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The Last Supper for Richmond Foodie Blogger

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwired - June 05, 2013) - Tonight, Lindsay Anderson enjoys her last meal as the Richmond Foodie Blogger for Tourism Richmond's 365 Days of Dining campaign. For 365 consecutive days, Anderson has been eating her way through Richmond's 800-plus eateries, taking photos, shooting videos, tweeting (@365Richmond) and blogging about the experience at www.365daysofdining.com. Anderson began her dream job on June 6, 2012 after successfully outshining 1,507 international applicants to snag the highly-coveted Foodie Blogger position, which boasts a salary of $50,000, living compensation, a $30 daily stipend for all restaurant meals, and a one-year membership to the Richmond Olympic Oval. Her last blog post will be revealed tomorrow - Thursday, June 6, 2013.

The year-long 365 Days of Dining campaign has exceeded Tourism Richmond's expectations in raising awareness of Richmond, BC as a culinary destination while generating some invaluable content about the city. "We knew the ability to go the distance in both sustaining interest in the campaign, and for Lindsay to persevere, would be tough as would generating fresh content," said Tracy Lakeman, CEO of Tourism Richmond. "We supported Lindsay to ensure she was successful and generated several contests throughout the year. Lindsay's done an exceptional job in what is a very non-traditional role." Through engaging photographs and creative blog posts Lindsay's efforts have helped persuade visitors that Richmond's natural beauty, rich history, multiculturalism and diverse cuisines make Richmond a must-add to any West Coast itinerary.

Award-winning campaign elevates Richmond, BC to culinary destination status

Since embarking on an extensive search for a food ambassador in March 2012, to capitalize on the international growth in culinary tourism, Tourism Richmond's 365 Days of Dining Campaign has grabbed global attention. Applications for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity were received from far-flung places including Finland, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Thailand and South Korea with media outlets around the world reporting on the campaign. The www.365daysofdining.com blog successfully sustained interest throughout the year, welcoming frequent visitors from across Canada and the United States as well as Hong Kong, London, Sydney and other international destinations. The campaign resonated across a wide audience, and the response - from readers, travellers, media, food bloggers, tourism industry peers, and more - has been overwhelmingly positive. 365 Days of Dining was named "Best Social Media Campaign (Public)" at the Vancouver Social Media Awards in April 2013.

At the campaign's launch, Richmond had been enjoying a rising reputation amongst in-the-know food lovers for its authentic Asian cuisine - with media from across North America, famously declaring Richmond to be home to "the best Chinese food outside of China" - but navigating the city's 400-plus Asian restaurants seemed intimidating to most visitors and even many locals. The www.365daysofdining.com blog helped to demystify the city's culturally-diverse cuisines, and Anderson's 198 featuring Asian eateries prove that anyone can enjoy an authentically Asian dining experience in Richmond. Says Anderson, "Language was not an issue. Most of Richmond's Asian restaurants offer English-language menus or pictures. On the few occasions when English translations were not available, there was always a friendly, helpful server to guide me." Anderson also highlighted the city's maritime roots and fresh seafood offerings in her 41 visits to the scenic and historic fishing village of Steveston.

In 365 days, Anderson has done more than just eat - she's told the story of Richmond. Originally from Prince George, BC, Anderson approached her year in Richmond with fresh eyes and a willingness to try anything once. She experienced the city like a visitor while enjoying staycations at 12 local hotels. She explored the city's culture by attending museums, art galleries, the theatre, religious centres, popular festivals and city-wide events, including the Steveston Salmon Festival on Day 26, Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on Day 114, and the city's two world-famous Asian night markets on Days 339 and 355. The people of Richmond also became the stars of the blog, as was the case in her own favourite post on Day 150 dining with local-legend Mr. Harold Cross.

'Incredible' Chinese New Year celebration is Foodie Blogger's most memorable experience

Over the course of a year, Anderson visited critically-acclaimed restaurants - such as Shanghai River on Day 44 and Tapenade Mediterranean Bistro on Day 299 - and uncovered a myriad of hidden gems including Golden Paramount on Day 215, L'Opera Patisserie on Day 277 and the Steveston Hotel on Day 311. On her culinary crusade she encountered unfamiliar foods like pork liver, jellyfish, congealed pork blood, tendon, durian, intestine, and duck feet. She also discovered new favourite foods like Sichuan-style tan tan noodles (Day 63, among others), Hong Kong-style pineapple buns with butter (Day 35), and Beggar's Chicken from Suhang Restaurant (Day 170). And her least favourite food? Fermented squid guts on Day 267. Anderson's unique adventures included everything from spotting a resident pod of Orca whales on a whale-watching excursion on Day 72 to meeting a monk on a visit to the Thrangu Monastery on Day 294, but her most memorable experience is celebrating Chinese New Year in Canada's most vibrant Asian community (Day 249).

Lasting impact

Long after Anderson's final post is revealed, locals and visitors will be armed with the tools they need dine-out in Richmond. In addition to the 365 blog posts on www.365daysofdining.com, which will remain online, Lindsay has compiled a series of Top 10 'best of' lists which will be featured at www.tourismrichmond.com. The Best of 365 Dining Guide will also be released this summer.

Today, comments on the blog from potential visitors indicate a desire to come to Richmond to eat where Lindsay's eaten. Richmond restaurants are already reporting that Anderson's blog has resulted in increased business and a greater mix of ethnicities amongst their patrons. Many diners ask specifically for the dishes Anderson ordered.

"Our intent with 365 Days of Dining was part of a long-term strategy for tourism growth to increase awareness of Richmond and inspire people to visit and stay here longer," says Tourism Richmond's CEO Tracy Lakeman. "We're confident we've achieved that goal. The blog also connected with locals who have learned so much more about their own city and will inevitably become Richmond ambassadors for visiting friends and family. Using the blog content, we plan to build on the momentum of this campaign by developing culinary-focused marketing initiatives designed to draw more overnight visitors to Richmond which contributes to the economic well-being of the city, its businesses and residents."

Anderson sees Richmond as a way to dine around the world in one city. "It's been an extraordinary year and I've had some amazing food in Richmond," reflects Anderson. "I'm overwhelmed by how much I've learned - about food, about myself and, most importantly, about the very special city of Richmond with it's incredible culture, cuisine and people."

Click here for the Fact Sheet - 365 By the Numbers

Click here for 10 Questions & Answers with Richmond Foodie Blogger Lindsay Anderson

Click here for the Backgrounder - 365 Days of Dining

Click here for Lindsay's series of Top 10 Best of Lists

High resolution photos and video available

Interviews with Lindsay Anderson can be arranged upon request

About Tourism Richmond

Tourism Richmond is a non-profit, membership driven destination marketing organization (DMO). The primary mandate of Tourism Richmond is to enhance awareness about the destination through sales and marketing initiatives and by providing excellent visitor and member services. Ultimately, Tourism Richmond's goal is to increase economic activity related to tourism for the City of Richmond and all stakeholders. Tourism Richmond is British Columbia's 4th largest DMO.