Cultural Heritage Tourism Survival Toolkit

The recent downturn in the economy has had a major impact on many sectors of the cultural and heritage tourism industry. The news over the past few years includes a number of losses -- heritage sites and museums closing, state programs eliminated, tourism agencies drastically reducing budgets, and cultural heritage tourism programs and organizations cutting back their operations.
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Amid the bad news, however, there have been rays of hope -- attractions and marketing organizations standing up to the challenge and finding ways to survive -- if not thrive -- despite the economic downturn. Many of these cultural and heritage sites have found creative ways to stay true to their organization’s mission while reaching for new opportunities.

To share these lessons and respond to the challenge, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Heritage Tourism Program received a Chairman’s Extraordinary Action Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create a survival toolkit with three key components:

    * 11 survival strategies culled from in-depth interviews with hundreds of people and organizations nationwide
    * Case studies that illustrate those strategies in action
    * Links to other online toolkits for additional information on moving forward in a bad economy

While the impact of the economic downturn has varied from state to state, the 11 survival strategies have already helped a broad range of attractions -- individual sites, community-wide efforts, and regional and statewide programs -- across the country. By pulling them together here, this toolkit provides urgently needed assistance to the key fields that make up the cultural and heritage tourism industry, including the arts, preservation, tourism, museums, humanities, and other related areas.

Visit the Cultural Heritage Tourism Survival Toolkit to search the case studies and learn more.

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