Study to Focus on Cultural and Heritage Tourism Trends and Economic Impact


Washington, DC, July, 2012 –(– Mandala Research (MR), in partnership with the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) and the Shop America Alliance, is launching the second phase of a landmark study on Cultural and Heritage Travelers.

The 2012 Cultural and Heritage Traveler Study will gather data on psychographics, travel behavior, levels of involvement in cultural activities and overlap across activities, travelers’ definitions of “cultural” activities, trip planning behavior, spending, and generational differences in cultural travel preferences (Millennial, Gen X, and Boomers).

Laura Mandala, managing director of Mandala Research, said the study builds on the 2009 ground-breaking survey of cultural and heritage travelers. The 2012 project will introduce new elements, including the impact of social media and mobile technology on trip research and planning. This insight is critical to destinations and other travel organizations that want to reach this market and optimize their online marketing budgets.

“Cultural and heritage travelers are a lucrative market because they stay longer and spend more when vacationing,” Mandala said.

The 2009 study was the first to define cultural and heritage tourism and its impact on the U.S. economy. It identified the broad range of cultural and heritage travel in the United States, profiled the various segments of cultural travelers, and provided insight into their economic value to travel companies and destinations. Among other things, the study revealed that cultural and heritage travelers contribute $192 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

Sponsorships are available through July 2012, and for most levels the benefits include adding proprietary questions to the survey and providing input on the survey’s design.

Mandala Research, a nationally recognized firm specializing in travel and tourism, will have responsibility for fielding the study, designing the methodology, analyzing the data, writing the report that will include key findings and recommendations, and disseminating the results. USCHT was formed in 2005 with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce to identify new ways to market cultural and heritage tourism both nationally and internationally. Its primary purpose is to market and promote cultural and heritage experiences to travelers to and within the USA through online packaging at Founded in 1998, the Shop America Alliance LLC is the premier travel trade organization representing more than 200 premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers, museum stores and outlets in North America.

The study is scheduled to begin in late July 2012 with results available in September 2012. Data will be available to study sponsors at that time, with completed reports available for purchase by late September 2012.

For more information about the study or to receive a more detailed description of sponsorship benefits, please contact Laura Mandala at or 703.798.5452.

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