I regularly encourage my readers to visit National Heritage Areas (NHAs) and have enjoyed sharing information about several of them with you in recent months and years. Today, we have the information to share with you that not only do you experience the historical, cultural and natural attributes of the area but there is now an independent study to demonstrate the economic impact of our National Heritage Areas on our national and local economies. The Economic Impact of National Heritage Areas study reported by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas and conducted by TrippUmbach used a comprehensive case study of six NHAs to measure economic impact.
You can download a full pdf file of the economic impact study at the Alliance website. The photo image of this article provides a quick overview of some of the numbers from the report. The study showed that nationally, the NHAa generate $12 billion annually for the national economy, roughly equivalent to Starbucks. For comparisons, Southwest Air Lines equivalent numbers are $16 billion and the entire National Park Service is $31 billion.
The National Heritage Area Program, according to H.R. 445, the National Heritage Area Act of 2013, is one of the Department of the Interior's most cost-effective initiatives. The program relays on a public-private partnership in which every federal dollar is matched with an average of $5.50 in other public and private funding. NHAs generate valuable revenue for local governments and sustain communities through revitalization and heritage tourism. Have you visited an NHA lately?