Adventure Central has been from one end of the country to another, through the

reaches of cyberspace and across the province as it implements its marketing plan
in earnest.
“We are working to grow tourism visitations in Central Newfoundland and are
already making some headway,” explains Adventure Central Executive Director
Shannon Pinsent. “It won’t happen overnight, but we have the product and
passion to promote it to people empowered to make travel decisions.”
Adventure Central’s marketing program focuses on tradeshow attendance, travel
trade and using the internet as a low-cost, high-return platform for promoting the
Adventure Central experience.
“In a society that focuses on technology, we don’t want to miss the boat and be left
behind,” Mr. Pinsent explained. “That’s why we’ve taken to the internet to push out
our message about Central Newfoundland. We maintain a goal of being the
province’s leader in developing social media content.”
Adventure Central is on Twitter, a free site where users can post micro-blogs known
as tweets to inform other people what you are doing. You can fnd us the DMO at Mr. Pinsent explains that they always welcome
information to “tweet”, be it an upcoming community festival or mammoth
grounded iceberg in your community.
Adventure Central has also produced several videos, ranging from a geocaching
feature to a mammoth iceberg foundering of Long Point. The videos have already
garnered thousands of views and can be seen at
Mr. Pinsent said Adventure Central aims to add Facebook, the world’s most visited
website, and a blog to its online arsenal.
“We are engaging in an important two-way discussion with our visitors to promote
our many unique selling points,” he said.
He added that travel forums and consumer shows are a great way to learn about
vacation spots.
“Over the last fve months, we’ve attended tradeshows in Ottawa, Boston, Toronto,
Halifax and Winnipeg as part of the Newfoundland and Labrador delegation,” he
said. “Feedback has been great, and now more and more people are hearing our
story. We’ve enjoyed some successes along the way but there’s plenty more to be
Adventure Central is a member-driven non-proft marketing organization focused
on promoting the region as a multi-season tourism destination. The Central DMO is
the primary marketing arm for tourism in the region, with a mandate to attract new
visitors, increase revenue and lengthen stays by strengthening our tourism
marketing efort. Central encompasses the area from the Baie Verte Peninsula east
to Terra Nova National Park and south to the Coast of Bays.
Destination marketing with teeth
This summer, tourists to the province will have a
handy travel companion in the form of the 2010
Adventure Central Travel Guide. The full
color,128-page production is designed as a
functional wayfnding guide, trip planner,
cultural interpreter, historian and tour guide,
explained Janice Goudie, Adventure Central’s
Marketing Coordinator.
The guide is divided into fve regions: Terra
Nova National Park, Kittiwake Coast, Coast of
Bays, Exploits Valley and Green Bay, and contains
listings of accommodations, campgrounds, attractions, trails, restaurants
and festivals for each area. Members of Adventure Central were also
highlighted in the publication, and received a free ad based on
membership level.
Creatively, the guide focused on readability by featuring large treatment of
photos, an iceberg fnding guide, top ten lists, hidden gems, and more.
“By all accounts, the six months of research, design and production were
well worth the efort,” Ms. Goudie said. “We have gotten favourable
feedback on the guide thus far.”
Ms. Goudie noted that Adventure Central has invested as much efort in
circulating the 35,000 copies of the guide as in production.
”Too often a tourism piece is put together with great fanfare without
getting it into the hands of tourists, including those who are here and
those who are planning a trip. We are ensuring our message and those of
our member companies gets to people in strategic places - transportation
hubs, accommodations, VICs, service companies and so on. We went
through almost 1,200 guides at the recent Saltscapes show in Halifax alone.
“Those who are on the department’s Visitor Information Centre distribution
list can order travel guides directly from the province. Otherwise, you’ll be
seeing us soon as we are personally distributing them throughout the
region. In the meantime, if you are interest in obtaining copies, or have run
out of the publication, contact the ofce at 1-888-489-2366.”
Travel Guide Launched
Let me start by saying it’s been too long since we’ve produced a
copy of our electronic newsletter, now rebranded as Central
Vistas (Vista being Spanish for ‘view’, gringos.) I have met so
many of you at tourism functions and in my travels who were
asking about the progress and work of the DMO. As Donald
Trump, the immaculately coiffed entrepreneur once said, “If
you don’t tell people about your success, they probably won’t
know about it.”
