GRIFFITH'S tourism boss has called on the city to embrace its reputation as "little Italy" to bolster its appeal as a tourist destination.
With more than half of the city's population coming from an Italian background, the rich cultures of Sicily and Calabria are firmly intertwined in Griffith heritage.
Council's new tourism manager, Greg Lawrence, has planned to use that culture as a drawcard for visitors.
"There are a lot of opportunities, especially with the Italian food and wine that is so readily available, to attract people to enjoy the flavours of Italy," Mr Lawrence said.
"This is the essence of our town it's what's unique about Griffith compared to any other holiday destination in the country.
"We have the foundations to do some fantastic things, now all we need to do is harness the town's energy and get some more targeted events happening."
Griffith already has one Italian event that attracts hordes of visitors every August Festa Delle Salsicce (festival of the sausage).
Its organiser Roy Catanzariti said a weekend-long celebration of Italian culture was just what the city needed.
"While we do enjoy celebrating our food, it would also be fantastic to get some activities happening, like a bocce knockout, a bicycle race and a soccer game," Mr Catanzariti said.
"We could start a new chapter in Griffith, where we really take something like this and turn it into a great event.
"If Mr Lawrence wants to get something happening, I will gladly sit down with him and help organise a festival. I'd be pleased to be involved in any way possible."
Mr Lawrence has had a hand in organising major regional events in the past, including the Deniliquin Ute Muster and Taste of Rutherglen.
"When you attract people to the area, it's not just about the one event, it's about the flow-on effect for accommodation, meals and other activities," Mr Lawrence said.
"We should be trying to turn it into a two, three or four-day opportunity to stay in town.
"Tourism is the lifeblood of a regional town."
and when you've got something special to offer, you have to let people know it's here."