Vacations and Travel - Cultural And Heritage Tourism
historic days travelers total
Heritage tourism seeks to draw visitors to historic and cultural sites. Although historic and cultural destinations were not as popular with leisure travelers as cities, visits to friends and family, beaches, and lakes, a significant number of travelers choose educational experiences.
According to the TIA/Smithsonian magazine report The Historic/Cultural Traveler (2003 edition), nearly 118 million American adults attended at least one cultural, arts, heritage, or historic activity or event while traveling in 2002. Many travelers prolonged their trips solely to participate in cultural or historic events and activities. Four in ten historic/cultural travelers said they added extra time to their trips to enable them to attend a historic activity or cultural event.
The TIA/Smithsonian report found that these travelers spent more—an average of $623 per trip, compared to $457 for all U.S. travelers, excluding transportation to their destinations. The report also distinguished historic/cultural travelers from other travelers, describing them as more inclined to take longer trips (seven nights or more), and more likely to utilize air travel, a rental car, and a hotel.
The TIA/Smithsonian survey found that 39% of historic/cultural travelers said that trips that included cultural, arts, historic, or heritage activities or events were more enjoyable to them. Visits to destinations with historical significance were preferred by 38% of travelers, while 29% felt that it was important that the trips they took for vacation or leisure provide cultural experiences. Slightly more than a quarter felt that a vacation or leisure trip away from home was not complete without visiting a museum, historic site, or landmark, while 17% felt a trip was not complete without attending a cultural event or arts performance.
The list of most-visited destinations for historic/cultural travelers was topped by Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Boston. Other cities in the top ten included Las Vegas; Norfolk, Virginia; Atlanta; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco; and Los Angeles.
Consumer interest has led many corporate sponsors to invest in programs promoting heritage tourism. Travel services companies have invested in projects by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help communities develop and maintain their historic and cultural sites. Some hotels and car rental agencies have contributed to school programs to educate children about historic sites across the United States.
Mock Combat—Civil War Reenactments
A growing number of people enjoy participating in reenactments of historical events, often involving military battles. A group of Massachusetts residents have reenacted the events of April 19, 1775 (which marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War) for more than seventy years, and other groups dress as English knights, Spanish conquistadors, Roman gladiators, or Vikings.
One of the most popular eras to reenact is the U.S. Civil War (1861–65). Estimates of the number of these hobbyists have varied. In 1996 a reenactment of the Battle of Antietam drew thirteen thousand costumed people to Maryland. In 1997 almost twenty thousand costumed soldiers and civilians went to Gettysburg for the 134th anniversary of that battle. In 2003 an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune estimated that there were as many as
|Cruise destinations, 1987–2003|
|Destination||1987 Total bed days||1989 Total bed days||1995 Total bed days||1999 Total bed days||2000 Total bed days||2001 Total bed days||2002 Total bed days||2003 Total bed days||2003 Percent||2004 Total bed days||2004 Percent||2004 vs. 2003 change|
|Note: Current destination classifications were established in 1994. Prior to 1985, Bermuda was included in Bahamas/Caribbean; Mississippi and Coastal East were not reported. Prior to 1992, Indian Ocean and Africa were part of unclassified. In 1993 Mexico East was changed to Western Caribbean.|
|SOURCE: "Geographical Destination/Application," in The Cruise Industry—An Overview, Cruise Lines International Association, Spring 2004, http://www.cruising.org/press/overview/SPRING040V1.pdf (accessed July 7, 2004)|
|South East Asia||272,592||207,405||430,123||150,107||244,620||429,550||346,196||123,350||0.17%||20,372||0.03%||‒83.48%|
|Far East (Orient)||465,608||238,630||327,009||188,038||201,582||215,022||360,022||219,358||0.31%||403,538||0.52%||83.96%|
|U.S. Coastal West||22,185||64,444||108,092||65,108||217,518||1,944,752||216,338||376,709||0.53%||643,792||0.83%||70.90%|
|U.S. Coastal East||132,794||84,920||42,480||113,387||1,402,429||80,312||147,422||837,540||1.18%||60,072||0.08%||‒92.83%|
|Category shares of cruise passengers, by length of cruise, 1980–2003|
|1980||2003||% Point change|
|SOURCE: "Growth by Length of Cruise—North American Market-Share," in The Cruise Industry—An Overview, Cruise Lines International Association, Spring 2004, http://www.cruising.org/press/overview/SPRING040V1.pdf (accessed July 7, 2004)|
forty-five thousand military and civilian Civil War reenactors in the United States. When they attended a reenactment, they were often accompanied by their families.
Reenactors may visit school classrooms, march in parades, teach seminars, hold public demonstrations, or participate in weekend battle games. Groups also meet in a number of overseas countries, including England, Germany, Taiwan, France, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Sweden, and Norway. Dozens of reenactment groups have Internet sites.
Civil War reenactments began during the 1960s at the time of the Civil War's centennial. A love of history and a desire to educate are the primary motivations mentioned by reenactors. Interest in reenactments has tended to increase after mass-market films about the war are shown on television or in movie theaters.
Civil War reenactments are not for everyone, however. Just getting started requires buying period clothes, boots, a tent, mess equipment, and a gun, at a cost of $1,000 to $1,500. The investment can reach $2,000 for members of groups that strive for high levels of authenticity. These groups can be so exacting that they do not allow members to use modern speech or eyeglasses. An estimated two hundred businesses have grown to satisfy the need for authenticity in costumes, including "great coats" and brogans (heavy, ankle-high shoes) and equipment. Participating in reenactments requires physical strength, vigor, and endurance. Young men typically serve as soldiers because the average age of soldiers fell from twenty-five in 1862 to eighteen in 1864. Some older adult enthusiasts may remain involved in the activity as spectators when marching long distances in inclement weather becomes too physically demanding.