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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.

This includes:

  • $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.

The Baltimore National Heritage Area has a direct and indirect annual impact of more than $534 million, supports more than 6,000 jobs, generates more than $38 million in state and local tax revenue, and thanks to partnerships and grant programs supports 3.7 million visitors annually to Baltimore. Hot off the press, the heritage area is proud to present our 2017 Economic Impact Study produced by Tripp Umbach thanks to support from the National Park Service and Alliance of National Heritage Areas.
Click here to access the latest economic impact study.

Baltimore National Heritage Area: A Catalyst in the Chesapeake
The 2012 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.

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