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Partnering to Promote Heritage Tourism in Local Communities: Guidance for Federal AgenciesarrowPrinciples of Successful Heritage Tourism

Principles of Successful Heritage Tourism

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a leader in the study and promotion of heritage tourism, and the Trust has articulated five widely accepted principles of successful and sustainable heritage tourism. They are outlined below and are discussed in greater detail at

  • Collaborate. Much more can be accomplished by working together than by working alone. Successful cultural heritage tourism programs bring together partners who may not have worked together in the past.
  • Find the Fit Between the Community and Tourism. Balancing the needs of residents and visitors is important to ensure that cultural heritage tourism benefits everyone. It is important to understand the kind and amount of tourism that your community can handle.
  • Make Sites and Programs Come Alive. Competition for time is fierce. To attract visitors, you must be sure that the destination is worth the drive.
  • Focus on Quality and Authenticity. Quality is an essential ingredient for all cultural heritage tourism, and authenticity is critical whenever heritage or history is involved.
  • Preserve and Protect Resources. A community’s cultural, historic, and natural resources are valuable and often irreplaceable.
Collaboration is critical and is the vehicle whereby Federal agencies can assist local communities in encouraging economic development through heritage tourism. See the following links for recommendations, examples, and other information on partnering with non-Federal parties to promote heritage tourism.

Updated March 3, 2006

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