About Us Economic Impact
Economic Impact of National Heritage Areas
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are catalysts for economic development in the communities in which they are located. NHAs are affiliated with the National Park Service and are managed by independent Federal Commissions, non-profit groups, or state or municipal authorities. They implement projects through public/private partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, and collaborate with state and local governments to ensure that the regional goals of cultural, historical, and natural resource protection are met. In the process, NHAs strive to improve the quality of life in their regions by fostering the development of sustainable economies.
An economic impact study commissioned in 2012 shows that the 49 NHAs generate a significant impact on regional and local economies. NHAs overall annual economic impact in the U.S. is $12.9 billion, which significantly exceeds the amount of federal funding provided to NHAs. The economic impact is comprised of three main areas: tourism, operational expenditures, and grant-making activities; the majority of impact (99%) is generated by tourism spending.
- $4.6 billion in direct impact (tourist spending, NHA operational expenditures, and grant-making activities), and
- $8.3 billion in indirect and induced impacts (employee spending and businesses supporting the tourism industry).
-- National Heritage Areas: Sustaining Regional and Local Economies, Alliance of National Heritage Areas, 2014.
Baltimore National Heritage Area: A Catalyst in the Chesapeake
The economic impact study conducted by research firm Tripp Umbach included seven case studies; the Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) was selected as a case study to determine the heritage area’s economic impact on the city. Tripp Umbach used a conservative approach based on primary research; local, regional, and national modeling; and sophisticated economic analysis software.
The results were striking. BNHA helped generate $318.8 million in economic impact, supporting 4,184 jobs, and raising more than $31 million in tax revenue.
The economic impact study is available online from the National Park Service.