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Home arrowNews arrowMay 9, 2013

Historic Places are Perfect Tourist Spots; Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

Historic Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango CO

Tourism is big business, as many economic studies and surveys have shown. In 2010, travel and tourism directly contributed $759 billion to the U.S. economy. Travel and tourism is one of America’s largest employers, directly employing more than 7.4 million people and creating a payroll income of $188 billion, and $118 billion in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments. (Source: U. S. Travel Association, 2011). Heritage tourism is also a major economic driver.

Gold Rush Days in Sacramento, CAAccording to a 2009 national research study on U.S. Cultural and Heritage Travel by Mandela Research, 78 percent of all U.S. leisure travelers participate in cultural and/or heritage activities while traveling, translating to 118.3 million adults each year. Cultural and heritage visitors spend, on average, $994 per trip compared to $611 for all U.S. travelers. Perhaps the biggest benefits of cultural heritage tourism, though, are diversification of local economies and preservation of a community’s unique character. (Source: Cultural & Heritage Traveler Study, Mandela Research, LLC) Well-managed tourism improves the quality of life and builds community pride.

Cruise Night in Historic Downtown Lemont, ILThrough the Preserve America program, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, and special policy studies, the ACHP has been promoting heritage tourism as an excellent byproduct of historic preservation since 2003. Visit for a full listing of the nearly 900 communities and 38 volunteer steward organizations, as well as the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itineraries that feature the communities.

The ACHP participates in the public-private coalition Partners in Tourism for this reason, and also is involved in the National Travel and Tourism Strategy established by President Obama in 2012.

Read more from the US Travel Association.

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