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Literary Tourism - International - September 2011

Literary tourism is a niche market and an offshoot of cultural tourism, itself also a niche market. Cultural tourism, as its name suggests, encompasses the history, religion, lifestyle and creative aspects of a country, city or region, and is growing rapidly.

Research from the Paris-based Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development (a division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – the OECD) shows that around the world, cultural tourism is one of the fastest-developing sectors of the travel industry. Indeed, tourist boards (and other tourism entities) are increasingly using culture as a lure for marketing their destinations. By highlighting their unique cultural offerings they are appealing to travellers interested in the kinds of activities and attractions (arts festivals, musical events, heritage sites and the like) that offer a glimpse into the lifestyles of the locals – past and present.

By promoting their cultural offerings, destinations are able to distinguish themselves from the competition and attract tourists with a specific interest or hobby. From a demographic point of view, it is a successful strategy. The populations of Europe and North America, for example, are ageing. Older people, who are no longer in the workforce or working only part time, generally have more time than younger ones to pursue their favourite activity.

Literary tourism appeals to this older demographic (though not exclusively) and, of course, to people who are avid readers. It encompasses many elements of the creative process – the lives of authors, playwrights and poets, their characters (fictional or real), the destination(s) where the action unfolds, the places the literary figures were born and/or died, bookstores, literary festivals, book fairs (aimed at the publishing industry) and tours themed around best-selling books and other literary works.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Defining literary tourism
      • Data Sources

        • Overview

          • The literary link
            • Figure 1: Some popular destinations associated with literary figures, 2011
        • Global Literary Destinations

            • Africa
              • Kenya
                • Asia
                  • Japan
                    • Australasia
                      • Australia
                        • New Zealand
                          • Europe
                            • France
                              • Italy
                                • UK
                                  • North America’s Shakespeare connection
                                    • North America
                                      • Key West, Florida
                                        • New York City
                                          • Figure 2: Domestic and international visitors to New York City & direct tourism spend, 2006-10
                                        • South America
                                        • Literature and Creative Tourism

                                            • UNESCO’s Cities of Literature
                                              • Edinburgh
                                                • Melbourne
                                                  • Iowa City
                                                    • Dublin
                                                      • Reykjavik
                                                      • Literary Tours

                                                          • Literary tour operators
                                                            • Classical Pursuits, Toronto
                                                              • Cunard Line
                                                                • The Word Travels, Dorset
                                                                  • City walking tours
                                                                    • Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
                                                                      • The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour
                                                                        • London Discovery Tours
                                                                        • Literary Festivals

                                                                          • International
                                                                            • UK
                                                                              • The Bath Literature Festival
                                                                                • The Hay Festival
                                                                                  • The Wigtown Book Festival
                                                                                    • Other leading UK literary festivals
                                                                                      • Figure 3: Selection of 10 literary festivals in the UK, 2011
                                                                                    • Festival attendance figures
                                                                                    • Book Fairs

                                                                                        • The Frankfurt Book Fair
                                                                                          • The London Book Fair
                                                                                            • Antiquarian book fairs
                                                                                              • BookExpo America
                                                                                                • New York Book Week
                                                                                                • Who are the Literary Tourists?

                                                                                                    • Figure 4: Random sample of 10 countries where English is an official language, showing population size and literacy rates, 2011
                                                                                                  • Literary tourism and the ageing population
                                                                                                    • Europe
                                                                                                      • Figure 5: Projected percentages for the over-65 population in key European source markets for literary tourism, showing estimates at 5-year intervals, 2010-30
                                                                                                      • Figure 6: Projected population figures for EU-27 countries, in key European source markets for literary tourists, showing estimates at 5-year intervals, 2010-30
                                                                                                    • North America
                                                                                                      • Figure 7: Projected figures for the US population, showing estimates at 5-year intervals, by age group, 2010-30*
                                                                                                    • Discovering literary tourism
                                                                                                    • Is Technology Killing Literature?

                                                                                                      • The digital revolution
                                                                                                        • Young readers spread the word
                                                                                                          • E-book readers travel light
                                                                                                            • Book worms remain loyal to print
                                                                                                              • Figure 8: Attitudes towards buying/reading books, expressed as a percentage of the total*, December 2010
                                                                                                            • Bookshop tourism
                                                                                                            • What Next?

                                                                                                              • What does the future hold?
                                                                                                                • Festivals need to branch out
                                                                                                                  • Collaborating holds promise
                                                                                                                    • Cultural/tourism overlap

                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                    Literary Tourism - International - September 2011

                                                                                                                    £295.00 (Excl.Tax)