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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In spring 2013, the Harbinger Consulting Group wrapped up two reports that shed light on economic benefits associated with heritage tourism.
In San Antonio, Texas, where five historical missions have been nominated to be a World Heritage Site, Harbinger evaluated the potential economic impact of this prestigious international designation. The short story: It could be significant.
For the Civil War Trust, a national organization dedicated to the preservation of Civil War battlefields, Harbinger assessed a range of economic benefits that battlefields provide to neighboring communities. In a nutshell: Battlefields can attract visitors who stay longer, spend more, and are more engaged than other tourists; but the value of battlefields goes well beyond the dollars visitors leave behind.
Study: Economic impact of World Heritage status for San Antonio missions
Client: Bexar County, Texas
San Antonio, Texas, is home to five historical Spanish missions, including the Alamo and four missions that are under the joint care of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio. Since 2006, a local group has been working to gain recognition of these missions as a World Heritage Site. Recognition as a World Heritage Site--which could happen as early as 2014--would put the missions in the company of fewer than 1,000 places around the world that are recognized for outstanding historical, artistic, scientific, or natural value.
Harbinger's evaluation of potential economic impacts of World Heritage status found that this designation could boost economic benefits from visitation to the missions by up to 26 percent per year. If local organizations collaborate on promotion and expanding cultural tourism offerings, the prestigious international designation could yield up to $105 million in local sales, more than 1,000 new jobs, and $2.2 million in additional hotel tax revenue.
To maximize the potential of World Heritage status, the study recommends a slate of collaborative actions involving promotion, developing new cultural tourism opportunities and businesses, enabling visitors to navigate the WHS easily, and building community awareness and involvement.
Download the study here: San Antonio World Heritage Site report
Study: Tourism and economic benefits of Civil War battlefield preservation
Client: Civil War Trust
A Harbinger assessment found that Civil War battlefields provide a range of economic benefits to neighboring communities--from tax revenues and jobs supported by visitor spending to open space, recreation, and education.
The report, Blue, Gray & Green: Economic and Tourism Benefits of Battlefield Preservation, found that battlefields are a significant draw for visitors, and that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is boosting already substantial contributions from battlefield tourism. Battlefields visitors tend to be better-educated and more affluent than other travelers, stay longer, and spend more money.
The report draws on data and information from a variety of sources, and focuses on benefits ranging from visitation and visitor spending, tax revenues, the special appeal of anniversaries and reenactments, and the local value of battlefield parks for education, recreation, and open space.
Download the report here: Blue, Gray and Green report
These reports are part of a growing body of work by Harbinger and others that documents the importance of cultural, historical, and heritage tourism to communities with significant cultural and historical resources. The findings emphasize the importance of protecting and investing in these resources, and highlight opportunities to use them as leverage points for developing the kinds of local and authentic experiences that cultural tourists seek.
See related Harbinger reports under the "Economic and Policy Analysis" and "Advocacy and Engagement" headings at The Harbinger Consulting Group.
About The Harbinger Consulting Group
The Harbinger Consulting Group provides economic and policy analysis for regions rich with cultural and environmental resources. Harbinger works with businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and community groups to help them protect these assets and leverage them for economic and community benefit.
Harbinger helps its clients:
- Understand and communicate clearly about complex issues, economic impacts and policy alternatives;
- Start and advance projects, products and organizations;
- Strategize, plan, and build capacity;
- Educate and engage; and
- Advocate, support, and promote.
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