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In pursuit of the homes of vampires – now a book about the fans!

14 November 2011 Expertsvar

In the last couple of years, the two small American towns of Forks and La Push have been visited by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people a day. These visitors photograph the local school, doctor’s office, and residential houses – all in pursuit of an authentic Twilight experience. Tourism researchers at Mid Sweden University are now releasing the first book about the fans and the tourism that has emerged, ”I populärkulturturismens fotspår – Twilight + Vacation = Twication©” [Following the footprints of popular culture tourism – Twilight + Vacation = Twication©].

– People create emotional relationships with characters and places in books and films, and this motivates them to travel. This type of travel often creates powerful experiences, and the interest is being disseminated and developed also through intensive use of sites, blogs, and forums on the Net, says Maria Lexhagen, researcher and one of the book’s authors.

In the book researchers describe the tourism that has arisen in the wake of the international popular culture phenomenon The Twilight Saga. The book includes chapters on popular culture as a phenomenon, travel and the sense of community among fans, the importance of social media, and how new destinations can take advantage of such a phenomenon and market their products.

The stereotype of a Twilight fan is a teenage girl, but a relatively large number of Twilight fans and Twilight tourists are women of more mature ages. Men also travel as tourists in the footprints of vampires.

– A key to successfully developing tourism in the wake of movies and literature is increased collaboration between tourism and other creative businesses, as well as enhanced mutual understanding of the business logics of each industry, says Christine Lundberg, a researcher and another of the book’s authors.

 The book will be released on November 15.

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