Founded in 20007 as a direct outcome of the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Summit held in Washington, DC in October 2005, the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is celebrating its 5th year in advancing U.S. culture and heritage tourism both nationally and internationally. “USCHT has made great strides in its first five years, establishing the importance of culture and heritage tourism as the leading travel segment in generating revenue and returning the greatest ROI of all travel categories,” says co-founder and Executive Director, Sheila Armstrong. “Despite the economic downturn during this time, Rosemary McCormick, the USCT co-founder and President of Shop America Alliance and I are fortunate to have such stalwart partners and supporters who recognize that the cultural traveler is the most lucrative travel segment and have joined with us in cultivating these visitors.” The USCHT partners with U.S. destination management companies and cultural destinations in marketing their cultural and heritage assets to visitors. USCHT partners include destinations that exemplify the diverse cultural and heritage richness of the country such as Atlanta CVB, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Council, New Orleans CVB, Tax Free Louisiana, Hilton Head Island/Bluffton VCB, Visit Savannah, the State of Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, Bloomington CVB, St. Johns County Florida Tourist Development Council and Cultural Council, Loveland, Colorado Visitors Services, Visit Pasadena, Sarasota CVB, The Henry Ford and the Museum Store Association with support of the U.S. Department of Commerce/ITTI and in partnership with Shop America Alliance (SAA). Along with developing and marketing over 60 cultural packages on the USCHT’s dedicated transactional website, TheCulturalTraveler.com, USCHT also co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference of Shopping, Dining and Cultural Tourism, co-publishes The Cultural Traveler annual guide, commissions market research to provide current cultural and heritage travel trends and produces the Cultural Traveler E-Newsletter. In addition, both Rosemary McCormick and Sheila Armstrong frequently speak on the topic of cultural and heritage tourism at conferences, in webinars and in interviews with the media. The USCHT represents its partners in the national tourism industry arena, now having a seat at the table and a voice on travel leadership boards including the U.S. Travel Association Board, the Destination &Travel Foundation Board, the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Committee and the Women in Travel & Tourism International (witti) Board of Directors. Armstrong just completed serving a term on the Secretary of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board where she served on the Marketing Committee in researching and writing a Letter of Recommendation on the challenges and opportunities of marketing U.S. tourism with emphasis on the cultural and heritage visitor. “When the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council was formed following the Summit in 2005 it was clear that there needed to be an overarching organization to market U.S. culture and heritage tourism. The Council today has established itself in that leadership role, marketing the nation’s cultural and heritage experiences to both national and international visitors.” “In celebrating our fifth anniversary, USCHT is continuing to expand the marketing of our nation’s cultural and heritage travel offerings to a much broader base. We are excited about the potential of our country’s culture and heritage tourism industry and the opportunity to represent and rally all in working together to better market our cultural and heritage treasures…to add new life to America’s story,” says Armstrong. For additional information about the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council, visit uscht.com or call 843-341-6392. To view and purchase the USCHT Marketing Council’s cultural & heritage packages, visit TheCulturalTraveler.com.