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Cultural Heritage Tourism

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Cultural heritage tourism is traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural and natural attractions.

This site has been developed as a resource for organizations and individuals who are developing, marketing or managing cultural heritage tourism attractions or programs. These cultural heritage tourism “practitioners” can come from a variety of fields—tourism, historic preservation, the arts, humanities, museums, economic development, main street, heritage areas, and many other fields. Practitioners can include non-profit organizations, government entities, federal agencies and coalitions formed to bring these and other partners together. While the variety of different partners contribute to the richness of cultural heritage tourism, it can also make it more difficult to track down resources and how-to information.

This electronic clearinghouse includes information provided by many different members of Partners in Tourism, a coalition of the national organizations and agencies with an interest in cultural heritage tourism. For those just getting started, there are guiding principles and how-to steps for launching a new effort. The success stories featured here will both inspire and inform, and the resources section includes key contacts in virtually every state as well as national resources for funding, technical assistance and other programs. To find out more about the development of cultural heritage tourism in the United States, click here for a timeline of significant development dates over the past two decades. 

These elements are the first step in building a comprehensive clearinghouse of cultural heritage tourism information, and we welcome your feedback.



Alliance of National Heritage Areas


American Association of Museums


Americans for the Arts


Cultural and Heritage Tourism Alliance


Federation of State Humanities Councils

State Humanities Councils (courtesy of National Endowment for the Humanities)


National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Cultural Tourism


National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers


National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers 


National Trust for Historic Preservation

Heritage Tourism  


U.S. Travel Association



Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Heritage Tourism
Preserve America


Institute of Museum and Library Services


National Endowment for the Arts


National Endowment for the Humanities

State Humanities Councils


President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Forest Service

Rural Development


U.S. Department of Commerce

Office of Travel & Tourism Industries

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration


U.S. Department of the Interior

Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service

          National Heritage Areas

          National Historic Landmark Program

          National Register of Historic Places

          Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel

          Office of Tourism

          Office of International Affairs


U.S. Department of Transportation

National Scenic Byways Program 


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