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Wednesday, June 23, 1999 Published at 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK


UK

Plea for Welsh millennium return

A welcome in the hillside 2000

An advertising campaign is under way to entice people with Welsh roots to return to the green, green grass of home for the millennium.

The "Homecoming 2000-Hiraeth 2000" Wales Tourist Board (WTB) campaign aims to maximise the numbers of visitors to Wales during the year 2000.

Hiraeth is, roughly translated, the Welsh word for longing and is used to describe their homesickness for Wales.

The campaign aims to show potential visitors that a warm welcome still awaits them and that next year "It's time to come home."

The WTB will invite people to send a personalised message and a "moving reminder" by filling in a reply slip and providing the WTB with the name and address of a person they wish to return.

Nominees

All nominees - no matter where they live in the world - will receive an information pack and brochure.


[ image: Homesick for homeland]
Homesick for homeland
Lauranne Jones Pazhoor is the type of person the tourist board are trying to attract. She was born in the Rhondda Valley, but has lived in New York's Manhattan for the last 28 years.

"I want to return to the land of my fathers," she said. "I would just like to go there and touch base and go back to where I belong for the millennium."

Ex-pats

WTB chief press officer Robin Gwyn describes the scheme as "unique" but he is unsure exactly how many people of Welsh descent there are throughout the world.

"It's a mirror of the Irish experience," he said. "There are probably many more people out there across the globe that are of Welsh descent than there are living in Wales itself.

"There is an estimation of one million people living in the rest of the UK of Welsh descent so, in global terms, this could run into many millions."

A hotline number for those wishing to nominate a non-UK family or friend is 02920-435806.



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