After the movie, the map: tourists to walk in Bridget's footsteps
Sunday 07 November 2004
You've read the diaries and seen the films. Now you can follow the map. Bridget Jones, the fictional 30-something whose worries about her weight and men resonated with a generation of single women, is to take her place alongside London's other literary figures, including Sherlock Holmes, Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens - with a guided walk in her honour.
The London tourist board, Visit London, has produced a downloadable map of Bridget Jones's London and is in talks to organise guided walks in anticipation of the interest generated by the second movie instalment, The Edge of Reason, which is released in this country this week.
A spokeswoman for Visit London said the popularity of Bridget Jones abroad, especially in America, was bringing tourists flooding into London. "This will only be the third map we've done," she said. "The first was for Love Actually, which was just a great advert for London, and the second was for Thunderbirds. They were enormously popular."
The Bridget Jones walk will rival the Sex and the City walks which are popular in New York. The tourist and fan will be taken to Primrose Hill in north London, the Renoir cinema in Bloomsbury, the trendy environs of Shoreditch, a London pub - the Globe in Borough Market - as well as more traditional areas of London, such as the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, Oxford Street and County Hall. They will also find themselves in less well-known areas such as Chiswick Business Park and Hanwell Cemetery.
The movie maps are the latest weapon in an attempt to attract tourists back to the capital following 9/11. Immediately after the disaster visitors to the capital fell from 13 million to 11 million. That two million difference cost the economy £1bn.
But numbers this year are projected to be back to pre-9/11 levels, and the British films are a significant factor. The Visit London spokeswoman added: "It's a hugely popular way of getting interest in London. The US market loves the maps and we are talking to a walks operator about a Bridget Jones walk."
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