Literature as Tourist Attraction
The good people of Edinburgh are trying to get it named by UNESCO as World City of Literature. They cite Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and JK Rowling. They talk about Byron and Scott.
But it would be wrong to assume that everything is hunky-dory. Indeed one of the key motives behind the Edinburgh bid to become a World City of Literature was the widely perceived mistreatment of literature by the Scottish Executive which in 2000 omitted any mention of books and literature from its cultural review Creating Our Future Minding Our Past. Moreover, literature is by far the poorest funded of all the art forms by the Scottish Arts Council. Out of a total budget of 60 million, it receives just 2m, of which, for example, a ‘client’ such as the Edinburgh International Book Festival gets 132,000.