Guerilla Tourism Board
I've told this story to many many people, so I thought I would share it with the world.
Early in December my Son and I went to Winnipeg for an exhibition lacrosse game of our favorite team, the Minnesota Swarm. Winnipeg is about 8 or 9 hours and an border crossing away from our home, so it was a non-trivial jaunt for a sporting event. For us, it was a novel adventure. I'll spare you almost all of the details other than it was a wonderful trip and Winnipeg was an awesome place to visit, even in the winter. Everybody we met was really great and especially helpful, which leads me into the actual story. Two other die-hard Swarm fans made the trek up as well. We sat on one side of the MTS Centre and they had seats on the other side. The game was fun, even if we did lose. Once the game was over the other guys stood up from their seats to leave. Someone tapped one of the guys on the shoulder and when he turned around, he asked him "Did you drive up from the Cities just for the game?". His answer was, of course, "yes". The man handed him a twenty, said "gas money", and walked away. To this day I am still astonished by the man's anonymous generosity and can't help but reflect on how that simple act affected the perception of folks from Winnipeg and perhaps Canadians in general. Like I said, i've told that story to many many people and the universal response is "whoa". I'm sure the people that I told have told it to others and so on.
How quickly and thoroughly did that simple act trump any efforts that the local tourism board could have done?