Introduction of Conference


Being anxious about our identity, as is in crisis, being a self-fracturing splitting up into multiple images in search for historical roots are leading results of controlling our identity by postmodernism, during which the distinction among past, present and future has blurred. By tracing our heritage we may construct our identities as heritage is a key to identity. Offering heritage interpretations, revealing the relationships of heritages, whether cultural or natural, to the public and creating “connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource” are the efforts which pave the way to the progress of a nation. Literature, as a subcategory of cultural heritage, may play an important role in fostering confidence, which make the one believe to have the ability to do things well. Despite rich literature and high potentials for concurrence with the best tourism destinations in the world, Iran is not on its real position in disseminating in both national and international levels. Improving the image of Iran requires creative ways, one of which is literary tourism, where literature meets tourism. Literary Tourism, as a type of cultural tourism,“ deals with places and events from fictional texts as well as the lives of their authors”. It could include visiting the settings of the story on the places linked to the author such as the birthplace, home and burial site, the literary museums or tracking down to the route to fictional character charts in a novel. Burial sites of the authors were frequent places for many who undertook the Grand Tour in te 18th and 19th centuries. Following the routes classical authors described became the tourists’ destinations in those days, after which Byron and Shelly had the powerful shaping influence on visitors to travel more. Travel writers like Nasser Khosraw played the same role in Iran. This traditional trip, Grand Tour, undertaken by mainly upper class elite people, with the nobility and wealthy landed gentry, while having interests in literary subjects paved the way of educated middle class people to travel around some years later. Literary Tourism attractions include 3 different kinds of places:

  • Real Sites: Visiting the places associated with the authors’ real lives such as birthplace, home, or burial site, or the sites stories are set, and places that inspired the author, the examples of which are Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire, Robert Burns’ Birthplace Museum in Alloway, a village in Scotland, Yoush Village, a village in Mazandaran, Iran, well-known for being the birthplace of Nima Youshij, Shahriar’s House in Tabriz, Iran.
  • Fictional Sites: A setting which created or imagined by the writer, like 221B Baker Street, the address of Sherlok Holmes House in London, and fictional castles and forts in classical Persian Literature.
  • Built Sites: Peculiar theme parks created for visitors, such as Dickens World, created based on his works, and the World of Beatrix Potter in Windermere, England, where a journey through the imagination of the stories and life-sized figures of the animal characters stop the fans.

The names of Stratford-Upon-Avon and Shakespeare are synonymous throughout the world. This made the town as a focus of literary tourism. The Literary Tourism Route recalls the lives and works of authors, examples of which are Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Agatha Christie and Robert Burns’ Routes, while “ the Da Vinci Code” or Harry Potter have spawned several different travel tours despite their imaginative stories. Dublin and Edinburgh have been labeled UNESCO cities of Literature, giving tourists reasons to flock to the cities of James Joyce and Sir Walter Scott. This may lead the cities to be hosts of several world festivals.

The advantages of developing Literary Tourism:

  • Filling free time during vacations in an educational way
  • Introducing renowned authors and their works to domestic and international visitors,
  • Rising educational levels by making the visitors curious about places, through the interpretations given on them,
  • Enriching the educational content of kids and children materials by offering educational tours
  • Introducing the rich culture, literature and civilization of Iran visually,
  • Destroying the effects of Modernism, like alienation, in a developing countries,
  • Uniting various tribes, despite their different ethnic identities, result of different ethnic groups they are belonged to, live in a country like Iran,
  • Sustaining collective nostalgia,
  • Respecting the artistic and aesthetic values,
  • Growing pride of cultural and literal possessions and trying hard to keep and improve them,
  • Enabling local communities socially to craft cohesive identities,
  • Enabling native communities to take control of local concerns,
  • Enabling economic opportunity in local communities by undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs, and
  • Creating income in the tourism industry through the expansion of fields of activity to keep up with competitors’ market strategies regionally and domestically.

The research center of Tatilat-e-Now, a leading weekly newspaper on the subject of tourism, has arranged a National Conference titled “ Literary Tourism”, going to be held for the first time in Iran and occurred as a rare occasion in the world. The reasons behind the Conference are the benefits mentioned above and the first clauses of 3rd and 4th article of the Fifth National Development Plan, which refer to the common cultural heritage reflected in Literature and Arts and impact of introduction of Iranian and Islamic Culture and Civilization as well as the development of Persian script, language and literature.



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