feed the ducks while out there?’ Like, really engaging the story and telling the people all the things you can do when you’re at that specific venue.”

The contest closes at midnight Thursday. The judging takes place Friday.