Cultural Assets & Heritage Tourism

Heritage, Architecture, Cultures, Gastronomy These links provide resources for enhancing the interaction between tourism and the human story of the locale. Scroll down to see Pertinent Findings: The Case for Heritage Tourism.

Pertinent Blog Posts

Organizational Resources

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (US) Independent federal agency that recommends preservation policy for the President and Congress provides information on how to work with Section 106 and on Training and Education.

African World Heritage Fund (Africa) The inter-governmental AWHF provides grants to support UNESCO World Heritage sites and candidate sites in Africa to protect cultural and natural heritage. 

Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (US-Global) Learn about opportunities for culturally related funding for developing countries through the US Department of State. 

AIA-ATTA Guides to Best Practices for Archaeological Tourism (US-Global) These useful guides from the Archaeological Institute of America and Adventure Travel Trade Association come in versions for site managers and for tourists.

Cultural Heritage Asia Pacific (Asia/Pacific) These research publications from Australia’s Deakin University include heritage books, articles and more. 

Europa Nostra (Europe) The “Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe” engages in knowledge-sharing, site advocacy, and procedures for the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage and the Europa Nostra awards.

European Capitals of Culture (Europe) This EU program helps promote tourism to destinations throughout the EU.

European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (Europe) Follow links to EU and Alliance member  documents related to heritage policies and promotion. 

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) (Global) This nongovernmental organization for conservation of historic monuments and sites (including archaeological sites) collects and disseminates information on conservation principles, techniques, and policies. Follow the link of a specific national committee for technical assistance services and ICOMOS publications available in your country. The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism presents general information and principles.

National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) (US) Find your US State HPO who can help protect your site.

National Park Service (US) Find out how to take local preservation action and how your community can achieve National Heritage Area designation.

National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) This U.S.-based nonprofit offers various services. Hotels occupying buildings more than 50 years old can apply for membership in the marketing program Historic Hotels of America, which publishes a directory and provides a central reservation service. The members-only forum offers a jobs board, a calendar of conferences, announcements about grants, awards, and other opportunities, and a database of preservation success stories. The Heritage Tourism Program provides information on how heritage tourism can help an area and how an individual or community can get involved. Rural Heritage includes the “11 Most Endangered” list. For information on the Trust’s National Main Street Center, see our Community section.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Library, University of Maryland (US) The university lists preservation sites worldwide (under “Quick Links”) organized geographically and alphabetically. Catalogs and databases offer articles, journals, books, architectural records, theaters, and performance halls.

Preservation Directory (US) Preservation Directory provides listings of conferences, grants, articles, organizations, historic real estate and more, along with heritage tourism-specific resources such as museums & historic structures, historic lodging, and historic tours.

Preservation50 (US) Receive updates on the 50th anniversary celebrations of the National Historic Preservation Act. Click on the Engage drop-down menu to help Preservation50 bring the importance of preservation to the forefront, benefiting the field, and therefore your site, as a whole.

UNESCO World Heritage List (Global/Regional) Check out the comprehensive list of World Heritage Sites. Find your regional WH Centre: Africa, Asia & Pacific, Europe & North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

World Monuments Fund (WMF) (Global) Search for case studies similar to your project. The Annual World Monuments Watch highlights heritage sites in danger.

Pertinent Findings: The Case for Heritage Tourism

Heritage Tourism – Preservation Leadership Forum, the National Trust for Historic Preservation This page from the National Trust contains steps, principles, a toolkit and success stories for heritage tourism, including an economic case for heritage tourism.

The Benefits of Heritage Tourism The U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation looks at the case for heritage tourism.

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of Heritage Tourism in New Jersey This 2013 report finds that heritage tourism is beneficial to the economy of the state of New Jersey.

The Economic Impact of National Heritage Areas A 2013 report on 6 US National Heritage Areas finds that Heritage Areas aid economic development.

The Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Heritage Areas The 2015 study shows PA Heritage Areas are beneficial to their local economies.


Do you have research or links to add to this list? Let us know! Comment or contact us.

Editor for this page: Lucy Matthews.

About Lucy Matthews

Lucy has MA's from King's College London in Tourism, Environment & Development and Terrorism, Security & Society, and has managed the World Travel & Tourism Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

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