Bland, Dull and Boring: Three towns team up to excite tourists

SYDNEY (Reuters) - First there was Dull and Boring. Now Bland, an Australian rural community, has teamed up with the two banal-sounding towns in Scotland and the United States in a three-way effort to attract tourists.

"Dull and Boring basically have a tourism relationship. We heard about it and thought it would be even better if it became Bland, Dull and Boring," Neil Pokoney, the mayor of Bland Shire, told Reuters on Tuesday.

"It's good for us to be able to take a light-hearted look at a name that many would see to be a weight around our necks."

Bland Shire, about 500 km (310 miles) west of Sydney, got confirmation this week that it would join the village of Dull in the Scottish Highlands and the town of Boring in the state of Oregon in their "league of extraordinary communities".

Originally a gold mining and farming area, Bland Shire sits at a junction of two highways leading to three Australian states and has a population of about 6,000.

Ten years ago, a local man started a gold mine that has helped resuscitate the drought-hit economy.

But Bland Shire sees the new partnership as a way to attract visitors to an area named after William Bland, the first person in the Australian Medical Association and a colorful character transported to Australia as a convict after he killed a man in a duel in Bombay.

"We're much larger than Dull," Pokoney said. "But Boring in the U.S., they're much bigger. We sort of sit in the middle."

(Reporting by Caitlin O'Brien; Editing by John O'Callaghan and Ron Popeski)