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Juventus fans encouraged to visit club legend's home city

Visiting football fans from Turin could soon be discovering the birthplace of one of their heroes.

John Charles

With Juventus due to play Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on June 3, Swansea Council will be encouraging supporters from both clubs to stay in the city and spend time in the local area.

John Charles, who was born in Cwmbwrla in 1931, made 155 appearances for Juventus between 1957 and 1962, scoring 108 goals. In 1997, as part of the Turin club's centenary celebrations, he was voted Juventus' best-ever foreign player.

Online campaigns led by Swansea Council's tourism team will now specifically target potential visitors from both Turin and Madrid, using Google Ads, Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign will encourage visiting fans to stay in Swansea by featuring stunning images of Swansea Bay and a link to a dedicated page on the official Visit Swansea Bay website that will include information on places to stay and things to do.

Frances Jenkins, Swansea Council's Strategic Manager for Tourism, Marketing and Events, said: "The UEFA Champions League final is one of the world's biggest sporting events, so it's a huge coup for the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to be holding a game of this magnitude.

"But with Cardiff just 40 miles or so away along the M4, we're looking to attract visiting Real Madrid and Juventus fans to Swansea Bay as well, helping ensure our local hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, restaurants, activity providers, pubs and other businesses benefit.

"Swansea's passion for the Swans means football is a big part of our culture that we're looking to further celebrate and share with the world if we're successful in our bid for UK City of Culture status.

"It's also apt that Visit Wales is promoting the Year of Legends in Wales in 2017 because John Charles, one of the greatest players to have ever worn the famous Juventus strip, was born and raised in his beloved home city of Swansea."

Tourism is worth more than £400m a year to Swansea Bay's economy, helping support thousands of jobs.

Frances said: "Following a successful Year of Legends spring marketing campaign, local tourism businesses are reporting a very positive start to the peak tourist season in Swansea Bay, thanks to a busy Easter break and May bank holiday period.

"A number of our hotels and other accommodation providers have already taken bookings from football fans for the Champions League final, and we are hoping to boost this further and raise the profile of the destination to support local businesses as a result of our marketing activity.

"This will include the delivery of information packs to accommodation providers to ensure that visitors here for the Real Madrid against Juventus game in Cardiff have all the information they need about our local area, including advice on places to visit, things to see and tips on where to eat and drink."

** Famous people from Swansea, Turin and Madrid **

Swansea: John Charles, Dylan Thomas, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Turin: Alessandro Del Piero, Friedrich Nietzsche, Carla Bruni

Madrid: David de Gea, Placido Domingo, Penelope Cruz 

** Tourist attractions in Swansea, Turin and Madrid **

Swansea: Gower, Oystermouth Castle, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Turin: The Holy Shroud, Piazza San Carlo, Museo Nazionale dell Automobile

Madrid: Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Museo Nacional Del Prado

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