A new tool for Orange County’s tourism industry was unveiled Monday with the publication of a 32-page guide that links the glitter of Disneyland with the sun, sand and surf attractions in South County beach cities.
The full-color guide is promoted as the definitive road map to local points of history, relaxation and entertainment. It even lists such obscure stops as the Anaheim Cemetery, the county’s first public burial ground, where tombstone etchings are in several languages.
Local tourism officials will be distributing about 250,000 copies of the booklet throughout the county and also to travel offices nationwide and overseas.
The guide, funded by a coalition of 12 cities, is one of the first public attempts to market all of Orange County as a vacation destination. In the past, individual cities have engaged in separate efforts to lure travelers to specific points of interest.
“This is a great beginning,” said Diane Baker of the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau. “People are going to say, ‘Wow!’ People who live here don’t even know what they have in their own back yard.”
In addition to the well-traveled tourist spots such as the Huntington Beach Pier and Knott’s Berry Farm, Baker and others are promoting what they call “eco-tourism,” or introductions to the area’s natural tidelands and regional parks.
“Orange County is too often portrayed as just flat cement and cookie-cutter houses,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Harriett M. Wieder said. “This destination guide belies that image.”