Heritage Tourism is the nexus between historic preservation and economic development. It creates jobs and business opportunities and improves the quality of life for local residents. Heritage tourism is also an essential element in preserving and interpreting historic resources. Promoting heritage tourism promotes the preservation of historic main streets, historic sites, and archaeological parks. Heritage tourism provides an opportunity to tell historic stories in regional and place-based contexts while providing experiential opportunities for travelers. It can also serve as a valuable partnership opportunity between local businesses, nearby historic sites, and other history-focused organizations.
Regional Scavenger Hunts
Regional scavenger hunts provide a tangible context that cannot be achieved at any one historic site. It is also a great opportunity for travelers to explore an area at their own pace. For example, a "Banneker's World Scavenger Hunt" was a direct result of pandemic-related outreach and education efforts. The scavenger hunt placed Benjamin Banneker, one of America's first African American scientists, within the context of the Patapsco Valley area, and within the broader context of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Heritage trails are an essential way to combine historic preservation and local economic growth. They are also a great way to combine local natural and cultural resources with historic preservation. These trails can be curated to locally important themes. Heritage trails can be produced for roadways, bikeways, and park trails.
Tourism itineraries are a great way to combine several important locations within a geographic area that are worthy of highlighting to tourists for an enhanced visitor experience. Of course, these itineraries also promote cultural and natural resource preservation and economic development. Itineraries can be curated to locally important themes.