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Vampire saga infuses new blood into tourism

12.11.2012
The vampire themed The Twilight Saga opens up for new opportunities in tourism.

More than a quarter of a million visitors from all over the world have travelled to the small town of Forks, situated in the northwest of the USA, where the books are set. Researchers at the research institute of tourism ETOUR at Mid Sweden University, present a new book about the fans and the tourism following this pop culture phenomenon.

- Our research shows that as many as 65 per cent of the tourists visit the destination because of Twilight. For the destinations where the saga takes place, this has resulted in a great opportunity, says Christine Lundberg, ETOUR.

Forks is just one of several Twilight destinations around the world visited by tens of thousands of fans. The driving force behind the travelling is to experience the ambiance of the place and reinforce the emotional connections to the fictional characters. It often creates intense experiences, spreading and expanding the interest through a frequent use of social media among the fans.
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The new book Twication™: The Twilight Saga Experience supports previous results; there is often a stereotypical image of the Twilight fans being teenage girls, but a relatively large number of Twilight fans and Twilight tourists are women of a more mature age, often with a university education. It has also become increasingly more common that the fans themselves arrange trips and events; a sense of community is what is important.

- From a tourist perspective it is surprising that only 3 per cent of those visiting Twilight destinations are using traditional travel agencies when searching for information. Instead they use social media and websites to find information on locations and sights, says Maria Lexhagen, ETOUR.

The tourism researchers note that the interest in the typical Twilight destinations is starting to decrease, but the Twilight tourism lives on. The difference is that fans are now travelling to other locations, perhaps lacking any direct connection to Twilight but which are well located geographically and easy to get to, for example a metropolis that is more accessible in order to get together and share their common interest with other Twilight fans.

- The Twilight destinations losing visitors have to readjust and find new products to develop so that the visitors will return. This goes for all destinations, but becomes particularly obvious for destinations previously unknown, says Sigrid Mattsson, one of the book’s authors.

The book Twication™: The Twilight Saga Experience describes the tourism emerging in the wake of Twilight. It deals with pop culture as a phenomenon, the fans’ travelling and shared interest, the importance of social media and how the new destinations take advantage of and promote their products.

For additional information:
Christine Lundberg, PhD. ETOUR, Mid Sweden University, +46 70-336 89 59, e-mail: christine.lundberg@miun.se

Maria Lexhagen, PhD. ETOUR, Mid Sweden University, +46 70-602 58 80, e-mail: maria.lexhagen@miun.se

Johan Lundin | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

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