The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0427  Tuesday, 22 July 2008

From:       Dan Decker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 22 Jul 2008 10:16:30 EDT
Subject:    Shakespeare Tourism

Does anyone have a reference source for numbers on global "Shakespeare Tourism"?

How many people a year travel to see a play, visit a birthplace, see Juliet's 
actual balcony, all that.

[Editor's Note: Interesting that you asked. I just saw the following, from the 
online Birmingham Post: 

Shakespeare tourist attraction calls in administrators

A company behind a Shakespeare tourist attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon has 
been forced to call in the administrators.

Dynamic Attractions Ltd, which runs Shakespearience and the 120-seat Waterside 
Theatre, said it had suffered after a massive drop in visitor numbers to the 
Warwickshire town.

The company, which employs 23 staff, says the strength of the pound against the 
dollar has meant fewer American tourists travelling to the UK this year.

But administrators Kroll insisted the independently-run Waterside, which also 
includes the Shakespearience tourist attraction, would continue to trade while 
the situation was reviewed. The theatre opened in December 2004, built in the 
style of a traditional Elizabethan playhouse and authentically timbered to 
create an intimate atmosphere.

One employee said: "We are open as usual while they try to work things out, so 
we hope people don't think we're closed.To be honest, it's not just the credit 
crunch that has affected us. We flooded last year and we think that has had a 
knock-on effect as well."

Other businesses have blamed the credit crunch and disruption caused by the 
redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and Bancroft Gardens for 
discouraging tourists and Stratford Council leader Les Topham warned of even 
tougher times ahead for Shakespeare's birthplace.

He said: "This is very sad news for the whole town. We don't want to see any of 
our tourist attractions closed down because tourism is obviously so important to 
the area.

"The credit crunch is affecting everyone in Stratford and you can see it just by 
looking at the number of people on the streets.

"Some days it doesn't seem so bad. But I was driving around the town the other 
day and it did seem much quieter than usual, with fewer foreign visitors than 
we'd usually have at this time of year.

"We just have to accept that the credit crunch is here to stay and that we're 
not the only ones in for a tough time.''

He added: "We've seen mad cow disease, foot and mouth and floods in the last few 
years, so I'm sure we'll come through this and maintain Stratford-upon-Avon as 
the world class tourist attraction it is today.

"The best advice I can give people is that I've been in business for over 30 
years myself and I've seen this all before. We just have to ride it out the best 
we can.''

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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