The short answer is we’ve been absolutely swamped with the
implementation of our marketing plan. We’ve met thousands
of consumers at tradeshows. We’ve launched a beta website.
We’ve been active in producing social media and digital
content. We’ve produced our inaugural travel guide. We’ve
been developing unique Central Newfoundland travel
itineraries for packagers and planners. We’ve been pitching
story lines to travel journalists. We’ve been providing hands-on
travel support for prospective visitors. We’ve been working to
build a stronger referral network within the province to ensure
people who are empowered to send business our way know
our product and selling points. We’ve worked to develop and
facilitate unique opportunities within the resident market.
We’ve collaborated with media to open up new sales channels.
And there’s plenty more to do.
Some of you might also be aware that tourism and the role of
Destination Marketing Organizations in the province is going
through a period of introspective change. I am bound by
confidentiality to disclose details, but the summary is that it
appears the roles and responsibilities of a DMO will go through
a significant shift in the coming months. Change brings with it a
certain apprehension, but it must also be embraced in the spirit
of open-mindedness. To summarize, this switch of gears as we
reach cruising speed has been a challenge for the DMO. We are
hoping to be able to convey more details at our upcoming AGM;
I’d encourage all of you to attend, learn more and chime in with
your thoughts.
Even in the face of a fast-evolving industry, one thing has been
constant: our focus on generating new visitors and longer stays
for our committed members.
I wish all of you a prosperous, productive peak season.

Happy Tourism Awareness Week!
Adventure Central Newfoundland would like to extend our sincere gratitude to
all those within our region who are involved in the tourism industry, and wish
you every success this
coming season.
“Tourism is so important,
especially for our rural
communities. Not only do
tourism business create
jobs and economic
opportunity, they are also
cultural curators - they
define what Newfoundland
is and share that with the
world,” said Adventure
Central Chairperson Danny
Adventure Central is partnering with Destination Gander and the Gander and
Area Chamber of Commerce to host a Tourism Awareness Week luncheon on
Friday, June 11th at the Albatross Hotel. To purchase your ticket, contact the
chamber at 256-7110.
Mr. Huxter will also be doing some media interviews that week with a number
of media outlets.
New show for Adventure Central
Attracting non-resident travelers to Central Newfoundland is an important goal,
but Adventure Central is also targeting the lucrative resident market, particu-
larly the Avalon metro area.
“Half the province’s population lives within an hour an a half of Confederation
Building. It’s a market that demands our attention and the payoff is substantial,”
explained Janice Goudie, Marketing Coordina-
Ms. Goudie is leading the charge to take the
Adventure Central show on the road, literally.
This summer, Adventure Central Newfoundland
and Roger’s TV in Central will be teaming up to
produce a travel show. The show will portray
various areas of the region and highlight some
of the adventures to be had while there.
A total of 15 segments have been scheduled
and are expected to be aired as a special
episode on Roger’s TV this Fall. Each segment
will also be shown throughout the regular
season line-up in Central and across the island.
The shows will also net a larger audience
through the web.
Janice has long shown a pedigree for television as a host, reporter, videogra-
pher and documentarian. She comes from an extensive background in journal-
ism and has worked for various newspapers throughout the province, CBC
Radio, and most recently, with Rogers TV in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Janice has already penned a monthly tourism column which appears in The
Advertiser in Grand Falls-Windsor.
“The focus of the column, titled ‘Central Adventurer’, is about experiences that
can be had in the region,” she said. “If there’s a particular activity you think
should be highlighted, or an interesting place we should focus on, give us a call.
We’re always looking for suggestions.”
The lion’s share of tourism operations, especially in Rural Newfoundland, are
small and medium-sized enterprises. Owners and operators wear many hats; a
bed and breakfast owner’s day can include everything from greeting guests,
making beds and baking bread. The owner of an outfitting lodge might well also
be picking up guests from the airport, sweeping floors and taking care of the
books. They are pressed to do a lot, and with few resources. In the bigger
context, they may also handle the most important job - marketing, the business
of promoting and growing the business.
Marketing in today’s environment means having a functional, up-to-date website.
