Background on Why the Literary Tourism Fund Exists

Edinburgh’s an incredible literary city, with something to offer visitors every night of the week.

Visitors can walk in the footsteps of world-famous authors, stay in historical literary locations, eat and drink in the haunts of poets and storytellers or browse for hidden gems in the city’s many bookshops. They can buy tickets for festivals, walking tours, literary attractions, readings, spoken word events, exhibitions or workshops. Edinburgh is built on books, words and ideas, so it’s no wonder that UNESCO designated it as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Cultural Tourism

As cultural tourism becomes more popular, Edinburgh’s seeing the successful development of an aspect of cultural tourism for book lovers: Literary Tourism. Businesses around the world, from Dublin and Stratford, to Vancouver and Belfast are creating new offerings and experiences in this area.

Helping Businesses

To help Edinburgh make the most of its literary credentials and help tourism businesses capitalise on Literary Tourism trends, the City of Literature Trust, in partnership with ETAG and Scottish Enterprise, have developed a variety of free resources and a Literary Tourism Innovation Fund to help businesses create innovative and memorable literary tourism visitor experiences.

Developing a Fund

When planning this chapter in Edinburgh’s literary life, City of Literature Trust and Scottish Enterprise listened to what tourism businesses said about the level of support necessary to develop new literary tourism experiences. The Literary Tourism Innovation Fund has been created to help reduce the initial risk of setting up new quality literary tourism experiences and product development projects for businesses.

The focus is on projects that celebrate Edinburgh’s literary scene – past and present – and raise the profile of its literary legacy.

The fund aims to support the “Edinburgh 2020 tourism strategy”. As such, it will focus on projects which strengthen Edinburgh’s appeal as a literary destination and thus broaden the city’s literary tourism


The objectives of the fund are to:

  • Encourage tourism businesses, operators, and organisations to collaborate and develop new literary tourism products, and experiences to increase the range of tourism offering in Edinburgh
  • Meet tourism demands based on business led products or experiences
  • Generate sustainable business development opportunities and activities
  • Capitalise on Edinburgh’s literary assets


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