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History, created and recreated, is the mother lode of tourism. – Lucy Lippard

Our Programs: Heritage Tourism


YOUR CHOICE

An economically sound tourism model designed around history and heritage,

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or a hospitality program where the town merely builds new visitor attractions that have little connection to the region.

Heritage Tourism Trends

  • Nationwide, studies show nearly 40% of people visit a historic site or structure when they travel. As more Boomers retire (a generation raised on experimentation and diversity), they’re looking for interesting historic experiences. They’ve done the beach and theme park; they’re ready for something different.

  • In the past decade, nearly every state tourism office has created a program to attract more heritage tourists. Why? Because they stay longer, spend more, and are respectful of communities they visit.

  • Most places already have the product to start a heritage tourism program – their town, buildings, cultural landscape, history! Start with the raw material and enhance that, rather than building a new "tourist attraction."

  • Heritage projects often reflect a community’s multicultural history. As the nation becomes more diverse, so does the traveling public; heritage tourism can be an effective tool for connecting to and attracting a broader segment of the population.

  • It’s rare that one heritage attraction will draw travelers. Most places are not a "destination driver" by themselves. Develop itineraries that include several products, and work with other towns to create regional heritage corridors.

  • Most importantly, take pains to protect and appropriately present your heritage resources as you position them for visitors. You don’t want runaway tourism to destroy the product. Promoting "sustainable tourism," CHG helps communities find the balance between product conservation and commercial success.

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