Heritage Tourism

If you enjoy traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, then you are a cultural heritage tourist, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Texas is internationally renowned for its unique natural and cultural heritage. Tourism in Texas is a $65 billion dollar industry with 220 million visitors, 63% of which report that they “seek travel experiences where the destination, its buildings and surroundings have retained their historic character”. Tourism dollars help Texans sustain the very qualities of community they value and heritage tourists desire, including: walkable historic districts showcasing Texas’ varied architectural legacy of stunning courthouses, depots, churches, houses, and commercial buildings; downtowns full of home-grown shops and restaurants reflecting the character of our diverse heritage; restored historic theatres where the show must go on; museums and cultural centers telling local stories; and the legendary forts, missions, presidios, and battlefields that embody Texas’ living history. Such places are critical to the maintenance of a uniquely Texan community and our state’s ability to deliver that legendary Texas mystique many travelers expect.

The Texas Historical Commission recognizes the value heritage tourism initiatives bring to communities across the state, and administrates a Heritage Tourism Program to support Texas towns and cities that utilize heritage tourism to enrich their local communities and economies.  The THC Heritage Tourism Program staff collaborates with community partners to develop heritage focused travel guides, aides in the promotion of natural and cultural resources statewide, and leads local level heritage tourism development workshops. Should you have any questions about the THC's Heritage Tourism Program, please do not hesitate to contact us via the contact form or direct contact information provided on the sidebar of this page.

What's New

Big State, Local Story Heritage Tourism Workshop Open for Registration!

The Texas Historical Commission's heritage tourism program staff recently collaborated with the City of Laredo and Rio Grande City to develop six new heritage tourism experiences celebrating Texas border heritage.  As the cities roll out their new products, the THC offers the opportunity for statewide participants to gain behind-the-scenes insight into the development of these new products during a two-day workshop held in Laredo and Rio Grande City, and to take part in these new experiences as they are presented to the traveling public for the first time.  Click the link below for more information and to register for this exciting opportunity!

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Hispanic Heritage Travel Guide Now in Development

The Texas Historical Commission recently initiated the development of a travel guide that celebrates and highlights Texas' Hispanic heritage. The guide will be released in spring of 2015 in both Spanish and English. Innovating on past thematic travel guides, the THC plans to release the guide in print and digital formats, and supplement the guide's content with a mobile app. The app will enable Texas travelers to generate itineraries leading to Texas' most notable Hispanic heritage sites. Follow the link below for a full description of the guide and associated products.

More About Hispanic Heritage Travel Guide Now in Development