Literary Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges for the Marketing and Branding of Destinations
This paper revisits the phenomenon of literary tourism and explores the means by which destinations can leverage benefit in the form of destination branding and marketing strategies. The paper commences with an overview of the typologies used to categorise the phenomenon and to outline the various forms it takes in the particular geographic context of the UK. The extent to which literary tourism is a sub-set of cultural and heritage tourism is then explored with the migration from niche to mass tourism opportunity an emerging trend. With regard to literary places, the study identifies author-related, fictional-related, book and festival related forms of literary tourism. Thereafter the study critiques further the migration from niche to mass tourism, the move from cultural and heritage tourism to international literary themed development, the collaborative development of literary destination products and experiences, opportunities for destination brand development and finally broader policy and wider local visitor management issues. The study concludes by advocating a collaborative approach to future literary tourism development with collaboration needing to be consistent with the desired target markets of each stakeholder, consistent with existing brands and perhaps most importantly, sustainable in the longer term.