If you have a website, you’ve recognized the opportunity. If you don’t, you’re
basically serving less than 20% of the potential market. If you don’t want to grow
your business, not having a website is great. If you do have one, it might be worth
taking stock to ensure it’s not doing a disservice to your business. A bad website
can be worse than no website in some instances.
When we see two red-cheeked cherubs selling lemonade from a little roadside
stand we can laugh that ‘lemonade’ is scrawled on a scrap of cardboard and
spelled wrong. Appearance isn’t everything in that market. In tourism, it is. The
people planning a trip to Newfoundland are of higher education, extremely
computer literate and somewhat discerning. They’ll be looking online for you, so
you’d best be there in your top form.
We can offer a thousand suggestions on making a website work for you, but, in
the interest of keeping it simple, you’re best served having that work done by a
design professional. If you get it done for free by someone with only a basic
working knowledge of programming, well, you’ll get what you paid for. A website
is an investment. If you have a good product or service that’s in demand, it will go
to work for you. As far as marketing expenses go, it’s the most low risk
expenditure you can make, it will pay dividends and its reach is global.
Wondering whether your website sucks? You can ask someone’s opinion, but be
careful who you solicit for feedback. Friends and family are most likely to dwell on
the positive and most people are reluctant to criticize. What you need is a frank,
honest appraisal of your site, and that most often comes from a professional.
Alternatively, you can post your website at and get
some no-holds-barred feedback.
What makes a great website? It’s simple.
- The layout is clean and it’s easy to navigate.
- The viewer automatically knows who you are and what your about without
having to look too hard.
- Information is organized so people who visit your site can get what they want,
- There is enough information provided so the viewer isn’t left with questions: do
you supply breakfast? Do I need insurance? What’s your policy on pets? When are
you open?
- You understand your customer and their needs. Your website is designed to
meet those needs and expectations.
- Tourism is a visual industry. The photos you have chosen to feature paint your
business in the best possible light.
- You make interaction with your business simple and respond to inquiries in a
timely manner.
Sometimes stepping back for a little self-assesment is a great thing for your
business. If you do determine your website sucks, don’t wallow in it. You’ve
already shown great vision by getting online in the first place. Now get to work to
affect the changes that ensure your website works for you.
Good luck and good business!
Sure Signs Your
Website May Suck
It was designed for free by your 12-year-old
Terrible synthesized music plays when the page
opens, annoying animated clip art images
flutter and squeak about.
Photos are ugly, unflattering or poorly lit. The
cat can be seen by the bed in the rooms
Nothing on the page has been changed or
added since you first put it up.
The colors may damage the viewer’s retinas.
The viewer can’t easily access key information.
It takes a while for the viewer to understand
what it is you are selling.
The text is strangely colored, hard to read or in
an inappropriate font.
The site is full of dead links, making the viewer
wonder if your business is also dead.
The site is not registered in any search engines,
so no one can find the darn thing anyway.
You have made a webisite for your needs and
goals, not the customer’s.
You use a free email account, such as which often smacks of
Central Newfoundland’s economy is really premised on two key
economic engines, and both are derived from our rich natural
assets. One comes in the form of the harvest of our natural
resources for mining, forestry and the fishery. The other is the sale
of the natural experience - tourism. And, more often then we’d like,
the two end up at loggerheads, no pun intended.
We are seeing this most recently with a couple of ominous proposed
developments to clear cut old growth habitat for our beleaguered
caribou population and the other for the quarry of materials on the
Exploits River.
Let me preamble my comments by saying I take no issue with
industrial development and support private sector firms looking to
generate commercial opportunities and revenue, nor do I have a
problem with using our natural resources for job and wealth
creation, be it mining, forestry or offshore oil. What does concern
me are situations where industries with competing needs collide and one form of
development occurs at the expense of another.
Let’s take the Exploits example. The Exploits River is the defining natural feature
of the valley, home to one the province’s most prolific salmon rivers and a
burgeoning ecotoursm product. People visit the Exploits because it provides an
unparalleled, off-the-beaten path outdoor experience in a pristine setting. In
short, it represents everything that motivates the almost half-million visitors who
make a long journey to this rugged rock on the cusp of the North Atlantic every
The Exploits River has a well-earned reputation as a wilderness playground and
also an economic engine. As such, it requires a commitment that its natural
integrity be protected so it can continue to support jobs and wealth in the region.
