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Pilcher fans flock to Southwest with bmi regional

bmi regional, the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline, reports that up to 20 per cent of inbound summer passengers on its three new routes from Germany to Bristol are fans of Cornwall-born author Rosamunde Pilcher OBE whose novels – including The Shell Seekers and Four Seasons - have been televised in Germany since the 1980s.

German fans of the award-winning author are visiting the southwest of more than ever due to the new routes: in May, the airline launched links between Bristol and Hannover, Hamburg and Munich - and increased frequency on its Frankfurt service – as part of a route expansion programme to mark its first anniversary as an independent airline.

In 2012, VisitBritain reported a 14 per cent increase in German visitors to the southwest at a time when German tourist visits to the UK as a whole grew by one per cent. The new bmi regional routes promise to sustain and further strengthen the appeal of a visit to Pilcher’s native Cornwall, the filming location for several German TV adaptations of her novels.

Colin Lewis, head of marketing at bmi regional, said: “The much-loved novels by Rosamunde Pilcher inspire many German readers to visit Cornwall and our new routes make travel into the region more convenient than ever. From Bristol Airport it’s easy to connect with a train or hire a car and head to Cornwall.”

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: “Bristol Airport is a gateway to the southwest for German and other European visitors, whether they’re flying for leisure or business. The enduring popularity of Pilcher’s work means there is demand to visit the region and the new routes operated by bmi regional provide a convenient and hassle-free route that avoids the congestion and expense of other UK airport hubs.”

British-born Pilcher, who turns 79 in September and retired from writing in 2000, is celebrated in Germany for her romantic stories and dynastic tales that span generations to reveal the intrigues and romance of life in the second half of the twentieth century. Pilcher’s literary career spanned six decades: her first novels, written under the nom de plume Jane Fraser, were published as Mills & Boon romances but by the mid-1960s Pilcher’s own name appeared on book jackets. Success in Germany grew from when several of her novels were adapted into Sunday night series by  popular TV channel ZDF, filmed on location in Cornwall in German starring German actors.

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