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Britain taps Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes to lure tourists


economy

Britain taps Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes to lure tourists

Britain is again going literary to boost tourism in 2017.

The hope is that anniversaries involving boy wizard Harry Potter, fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and author Jane Austen will lure more visitors.

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, has already shown that is a winning formula.

In 2016 it used major anniversaries linked to William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, Charlotte Brontë and Roald Dahl to promote tourism in Britain.

This year will see the 20th Anniversary of the first Harry Potter book and the 125th anniversary of the publication of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’.

It is also 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, the writer of classics including ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Emma’.

Focal points for visitors are likely to include a new Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library.

The south-western English city of Bath, which is strongly associated with Jane Austen, is set to see an increase in visitors, along with the county of Hampshire where she lived.

London’s Baker Street is also braced for more visitors along with another city in the south-west – Bristol – which was the location for some of the filming of the latest BBC series of Sherlock Holmes stories starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Outside England, Wales is promoting its Year of Legends and Scotland celebrates a Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

VisitBritain believes there will be 38.1 million visitors to the UK this year, up from 2016’s estimated 36.7 million.

It is not sure about the effects on numbers of the fall in the value of the pound against other currencies following the referendum vote to leave the European Union.

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