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When Dan Brown first hit the bestseller charts with his quasi-religious thrillers, it completely divided the reading public. Some people hailed him as a genius, whilst others were less than complimentary about his writing skills. But on one thing everyone could agree - his books created a new wave of tourism. People rushed to visit the destinations mentioned in his books, from Westminster Abbey to Vatican City. Within a month of publishing Inferno, his follow-up to the Da Vinci Code, tourism officials in Florence had begun work on creating tours dedicated to taking visitors around some of the sights referred to in the book.

It seems that despite our seeming reliance on computer screens, the good old-fashioned book is still very much in vogue, and literary tours around the world are seeing business booming. One of the benefits of cheap air travel is that it has made the world so accessible, allowing us to indulge in whisking ourselves away to places that we have, quite literally, only read about in books.

Of course, the UK has a good tradition of literary-themed travel destinations thanks to the success of authors such as the Bronte sisters of Haworth. Thousands of people have been visiting this quiet little corner of Yorkshire for decades in search of the inspiration that drove the talented sisters to write their masterpieces, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Just over the Pennines in Cumbria, the former home of Beatrix Potter has long been on the tourist trail for fans of her delightful children's books, while Harry Potter has drawn visitors to places up and down the country, including Edinburgh, Northumberland and even King's Cross Station in London.

Across the Channel, Carcassone in southern France has seen a steady rise in visitors thanks to the 'Kate Mosse Effect'. The author - rather than the model of the same name - has set three books in and around the region, which has seen an influx of tourism that rose further when one of the books was dramatized for television.

Amsterdam features in a number of novels, including The Fault in Our Stars and The Miniaturist. The city is also home to the famous house where Ann Frank spent part of her childhood hiding from the Nazi invaders during the Second World War. It is now an iconic museum.

Sweden has become a must-visit destination thanks to the massive popularity of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, featuring the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Walking tours around Stockholm take in many of the locations used in the books and subsequent films, and they are drawing in steady streams of tourists.

Much further afield, New Zealand has seen a tourism explosion on the back of the film versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Tolkien's epic masterpieces. Hobbiton is a real place which fans flock to in their droves, along with many other iconic locations from the movie.

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