Avid travelers often seek to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories the past. This type of tourism is called heritage tourism and it is quickly gaining popularity because travelers seek distinctive experiences. Landowners can benefit from this travel trend by providing land, buildings, events and other resources or activities with historic significance to tourists.
Heritage tourism ventures include historic property tours, battle reenactments, outdoor plays, concerts, fairs and cultural festivals. Land with natural resources such as vistas, open space, lakes, streams or other natural attributes can make an attractive tourist destination, and provide the perfect setting for a cultural event. Researching potential clientele to understand their interests and needs will help landowners better plan their businesses.
There are specific considerations that need to be made when opening property to the public. Landowners should provide ample parking, rest rooms and exhibits and events that are accessible to those with disabilities or special needs. They should also consider providing lodging and dining. With proper planning and resources, landowners can provide unique opportunities that make their property a true tourist destination.
Heritage tourism includes historical and cultural attractions such as historic farm tours, reenactments, cultural events. When considering a heritage tourism business, you will need to assess the resources available to you, your potential customers, how you will market, what new facilities you will need to construct, whether there are opportunities to collaborate with other nearby businesses, and the legal issues related to the business. This resource provides a listing of agencies that can provide assistance and information.
Tourism Trails: Heritage Tourism (PDF)
Ohio State University
Heritage tourism is becoming one of the most popular forms of tourism. Heritage tourists spend almost 6 1/2 days on vacation compared with other types of tourists who spend only four days. One-fourth of tourists see historical sites and participate in heritage activities while traveling. These visitors stay longer and spend more money than other types of sightseers. They ten to be families with children or well-education, high-income adults. This publication discusses different types of heritage tourism, principles and characteristics of heritage tourism, and how to make an area a heritage tourism destination.
Tourism Trails: Heritage Tourism, Cultural Tourism: Similarities and Differences (PDF)
Ohio State University
Heritage and cultural tourism share many of the same characteristics and often the same audience. This publication advocates that agencies and interests from both backgrounds work closely together to enhance their tourism potential. It discusses the differences between cultural and heritage tourism, provides a profile of the cultural traveler, and provides some potential partners for cultural tourism.
A Heritage Tourism Overview (PDF)
Utah State University Cooperative Extension
Heritage tourism is tourism focused on aspects of history or cultural heritage. It includes events and festivals, as well as sites and attractions related to the people, lifestyles, and traditions of the past. This publication provides the characteristics of heritage tourists, economic impacts of heritage tourism, the steps and principles of heritage tourism success, and a discussion of national heritage areas.
Heritage Tourism Planning Guidebook (PDF)
University of Delaware
Although this guidebook was written specifically for Sussex County, Delaware, the principles and steps in this publication are applicable in many situations. This report examines existing state-of-the-practice examples of heritage tourism from across the country and the world and presents a series of recommendations and step-by step procedures to ensure that these programs are successful. This is a 49-page document with details on assessing the potential for heritage tourism, planning and organizing, preparing for visitors, and marketing for success.