September 11, 2009

Washington prepares for ‘Lost Symbol’ fans

Washington tourism officials are gearing up for visitors expected to look for real-life places depicted in Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol.

The novel, said to be set in the capital and to involve Freemasons, is scheduled to be released Tuesday, USA Today reports.

If it becomes a mega-hit like The Da Vinci Code, fans are likely to hit the road looking for places featured in the novel.

The Masonic House of the Temple, U.S. headquarters for the Scottish Rite, says the number of visitors this summer is already up slightly. Guides at Mount Vernon, George Washington's Virginia mansion, have been getting additional instruction on the first president's role as a Mason.

Earlier Brown novels have spawned tourist industries. Fodor's Travel Guides published a Fodor's Guide to The Da Vinci Code in 2006 and is in negotiations with Doubleday for a Lost Symbol guide, a spokeswoman says.

Commercial tours also guided groups of fans to sites mentioned in Brown's Angels and Demons.