The Twilight Effect, post-film tourism and diversification: the future of Forks, WA

Wright, Daniel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9976-5799, Jarratt, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7244-428X and Halford, Emma (2021) The Twilight Effect, post-film tourism and diversification: the future of Forks, WA. Journal of Tourism Futures .

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The visitor economy of Forks now clearly relies upon a niche form of tourism – as fans of The Twilight Saga are drawn to the setting and filming location of the films. The purpose of this study is to consider the process of diversification and subsequently present recommendations that could inform a future diversification strategy for Forks, in preparation for a post-film tourism scenario.

The research methods employed in this study have two interlinked but distinct elements. Firstly, the Twilight Effect in Forks (WA, USA) is considered as an illustrative case study to shed light on the issues facing a destination that has seen a tourism boom as a direct result of popular culture – The Twilight Saga Franchise. Secondly, a scenario thinking and planning approach is applied when considering the “long-view” future of tourism in Forks.

This article presents a post-film tourism future scenario for Forks; it suggests tourism diversification and a shift towards cultural heritage and wellness. Forks is well placed to afford such tourism experiences, as it offers unique cultural and natural characteristics; furthermore, these could be utilised to create and maintain a distinctive destination image. In doing so a more socially and environmentally sustainable industry can be established, one which supports the local community, including the Quileute tribe.

The article offers original discussions within the film-tourism literature with novel approaches to understanding the management and pre-planning opportunities for destinations that have become popular film tourism locations, with the application of a “Tourism Diversification Model”. The model is adapted from Ansoff Matrix and can be applied as a framework in future studies exploring destination diversification. The investigation of Forks as a post-film tourism case study alone is unique, and the discussions and findings presented are original.

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