The tourism industry is growing very rapidly and it is now the main source of income in many countries. Tourism industries functions are numerous, among them increasing national productivity and income; increasing foreign currency earnings; creating employment opportunities; improving regional imbalances and projecting the image of the country more assertively in the international arena. There are different tourism industries programs worked out by specialists. These programs are aimed at expanding the volume and the seasonal and geographic distribution of visitors.
According to these tourism industries programs it is necessary to develop tourism as an important sector of the national economy by developing linkages between tourism and other sectors; to diversify tourism down to rural areas so as to improve employment opportunities, foreign currency earnings, growth of national income and regional imbalances; to improve natural, cultural and human environments of the nation in order to develop and expand the tourism industry; to maintain a good image of the nation in the international community by providing quality service and a sense of security; to develop and promote the country as an attractive tourist destination and much more.
One of the most profitable tourism industries programs is a Heritage Tourism Program. Heritage tourism is traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes cultural, historic and natural resources. Cultural heritage travel is a large and lucrative segment of the travel industry. Visiting historic sites and museums is the third most popular vacation activity for travelers behind shopping and outdoor activities. Cultural heritage travelers also spend more and stay longer than other kinds of travelers, generating more economic benefit. Good cultural heritage tourism improves the quality of life for residents as well as serving visitors.
The Heritage Tourism Program provides consulting assistance in heritage tourism development, management and marketing. The program has developed a nationwide network of partners and resources - an unparalleled benefit to anyone seeking to enhance or develop heritage tourism industries programs. The program staff includes national leaders in the field of heritage tourism with extensive experience at the local, state and national level. The Heritage Tourism Program taps into a network of specialized national experts to create project teams to match the needs of clients. These teams offer a unique blend of extensive hands-on heritage tourism experience at the local level combined with a national perspective on cutting edge trends and insights into the latest funding opportunities for cultural heritage tourism.
The biggest challenge facing cultural heritage tourism programs is ensuring that their success does not destroy what attracts visitors in the first place. While tourism is generally considered a clean industry (no smokestacks, for example, or dangerous chemicals), it can put demands on community infrastructure, such as roads, airports, water supplies and public services like police and fire protection. The Heritage Tourism Program shows communities how to develop heritage tourism programs that attract visitors and generate revenue while protecting the historic fabric and the community's character.