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Harrison and Calista cause canal tourism boom

July 20, 2004
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Celebrity couple Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart probably had no idea the waves their low-key visit to North Wales would cause for local tourism.

After the couple were photographed steering their vessel through the locks and aquaducts on the Shropshire Union canal earlier this month – and then wrapping up their getaway with a stay at the local Bryn Howel Hotel – locals have noted a marked increase in buzz about the area.

"Interest has increased ten-fold," said a co-owner of Maestermyn Hire Cruisers, who rented out the 65ft-long narrow boat, complete with microwave, two toilets and DVD player, to the high-profile pair. As a result, the company intends to boost the number of boats for hire, and even plans to name one of the new vessels Calista.

The Ally McBeal star and her famous boyfriend were said to be impressed with the treatment they received during their visit, and the appreciation appears to be mutual. In addition to Calista's namesake vessel, the 36-room Llangollen hotel where the pair stayed is to erect a plaque for the newly dubbed "Harrison Ford wing".

A £199-a-night package to stay in the lodgings will include the menu the couple shared for dinner and breakfast, with Harrison and Calista's preferred wine and port as optional extras. "The phone has hardly stopped ringing," said Barry Cohen, who runs the hotel.

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Photo: Rex
The glamorous pair spent part of their stay in the four-star Bryn Howel hotel, which, after their visit, launched the "Harrison Ford wing"