From an economic perspective, the winner of this debate should be obvious. The
net benefit of a proposed gravel quarry, which has a finite lifespan and will leave
an indelible mark on the landscape, versus a sustainable tourism
operation, which can last into perpetuity, support jobs and attract
new money to our economy without impact to our environment,
should make this a no-brainer. It frustrates me to have to pen this
and demand of our elected officials that the obvious decision be
made that the Exploits should not be exploited for industrial
The current government administration has certainly demonstrated
some tourism savvy and recognized the importance of this industry,
especially in rural portions of the province. They have made
significant new investment in a compelling marketing campaign.
They chose wisely in balancing the demands of tourism and
industrial development in the Gros Morne National Park area. They
have demonstrated a competence in acting as environmental
stewards while also nurturing a positive business climate. I call on
them to do the right thing, refuse this application and help facilitate
the proponent’s access to a quarry in a suitable area away from the doorstep of
an outdoor enterprise. Please, don’t hide behind weak regulatory policy by
accepting compromises such as a moving the development back or establishing
artificial buffers that do nothing to offset noise pollution or the blemishing the
I would encourage everyone who believes in sustainable economic development,
our tourism industry and preserving our sacred natural places to add their voice to
the groundswell of opposition on this matter.
To those who wield the stamp of approval, do the right thing.
Danny Huxter is the Chairperson of Adventure Central Newfoundland.
It’s soon time that festival season enters full swing. The
Newfoundland civic holiday is a wonderful thing. A
community festival provides residents a gathering point to
celebrate their town. But often, community festivals fail to
serve a crucial purpose: attracting tourists.
From big towns to small, community festivals are usually a
labor of love by a municipality and some hard-working
volunteers who give freely of their time so others might
enjoy themselves. In and of itself, it’s a wonderful and
laudable cause. If you look at festival agendas, they usually
follow a predictable calendar of events: there’s a
community supper, teen dance, adult dance, a carnival
where you can have a few spins of the crown and anchor,
maybe a parade, some type of live music, church service
and a beer tent. Who doesn’t enjoy these things? Problem
is, if you attended 10 community festivals across the
province, they are so similar that nary a difference is to be
found between them.
One of the fundamental challenges of many a community
festival is that it is designed for your residents, not visitors.
What is a community festival if not a chance to celebrate
and display what makes your town unique?
When tourists come to Newfoundland, especially in rural
areas, they are looking for opportunities to integrate
themselves with locals in an authentic setting. To live
alongside you, rather than as a spectator. Your community
festival should always have something of appeal to those
who don’t find home in your town’s civic boundaries. And
let’s face it, every community has something unique to celebrate.
Around Central Newfoundland, we can see many groups who are getting it right;
whose festivals attract people with no connection to the community. On the
Eastport Peninsula, they’ve done an exemplary
job in creating superb events twinned with the
area’s culture and economy. An agricultural fair,
an accordion festival, a writer’s festival and on it
goes. Organizers out there, whether intentionally
or not, have also made a habit of producing
shoulder season events that drive visitor spending
when it’s typically slow. Gambo celebrates its
logging history with a truly inclusive event where
people can try (or sever) their hands in actual
logging competition. The Conne River Pow-Wow
is a cultural pageant onto itself; a celebration of
aboriginal culture.
There are many examples of great festivals in
central, and they all have something in common:
they celebrate a community’s traditions, they are
unique and they are appealing to visitors. So when
your festival committee sits down for next year’s
brouhaha, try and see your town through a
stranger’s eyes. Look at your community history
and see if you can recreate something from it.
Host a hike on an old trail once used for transport.
Have a sculpin fishing derby. Have a boat flotilla to
a resettled community. Take a local fish product
and have chefs build a meal around it. Celebrate a
berry, or a migrating bird, or a flower. You’ll figure
it out.
You don’t have to strike the teen dance from the
festival calendar, but make every effort to ensure
your festival is worth celebrating for everyone.
OPINION: Tourism vs. Industry - a lot at stake
Throw a festival worth celebrating
Looking for students
Four lucky students are in for the summer work experience of a lifetime.
Adventure Central is hiring one post-secondary student from one of each
of central’s four regions to tweet, blog, produce videos, attend festivals
and get the scoop on what’s happening in their neck of the woods.
