Travelers' Aid

Enhancing the Trust’s heritage travel website

Say you're planning a trip to Charleston, S.C. You've heard about the architecture, talked with friends about the restaurant scene, and plotted an itinerary. But where to stay? Which historic houses should you visit? How do you find the hole-in-the-wall that serves the city's best shrimp and grits?

"That's why Gozaic.com exists," says Scott Gerloff, president and CEO of Heritage Travel Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of the National Trust. "Not only does the site have comprehensive information, it has reviews from other travelers detailing their experiences and recommendations. It's a cultural traveler's best friend."

Launched in 2009, the website addresses a substantial and growing market segment: the 118 million leisure travelers in the United States who participate in cultural and heritage activities when on the road. With Gozaic, a single site aggregates information and provides a virtual bulletin board where travelers can post recommendations and impressions.

The enhanced website now permits web surfers to sign in or explore content as visitors, read or write reviews, check out destination blogs (updated daily), or explore thematic areas such as Civil War travel, history, cycling, family heritage, and art and antiques. Planned improvements will allow visitors to book tours and hotels as well as find travel packages.

Gerloff calls Gozaic "an innovative tool for the National Trust … It supports the mission of promoting and saving historic places and reaches Trust members with inside information they can't find anywhere else."

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