Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Monday, 27 August 2007 12:12 UK

Japanese boom from Potter movie

Renee Zellweger as Miss Potter in Cumbria
Renee Zellweger shot scenes for Miss Potter in Cumbria

Tourism bosses in the Lake District are expecting a flood of visitors from Japan after the release of the film Miss Potter in the country.

Renee Zellweger starred in the biopic of Beatrix Potter, who created many of her animal characters in Cumbria.

To prepare for expected demand, thousands of copies of a specially-made Miss Potter location map have been translated into Japanese.

Cumbria Tourism said Japan was a growing visitor market for the Lakes.

High awareness

Ian Stephens, chief executive of Cumbria Tourism, said: "This is just one of many measures we are taking to ensure that the hugely significant Japanese market knows precisely what the Lake District has to offer when it comes to arguably their favourite adopted author."

There is already a high awareness of Beatrix Potter and the Lake District across Japan, because the country had the very first foreign language version of Peter Rabbit in 1906.

Her hugely popular 23-series of books were once on the school curriculum.

Japanese tourists currently make up 6% of all visitors to the lake District.

Operators of hotels, B&Bs and tourist attractions throughout Cumbria have already reported that the Miss Potter film has been good for business, with 13% saying it has had helped to boost trade.

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