Tourism New South Wales has launched a £500,000 UK marketing campaign to boost visitors to Sydney.


The “Sydnicity” campaign, backed by the regional government and launched today under the slogan “It’s what makes Sydney so . . . Sydney”, opens with a 60-second TV commercial and series of shorter, 15-second slots for TV, cinema and online.


There will be advertisements in newspapers, on billboards and on the London Underground through to late September.


The TV ads emphasise the range of Sydney’s attractions – lifestyle, food and wine, arts and culture, fashion and design – and feature seven-time women’s world surfing champion Layne Bleachley, a celebrity chef and a leading fashion designer. They will air on channels including Sky News and National Geographic.


The ad campaign will be followed by a competition on London’s Capital Radio with the prize of a six-night stay in Sydney over New Year’s Eve for a group of four – including tickets to an Ashes test and flights with Etihad Airways.


Tourism New South Wales marketing and communications director Justine Cooper also promised promotion through the trade. She said: “We want to show the depth of the Sydney experience.”


A similar campaign is already underway in China, where it was launched in July, and the promotion will move to New York and Los Angeles in January. Cooper said the Sydnicity campaign could run for up to five years with regular updates and refreshment.


UK tourists accounted for more than 13% of international visitors to Sydney last year.