Washington State prepares for latest Twilight tourist surge

Washington State prepares for latest Twilight tourist surge

Towns in Washington State are preparing for a growthin tourists when the new film from the Twilight franchise is released thisweek. Businesses in the book and film’s locations of Forks, Port Angeles and LaPush in the Olympic Peninsula are said to have been given a significant boostfollowing the popularity of the saga, with several companies now offering toursbased on the franchise.

Maps have also been produced and shops in Forks aresaid to have adorned their windows in gothic, Twilight based merchandise.

“To frame the impact of ‘Twilight’ onForks, Washington, one only needs to rewind to 2006.  Several largerstores in town had closed down. On summer evenings, one would see a fewolder couples on the downtown sidewalks, looking in the windows of stores thatall closed at 5pm.  The visitor centre saw about 10,000 folks walkingthrough the doors in a year,” said Diane Schostak, director of theOlympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau.

“In 2010, Forks had nearly 70,000 guests signing the book.Forks and the Olympic Peninsula have become the destination of choice forfamilies with a ‘Twilight’ fan or two. Today, families, often with teengirls toting little pink cameras, are shopping and browsing the many storesopen until 7pm or later and always open on Sunday”.

Schostack isalso confident that the young visitors will return once they see itsrainforest, coastline and small town feel.

Gary Marshall
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