Harry Potter brings Watford tourism boost

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on April 2, 2012

Hoteliers in Watford have welcomed a 78 per cent rise in bookings over the past month, which has mostly been fueled by the launch of the Harry Potter studio tour.

Last Saturday brought the opening of The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Brothers’ Leavesden studios, located on the brink of the Hertfordshire town. A typical three-hour walking tour hands visitors the chance to explore various sets used for the popular series’ filming – including the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, the Ministry of Magic, and Dumbledore’s office. There are also props and costumes put on display for visitors to marvel at.

Although feedback on the tour has been mostly positive, the price of entry has been criticised as adults must pay £28 to attend while children between the age of five and 15 years are charged £21. For the opening of the attraction, several of the Harry Potter series’ stars – including Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, Warwick Davis, and Tom Felton were in attendance, although Daniel Radcliffe was absent.

Rupert Grint, who played Harry Potter’s best friend Ron Weasley in every one of the eight film adaptations, commented in the press that the opening made Watford as glamorous as he has have ever seen it.  Lynda Matthews, of LateRooms.com, which was the first tourism-related company to report a rise in bookings, said that a tourist attraction will always attract a lot of attention and thankfully hotels in Watford will be able to benefit from a rise in people heading to the town.

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