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

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail

Partners of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail recently installed new signage at the Mission Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga historic site in Victoria, Texas, contributing to the trail's continued development.  The El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail leads visitors to Texas' unique heritage sites lining historic trade routes that traverse our state, and provide interpretive signage intended to enrich visitors' experience of Texas' valuable cultural resources. Click the link below to learn more about this exciting and expansive new project!

More About El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail

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