updated 11 August 04'
The purpose of this section is to provide information and boilerplate language that will help to provide a basic understanding of the issue by factually describing the issue, its scope, and dimensions.
Many individuals travel to experience someone else's landscape, heritage, and way of life. The Utah Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) defines these individuals as “cultural heritage tourists”. Cultural heritage tourism is a growing segment of the traveling public and often provides local communities with travel-related economic development while perpetuating local lifestyles and quality of life. Counties should consider the promotion of cultural tourism opportunities including historic and archeological sites, arts and heritage festivals and museums.
Options & Trade-Offs
Some counties staff a tourism office to promote visitation. Since heritage tourism is dependent upon a number of players – cities/towns, private entities, public resources agencies, etc. – the degree of county involvement is contingent on the roles and responsibilities that each of these respective players have regarding heritage tourism.
Since the demand for heritage tourism experiences is on the rise, counties should explore the feasibility of providing these opportunities. Benefits of heritage tourism are manifold.
Potential for Conflict
Specific issues presenting conflict or concern need to be identified by the County. In general, there are many positive considerations that the County should explore as they expand heritage tourism opportunities within their area. The following suggestions and examples may provide guidance with implementation of heritage tourism programs.
Museums and cultural heritage sites often play a key role in local education. Many of Utah's Heritage Parks such as Anasazi, Antelope Island, Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn, Edge of the Cedars, Fremont Indian, Iron Mission and Territorial Statehouse play a critical supporting role with local school districts by providing skilled staff who interact with students while providing opportunities (at little or no cost) for field trips which enhance knowledge about the area's cultural resources. Research shows that cultural programs that promote academic excellence contribute to the development of the local area's skilled workforce.
Opportunities are often available for local communities to participate in heritage initiatives. Examples of such efforts include the Heritage Highway 89 initiative and the Bear River Heritage Area initiative. These programs represent a coordinated effort in local counties to promote the area's cultural heritage and have been successful in attracting heritage tourism.
Range of Alternatives
Counties should consider a number of alternatives to help them define the counties desired management preference:
County Preservation Commission should be invited to attend planning meetings.
Department of Community and Economic Development and Division of State History staff could be called in to critique and provide data, information and resources.
The purpose of this section is to provide information and boilerplate language that will help to describe the existing condition.
Many communities, groups and organizations are interested in using local heritage to expand the tourism products of an area and as a tool to protect valuable resources. This complex process takes time, however, and the proper tools. From general funding to funding strategies, the Utah Heritage Tourism Toolkit is a package of practical tools that you can use to begin, or improve, the management of your community's heritage resources. The Toolkit website http://history.utah.gov/httoolkit/ is an informative online resource for your heritage tourism questions.
Items to Consider
The county should evaluate its cultural heritage base – historic and archeological resources - and determine if opportunities exist for expanding cultural heritage tourism opportunities. An inventory of these resources should be considered in a planning process. Once the key issues are identified regarding heritage tourism, counties should identify goals and corresponding strategies to achieve the stated heritage tourism objectives.
As county leaders define their county's current condition, they should ask themselves:
Are we are aware of the historic and cultural sites and landscapes that our community has to offer, both for business development and tourism purposes?
Do we have a basic understanding of the condition of these resources and what might be done to enhance them?
Communities need to have a careful understanding of the economic opportunities inherent in their cultural and historic resources, in commercial areas, historic neighborhoods, archaeological sites, and historic landscapes.
Research compiled in 1999 from DCED shows cultural/heritage tourists: spend more money per trip than the average U.S. traveler ($615 compared to $425); stay in an area longer; are more likely to engage in local retail purchases; and are more likely to stay at a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast. The county should explore means of expanding heritage tourism opportunities to realize these benefits.
Statements like these might be made in the resource management plan:
The purpose of this section is to provide information and boilerplate language that will help to describe the improvements and changes that need to be made to the existing condition in order to achieve the desired future condition. It also provides the basis for the development of policy statements that support the desired future condition.
Range of Alternatives
If a county is focusing on a balanced approach between old and new, the desired future condition might be to conduct a full inventory, using best available practices and within budget restraints, of the cultural and historic sites and landscapes within the county and develop a plan to encourage the preservation and use of these resources as part of their heritage tourism planning.
History can add to the heritage tourism of our community, but the following items should be taken under consideration:
The purpose of this section is to provide boilerplate policy statement language that will support the desired future conditions. A range of possible conditions is provided here.
It is a policy of the State of Utah to encourage the preservation of cultural and historic sites and landscapes as part of developing a vibrant quality of life and economic development future for the state. The state uses economic incentives, tax credits, grants, and technical assistance to encourage preservation. In accordance with 9-8-502, “The Legislature finds and declares that preservation and restoration of historically significant real property and structures as identified by the State Register of Historic Sites are in the public interest of the people of the state of Utah and should be promoted by the laws of this state.”
Local policies that have helped to protect and preserve historic resources for tourism purposes:
The purpose of this section is to provide boilerplate examples of the types of improvements or changes that typically would be needed to reach the desired future condition. “Goal” is the desired condition. “Objectives” are improvements or changes that need to be made to reach the goal. “Action Items” are specific actions that can be taken in order to achieve the objective.
The county should ensure that its master plan includes the historic and cultural sites and landscapes within its boundaries, so that these resources are identified for planning consideration. The county may consider laws, legislation or ordinance changes to provide for the protection and/or orderly development or encourage careful consideration prior to new development.
The purpose of this section is to provide suggested techniques and methods for monitoring progress towards the desired condition.
Monitoring methods that could be used include:
These incentives could be compared to other economic development initiatives to help determine the economic benefits of heritage tourism.
This section is intended to be a reference guide to help locate any sources of assistance.
Counties should consult with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHIPO) to identify historic buildings or structures. Grants and technical assistance are available for preservation of historic projects or sites with archeological or historic significance from the Division of State History, Antiquities Section, or SHIPO. The State Office of Museum Services is also available to provide technical assistance in the development and of museums.
Utah Division of Parks and Recreation
Karen Kreiger, Heritage Coordinator, (801) 538-7367, Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 146001, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6001.
Other State Agencies
Getting Help in Developing Programs
Examples of Sites and Events