Dylan Thomas: attracting the world to Swansea in 2014

C 4th March 2014

Chinese, Austrians and Finns are among the international contingent to have already visited Swansea’s permanent Dylan Thomas Exhibition so far this year.

The visitor book at the Maritime Quarter attraction shows people from across the world have been flocking to Swansea to learn all about the poet’s links with the city in the year that marks 100 years since his birth.

Since the start of January, a number of Americans, Canadians and Irish have also made the trip to see the Dylan Thomas Exhibition that’s on display at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Even some Napoli football fans found time to make a visit when their team was in the city to take on the Swans in the Europa League at the Liberty Stadium.

In the build-up to Christmas, visitors came from as far afield as Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Hungary, India, Slovakia and Beirut.

The Exhibition includes items such as Dylan’s death mask, the poet’s writing shed doors and one of his suits from 1953.

Cllr Nick Bradley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Flicking through the Dylan Thomas Exhibition’s visitor book gives a real indication of Dylan’s continuing legacy and popularity across the world and we expect to welcome many more visitors from far afield this year thanks to all that’s being arranged as part of the year-long festival to mark the centenary of his birth.

“The festival celebrates Swansea’s most famous son and the people and the landscape that inspired him across all art forms and mediums. These include an exhibition about the Swansea that Dylan knew that’s now opened at Swansea Museum, a number of Dylan-related performances at the Grand Theatre, a waterfront literary trail, an Under Milk Wood jazz suite on Gower, events in parks, international literary competitions and sporting events.

“We’re also actively marketing the Dylan Thomas 2014 Festival to both residents and visitors. Many of our vehicles are carrying Dylan 2014 branding, banners are up on bridges over the city’s main roads and thousands of leaflets have been distributed across South Wales.  The festival is also the focus of the tourism marketing activity this year with features in the main Swansea Bay holiday guide and direct marketing literature.”

Swansea Council has also applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for money that could see the permanent exhibition refreshed and a community education programme put in place. If the bid is approved, the permanent exhibition room, temporary exhibition room and education room at the Centre would be refurbished along with an outreach and community engagement programme in place in time for the annual Dylan Thomas Festival and the poet’s birthday in late October.

Have a look at www.dylanthomas.com for more information or call the Dylan Thomas Centre on 01792 463980.