Frequently Asked Questions

Questions asked about Cultural Heritage and Destination Tourism.

What are Four Components of a Successful Marketing Plan?

A successful Marketing Plan will have these key components:

  1. Public Relations – Prepare a press kit and do regular press releases to get the word out about happenings and events
  2. Advertising – Creating a compelling message directed to target audiences through advertisement 
  3. Graphic Materials – Choose a logo, develop a website, print brochures
  4. Promotions – Take your message to travel industry and consumer trade shows; go on trade missions

Who Are Tourism Customers?

Tourism 101: Basic Information for Selling to Tourists Cover

All tourists have a propensity to spend.  However, certain types of tourists spend more than others.  International visitors typically outspend domestic travelers.  Baby boomers often outspend seniors or student groups.   To truly identify who your tourism customers are, it is essential to have an ongoing system in place to track tourists and their spending.

Read about the Five Effective Ways to Track Tourists, page 7 of  Tourism 101: Basic Information for Selling to Tourists

Who is the Cultural & Heritage Traveler?

Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964)

  • Trips are longer, allowing for in-depth exploration at a leisurely pace
  • Trips often themed or educational
  • As grandparents, boomers are now the force behind multi-generational travel
  • Boomers spend an average of $2,995 on 4.2 trips each year

Source:  Luxury Marketing Council

What are the Five Principles for Successful and Sustainable Cultural Heritage Tourism?

  1. Collaborate
  2. Find the Fit
  3. Make Sites / Programs Come Alive
  4. Focus on Quality and Authenticity
  5. Preserve and Protect
Source:  National Trust for Historic Preservation 

What are the Four Steps to Successful and Sustainable Cultural Heritage Tourism?

The four basic steps to begin your cultural heritage tourism program or take it to the next level, include:

  1. Assess the Potential
  2. Plan and Organize
  3. Prepare for Visitors/Manage Cultural, Historic and Natural Resources
  4. Market for Success

 Source:  National Trust for Historic Preservation 

What is a Heritage Management Plan?

The management plan serves as a baseline for ongoing and future evaluation.  Research shows that management planning has contributed to the success of heritage areas. While the process takes time, early planning helps the local coordinating entity and its partners implement their goals and projects.  The local coordinating entity can compare planned actions with actual activities to evaluate the success of the heritage area.

Heritage Area Management Plan basic components:

  • Resource Inventory
  • Interpretive Themes
  • Goals, Strategies, and Actions
  • Partner Roles 
  • Implementation Plan
  • Interpretive Plan
  • Business Plan
  • Performance Goals and Benchmarks
  • List of Preparers and Participants

What is Heritage Tourism?

The National Trust defines heritage tourism as “traveling to experience the places, artifacts, and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present.  It includes cultural, historic and natural resources” (National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2008).

More and more people are seeking unique travel experiences that combine history, education, entertainment and authenticity.  A cultural heritage tourism survey conducted in 2009 revealed that 78% of all U.S. leisure travelers participate in cultural and/or heritage activities while traveling.  These cultural and heritage travelers  stay longer, spend more, and travel more often.  They also tend to be older, better educated, more sophisticated, and often more affluent than other tourists. Overseas cultural heritage travelers visiting the United States  tend to be more first-time travelers, stay longer in the United States, and visit more destinations than the average traveler.

What is the Impact of Tourism in the U.S.?

Tourism has become the largest industry worldwide in terms of employment and share of gross domestic product.  Global Travel & Tourism continues to grow in spite of the continuing economic challenges.   Tourism’s direct contribution to GDP in 2011 was US$2 trillion and the industry generated 98 million jobs.[1]

Tourism is one of America’s largest employers with 7.4 million direct travel-generated jobs.  In 2010, domestic and international travelers spent $758.7 billion in the U.S., an increase of 7.7 percent over 2009. Total tourism-related employment was 14.1 million in 2010 which indicates that one in nine U.S. non-farm jobs are directly and indirectly relying on the travel and tourism. [2]  Direct spending on leisure travel in the United States by domestic and international travelers totaled $526 billion in 2010, and generated $82 million in tax revenue and 5.2 million jobs.   International travel spending (export receipts) totaled $134 billion with 59.7 million arrivals to the United States and supported about 931,000 jobs with wages of $24.7 billion during 2010.

Recently released 2011 figures show international visitation to the U.S. set a new record with 62 million visitors, a 4% increase over 2010.  Overseas resident visits (28 million) were up 6% compared to 2010, creating a new record level of overseas visits for the United States.


[1] Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2012  – World Travel & Tourism Council

[2] Economic Impacts of Travel & Tourism (U.S. Travel Association 04/25/2011)

What is the Potential Impact of Heritage Tourism?

A recent study by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism revealed that nearly 15.4 million of the overseas travelers to the U.S. were cultural heritage travelers.  Growth of cultural heritage visitors outpaced average growth of all overseas arrivals to the United States (14% and 11%, respectively).  Since 2004, the number of CHV travelers increased from 10.6 million (68.7% of the market) to the current 15.4 million or 71.2 percent of all overseas visitors.

The rapid expansion of travelers seeking cultural experiences has helped heritage tourism become one of the leading motivations for people to travel.  Cities and towns across America are discovering how well the preservation of historic, cultural, and natural resources combines with tourism to sustain local economies. Heritage tourism creates jobs, provides new business opportunities, helps protect natural resources, and improves the quality of life for residents.

As one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry, heritage tourism can be an effective tool to generate jobs, income, tax revenues, diversify local economies, and improve the local quality of life.