The Concept of “Book Town” as an Innovative Way of Using Local Resources for Tourism Purposes

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Subject and purpose of work: The aim of this paper is to present the origin and assumptions of the concept of “book towns”, along with the conditions of its development and different ways of using this concept in shaping tourist attractiveness. Materials and methods: This paper was prepared on the basis of domestic and foreign literature overview, as well as with the case study method. The examples presented in this article encompass four “book towns” from different continents (Hay-On-Wye in Wales, Torup in Denmark, Clunes in Australia and Paju in South Korea). Results: Each of the analysed towns has a unique identity and its own idea of development. A book served as a tool for building social capital, entrepreneurship development (particularly in Torup) and forming new tourist destinations. Conclusions: The concept of “book town”, which was created in the 60s of the twentieth century, still arouses the interest of local communities and various groups of visitors, including, among others, tourists, booksellers and bibliophiles. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that a “book town” offers not only economic benefits but is primarily a tool for comprehensive interpretation and protection of local culture.

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