Forks gears up for another vampire tourism rush

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The Independent Online

The sleepy town of Forks, Washington is preparing for another busy summer as fans of the hit Twilight series flock to the cinema for the third installment.

The tiny all-American town on the Olympic Peninsula, which was known only as the "logging capital of the world" before it became the hometown of Stephenie Meyer's heroine Bella Swan, has cultivated a booming film tourism business since the release of the books.

Now, as the third film hits screens around the world, the town is pulling out all the stops to cater for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse-loving fans.

Local tour companies will be on hand to show visitors around the high school that Bella and Edward Cullen attend, the beach at La Push where Bella learns the truth about Edward and the restaurant in nearby Port Angeles where they have their first date.

Kalaloch Lodge, part of the neighboring Olympic National Park, has created its own Twilight Eclipse package, which includes a special map listing the locations in the book, Twilight water bottles and a special Twilight dessert. The package is priced from $220 (€178).

The nearby winery, Olympic Cellars, has even created a sparkling Syrah named Sparkling Twilight, which retails for $34.99 (€28.44).

The Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau says that it is delighted to welcome Twilight fans, urging them to absorb the atmosphere of the area which conjures up "romance, excitement, adventure" - something that locals believe Meyer has reflected in the Twilight series.

"I felt so proud reading Stephenie Meyer’s descriptions of the Olympic Peninsula, our mountains, forests, the beaches and the rain," said Kathy Charlton, one of the owners of Olympic Cellars.

"We hear from visitors every day how much they love the Peninsula and on their next visit will schedule more time to just enjoy… the beauty, serenity, earth’s bounty and the abundance of mountain and water activities."

With a fourth film due for release in 2011, it seems unlikely that the sun will set on Forks' newfound tourism success any time soon.