Founded in 2007 as a direct outcome of the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Summit held in Washington, DC in October 2005, the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Market Council (USCHT) has made great strides in achieving its goal of advancing culture and heritage tourism both nationally and internationally. Its founding partners include Visit California (formerly California Travel and Tourism Commission), VISITFLORIDA, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Council, The Henry Ford, Hilton Head Visitor & Convention Bureau, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Museum Store Association with support of the U.S. Department of Commerce/ITTI and in partnership with Shop America Alliance (SAA).
USCHT has made great strides the last eight years, establishing the importance of culture and heritage tourism as the leading travel segment in generating revenue, returning the greatest ROI of all travel categories. As a result, USCHT now has a seat at the table and a voice on travel leadership boards, having just completed a tenure on the Secretary of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the Council leaders have also served on the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, the Destination Travel Foundation Board and the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Committee. USCHT is currently serving on the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Experience Network Board of Directors (formerly known as the National Attractions Council).
As with any organization, it is important to be nimble and ready to address new opportunities to add additional value to its members and to grow its members. The U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council was formed because, after the Summit in 2005, it was clear that there was not an overarching organization to market our country’s culture and heritage tourism. Thus, the Council decided to take the leadership role in marketing the nation’s cultural and heritage to both national and international visitors.
USCHT is positioned as a leader in the industry partnering with destination management companies and cultural institutions, marketing their cultural and heritage assets to visitors including packaging, on line marketing and promotion.
In celebrating its eighth anniversary, USCHT is expanding its representation of cultural and heritage tourism marketing to a much broader base. The U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Association’s Revised Mission is to be the champion of the culture and heritage tourism industry, to better market our nation’s cultural and heritage treasures to visitors both domestically and internationally, adding new life to America’s “story” and contributing to the economic growth of our country.
Eight Years of Accomplishments of U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council2007-2015
Since the founding of the USCHT in 2007, there have been monumental shifts in marketing opportunities and challenges in the travel and tourism industry. Among the developments we are now addressing as we market cultural and heritage tourism are the importance of on line travel providers, the proliferation of hand held mobile devices, the unlimited information and services the traveler can access and implement via phone, I-Pad or computer including the impact of social networking, the emerging lucrative new international markets including China, India and Brazil and, most recently, the establishment of Brand USA that now provides a significant budget to market the US internationally.
There have also been unparallel challenges in these last few years including the economic downturn that slashed tourism marketing budgets and downsized supportive staff in state and local governments and destination management offices, the impact to travel from natural and manmade disasters such as 911, Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcano eruptions, etc. etc. etc.
Throughout these seven years, USCHT continues to grow its leadership position working with representatives of the tourism industry to expand the lucrative cultural and heritage travel segment throughout the country. The following are some of the highlights of what USCHT has accomplished to date:
2012 USCHT Fact Sheet USCHT & Visit Pasadena Announce Two New Packages USCHT Announces Five New Partners Five Years of USCHT Accomplishments USCHT Celebrates Five Year Anniversary New Book from the Museum Store Association 2013 Cultural Traveler Sales Team Announced Thought Leaders Meet at the ONE Travel Conference The Cultural Traveler Guide 2012 SASI-ONE 2011 Award Winners Honored Mary Moore Mason Awarded TravMedia Award Biltmore Awarded Destination of the Year Armstrong Receives National Tourism Appointments St. Johns County Florida Joins USCHT Macon-Bibb County CVB Joins USCHT Destination Bloomington Joins USCHT Loveland Partnership Announcement Vermont Partnership Announcement
Bob Klemme Awarded The Cultural Traveler Trailblazer of the Year New Book from the Museum Store Association ONE Travel Conference Open for Registration USCHT Announces 10 New Packages USCHT Announces Four New Partners 2012 ONE Travel Conference Announced Larry Cohen/Northeast Media Announcement Power of ONE Research Study Segments the Cultural/Heritage Traveler Market Sarasota-USCHT Partnership Announcement SASI-ONE 2011 Winners Tax Free Louisiana New Packages Announcement U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council Fact Sheet Pasadena Partnership Announcement
ONE Travel Conference on Shopping, Dining & Cultural Tourism Sheila Armstrong Selected for US Travel & Tourism Board Shop America Alliance & USCHT Announce MOBI Sites Tax Free Louisiana Partnership Announcement USCHT Fact Sheet 2010
Announcing The Cultural Traveler 2010 Chicago Partnership First Cultural Tourism Award Presented to McCormick, Armstrong New Research Study to Segment the Cultural/Heritage Traveler Market New Study Reveals Popularity of U.S. Cultural and Heritage Travel The Cultural Traveler 2010: New Opportunities The Cultural Traveler Pavilion USCHT Announces New initiatives
AAM, MSA & USCHT to Promote Cultural Travel in the U.S. Greater Philadelphia Joins USCHT as Charter Sustaining Partner Hilton Head Island & Bluffton Join USCHT New Cultural & Heritage Packages New Tourism White Papers Provide Marketing Education Summary Report of Cultural & Heritage Tourism Case Studies The Henry Ford Partnership Announcement USCHT Announces Three New Partners USCHT Fact Sheet 2008
The Cultural & Heritage Travel Study Tourism 101 White Paper
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