The students will produce vibrant multi-media content to spur along
Adventure Central’s marketing goals.
If you know of a student who has great written and verbal
communication skills, experience with social media, has access to a
vehicle, and is full of fun and adventure, this may be just the job for them.
Apply to or by mail P.O
Box 515, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2K2
For love of summer
Adventure Central Newfoundland, in partnership with the Department
of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, is proud to have partnered with 13 of
its members to offer special summer vacation packages to residents of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
“This is the latest installment in our For the Love of NL campaign, which
encourages Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to get out and enjoy the
natural, historic and cultural attractions available right here in our own
backyards,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Tourism,
Culture and Recreation.
The “Summer Love” campaign combines radio and direct mail to every
household with participation from more than 50 tourism industry
operators. Packages are also available at
Adventure Central Newfoundland cost shared the $250 program with
members on a 50/50 basis for a total of 15 packages, making it the largest
Central representation in this quarterly program to date.
New office opened
Adventure Central Newfoundland is growing – in more ways than one!
With additional staff working out of the head office at 5B Bayley Street in
Grand Falls-Windsor, a second satellite location has been opened at the
Gander International Airport to aid in the daily activities of the
organization. Thanks to both our corporate sponsors - the Town of
Grand Falls-Windsor and the Gander International Airport – for their
ongoing support.
Board changes
In February, Adventure Central bid farewell and good luck to Miranda
Maddox-Bussey. Miranda served in the non-profit seat on the board of
directors, but resigned after relocating to the east coast to take up a
new job. This vacancy is expected to be filled during the next AGM.
Congratulations and welcome to Wayne Hallett and Colleen Lambert,
our newest board members representing the Coast of Bays. A retired
teacher and long-time resident of the Coast of Bays, Wayne, along with
his wife Ruth, operates The Bear Sleeps Inn Bed and Breakfast in
Milltown-Head Bay d’Espoir. He joined the board in November as the
business representative for the Coast of Bays.
Colleen, Manager of Miawpukek First Nation’s Tourism, Culture and
Recreation in Conne River, was welcomed onboard in January and fills
the seat of Culture/Heritage & Visitor Attractions on the board of
Central Newfoundland is full of fantastic sights, sounds, tastes and
traditions. Some are well-trodden tourism icons, while others are
hidden jewels waiting to be discovered. Let’s get started, shall
Barbour Living Heritage Village, Newtown
Around every corner of the Barbour Living Heritage Village, there is
something new to explore. Whether you help a local fisherman
mend a net, laugh until
it hurts at the Seabird
Theatre Festival, learn the
history of the sealing industry, or
marvel at the architecture of the
heritage homes, your visit to the
“Venice of Newfoundland” will be
a trip you won’t soon forget.
Sunny Cottage Heritage Home, Harbour Breton
This heritage home celebrates its centennial birthday in 2010, and it has a lot to
celebrate. Built by a local fishing merchant, the house still has many original
features, including tin ceilings and a widow’s walk that offers one of the best
views of gorgeous Harbour Breton. This summer, Sunny Cottage will celebrate
its’ 100th birthday with 100 days of activities.
Airport Nordic Ski Club, Gander
The snow-covered days of winter are long behind us, but the
Airport Nordic Ski Club is still basking in the afterglow of a
banner year for memberships. Fueled by the sweat of a
dedicated corps of volunteers, the lake side facility has 16
kilometres of groomed trails, many of them illuminated for night
skiing. It also added a meandering showshoe trail and its ski hut is
a great place to relax with a post-ski hot chocolate. Beyond the
great skiing, the club has a
vibrant social environment which
welcomes veterans and newcomers
Growlers Ice Cream, Joe Batt’s Arm
Nestled in the heart of Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo
Island, Growler’s award-winning ice cream
boasts huge appeal. Growler’s not only
offers its patrons great tasting, natural
homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt in
flavours like Bakeapple Brown Sugar and
Partridgeberry Jam Tart, but the quirky
atmosphere of the parlour has everyone
screaming for ice cream.
That’s it for this issue. Write us at and let us know about your
choices for Central Newfoundland’s Tourism Gems so we can feature them in our
next edition. It could be the fish and chips at a diner, a secluded beach, a hiking
trail with great vistas, or a rollicking festival.
