Tourism fiction uses the creative license of the fiction writer to help promote a location, region, or event. It tells a story that drives people to be interested in a setting so that through the story the write helps to boost the economy through an increase in tourism.
Tourism fiction combines the artistry of the writer with the community and gives a boost to both for the effort.
Elements of Tourism Fiction
The region, event or activity becomes a character in the book.
The descriptions in the story foster a desire for the reader to learn more about that character.
The stories include links, maps or other elements that can help direct readers to these “characters” or to the sites that inspired them.
Tips for Successful Tourism Fiction
1. Bring the scene to life – best opportunity for show don’t tell.
The wind blew the soft sounds of the flute across the plain. The simple tune soothed my heart. From the distance, I noticed the warrior. He was dressed in his full regalia and I heard his chants join the breeze. As he drew closer, I could make out the words and was shocked that I recognized them.
“Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame. You give love a bad name.”
2. Limit the tourism aspect. Including too many locations or too many focuses can take the story from fiction into travel. The location should be more of a character than a scene. If you don’t need it to carry then story forward then consider using it at another time or just releasing it altogether.
3. Give a link – include information to find the location in real life. You can embed the link into your PDF (it really is NOT as hard as it sounds) or just include a link at the end of your story that provides the reader with the option to discover more.
4. Connect with the community – let leaders and others in the area know that you are writing about the area. Send them copies of the stories, excerpts from the book and be sure to ask permission for including links.
Creating a Tourism Fiction Contest for Your Area
– Connect with others. The more groups, organizations or associations that are involved with the contest then the more everyone will benefit from the contest.
– Choose the focus. Tourism fiction contests work best if one location is the focus of that competition.
– Set the prizes. Writers want to know what will be the benefit of participating. Offer publicity opportunities, scholarships to writing conferences, awards or other enticements that will help to increase the number of participants.
– Announce the contest. People can only enter if they know there is a contest going on. Use the tools of the internet – Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media – and also traditional markets – newspaper, radio and television.
– Schedule the award ceremony. The bigger the better. Combine the award with the event that was featured in the contest.
Tourism fiction can provide writers with a new avenue to share their words. It allows areas to reap the benefits of the tourism. Tourism fiction can be a great way for writers and the community to come together to help boost the economy.
Learn more about tourism fiction by visiting SELTI – South Eastern Literary Tourism Initiative – website. You can read some excerpts from novels and read the first winner of a tourism fiction short story contest.