The Word Travels: Literary History Focus of New Tourism Initiative

PETERBOROUGH, ON—Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (PKT), part of Peterborough Economic Development has curated the area’s rich literary history into a compelling story aimed at encouraging increased cultural tourism for the region.

In partnership with Kawarthas Northumberland, the area’s regional tourism organization, PKT worked with literary expert, Nigel Beale ( to do a comprehensive audit of the area’s extensive tangible and intangible literary assets. They also engaged a number of local experts to compile an impressive amount of information which will be showcased through ongoing digital marketing and experience development.

To celebrate this storied history, PKT has developed a program entitled “The Word Travels” and has launched a dedicated experience on highlighting a series of articles, videos, events, places and itineraries to inspire literary travel throughout the area, and is continuing to work with local partners to further develop literary tourism for the region.

“The Word Travels is the first step in an exciting journey to showcase our region to literature lovers and provides us with the inspiration and opportunity to enhance our literary offerings to visitors and residents alike. Stay tuned, there’s more to come....” said Susan Quinlan, Tourism Development Lead for Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism.

Literary tourism is an area of cultural tourism which encompasses many different, but related kinds of activities including; visiting authentic literary places depicted in works of fiction, walking terrain that inspired the creation of works of literature, paying respects to authors, going to libraries, attending literary and film festivals and fairs, taking literary walking tours, attending live theatre and browsing bookshops just to name a few.

“By supporting local literary output and expression, developing venues for performances and exhibitions, and encouraging the collecting, curating and presenting of source documents, destinations not only evolve into more interesting places, they help transform the lives of those who visit and live in them. Fostering experiences related to literary tourism not only attracts cultural/literary tourists, it makes places richer, and more exciting for their inhabitants,” said Beale.

“Peterborough & the Kawarthas has an extraordinary number of used/antiquarian bookstores here, for example; there’s an excellent rare books library that has a strong collection of first editions by local authors and a room that contains Margaret Laurence’s personal library; there’s a good selection of theatre companies, ample performance space, some important literary landmarks and a successful, well established writer’s festival. Four of Canada’s most important authors lived and worked here, (Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie, Robertson Davies and Margaret Laurence) and one of Canada’s defining stories is set here, the immigrant experience, and how early settlers coped with and adjusted to a new world,” he added.

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