A couple of years ago, the
Gander International Airport
Authority confronted a
persistent challenge. The
Central Newfoundland
tourism industry was
underachieving. The airport
was eager to get a piece of
a growing trend of
non-resident visitors to the
province who arrived by
“The challenge was not in the tourism product,” explains the airport
authority’s Director of Marketing Reg Wright, “the problem was that
there was no true regional tourism marketing organization with the staff
and resources to do the job adequately. Local tourism groups were
doing great work in their own right but were challenged for staff and
represented smaller portions of the region. We needed a DMO to
represent the entire region.”
In the end, the airport took on a seed role, leveraging a quarter million of
public money, helping establish an interim board and incorporating the
Central Destination Marketing Organization.
Mr. Wright took some time to answer some of our questions.
Why did the airport decide to act as the DMO proponent?
Gander International Airport is a regional facility, we don’t have an allegiance to
one area over another. What’s good for St. Alban’s or St. Brendan’s is good for
our airport. I guess as a regional facility, we were viewed as a neutral facilitator
and were indifferent to a protectionist agenda and competitive concerns that
seemed to be holding the DMO concept back for a while. We take no credit for the
DMO getting off the ground, that thanks is deserved by people like Gary Sargent
who championed the concept through a time that it was very mush paddling
against the current.
What are you hoping to gain from the Central DMO?
One of our mandates as not-for-profit airport authority is to facilitate economic
development, to be an enabling partner, so that’s part of it. From a commercial
perspective, we want to make money, the same motivating factor as any
member. The DMO is designed to create value for members. With every new
visitor to Central, it increases our chances that they’ll use our airport. I make no
apologies for that, DMOs are private sector driven and that’s about creating new
But tourists arrive though a number of gateways and modes, many by ferry, for
example. So there’s no guarantee they’ll come to Gander.
True, but that’s not the point. The point is this: the more tourists we get, the
higher likelihood we will get them. It’s the same premise for a bed and breakfast
operator who is a member. As the Central DMO generates more visitors, the
available pool of prospective customers and revenue stream gets bigger.
What’s the advantage of a visitor arriving via Gander Airport?
The advantage to the airport is self-evident. The real advantage is to our local
tourism industry. The challenge through the years is that Central has been viewed
as a thoroughfare between the tourism anchors of the east and west coast, so
stay times in Central are short. When someone flies to the province through
Gander, it means that they are primarily motivated by the Adventure Central
experience. We aren’t an afterthought, we are the reason to be here. So it
increases their time in Central and the associated spend rate.
What’s your view on the Central Newfoundland experience?
It’s remarkable. It captures everything visitors to Newfoundland are looking for -
whales, hiking, icebergs and an authentic cultural experience in real, rugged and
raw rural setting. The fact we don’t have the amenities of a major urban centre is
a strength. Take the province’s television campaign, which is magnificent. It’s
subdued and totally captivating and it couldn’t better sell what we have here in
I’m an avid local tourist. We have so much to explore in our backyard and I’m
blessed to be able to have seen so much of it. I’ve hiked our marquee trails,
canoed the Gander River, sea kayaked with icebergs and whales in Notre Dame
Bay, hung out at most our beaches ... I’ve seen the attractions, great and small.
What probably excites me most is the growth of a compelling tourism product in
areas like Gaultois, Fogo and Change Islands and the south coast. So much
product and potential there.
What would you recommend to visitors to Central as “must do?”
There’s too much to pick one thing. I’d just say turn north or south off the highway
and drive to the sea. I’d add that the greatest treasures are always at the end of
the longest roads. I will say that the best seafood chowder on the planet is on
offer at Nicole’s Cafe in Joe Batt’s Arm, without question.
How does our tourism product feature in your eforts to grow air service at
Very prominently. It’s an important part of how airlines make decisions on where
to deploy their assets. The biggest tourism markets for Newfoundland are
Ontario and the Maritimes. This summer, we have three daily flights from Halifax
with Air Canada and twice weekly service from Sunwing Airlines from Toronto. So
there is capacity there to get our visitors here.
What role will the airport play in the future of Adventure Central?
The airport’s board and management are totally committed to supporting its
growth wherever possible, as a corporate sponsor, marketing partner and
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