Economic Development, Part 2: Making Heritage Tourism Work For Your Community

Heritage Tourism is a growing industry that can improve community engagement, economic revitalization, and preservation advocacy. People want authentic and meaningful experiences—and are willing to pay for them.  This webinar explores the benefits of heritage tourism and how it may (or may not) benefit your community or region.  We will examine the latest research on the motivations and interests of tourists (they’re not all alike), how to identify or create destinations that will attract tourists, and how to build support and attract funding for a heritage tourism program.  You’ll learn the overall elements of a heritage tourism program and leave with a list of the next steps to take in your community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Determine the benefits of heritage tourism for a community
  2. Identify and evaluate historical and cultural places, sites, and other assets, and finding connections among them.
  3. Develop tools for building support, finding partners, and attracting funding
  4. Engage with basic steps in forming a heritage tourism program and determining your current needs and next steps


Max van Balgooy, President, Engaging Places, LLC maxvanbalgooyMax van Balgooy [bell-goi, rhymes with joy] is president of Engaging Places, a design and strategy firm in Rockville, Maryland that connects people and historic places.  He has worked with a wide range of historic sites and heritage areas, from the 1730s Drayton Hall to the 1950s Glass House, and in California at the Homestead Museum, San Francisco Heritage, and the Arroyo Seco Parkway National Scenic Byway.  He also serves on the board of the American Association for State and Local History and teaches in the museum studies program at George Washington University.  These experiences provide a rich source of ideas for, where he blogs regularly about preserving and interpreting historic sites across the nation.

Documents and Downloads

PowerPoint Notes