States all across America have been gearing up for 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War.
Efforts have ranged from the creation of websites devoted exclusively to Civil War history by state, a Facebook campaign, special events that run through 2015 and a whole lot more.
Considered to be one of the bloodiest and most significant wars in American history, the Civil War was responsible for the deaths of over 620,000 Americans.
It was a war that reached across socio-economic borders, virtually destroyed whole cities, impacted countless American lives and still fascinates many people both far and wide.
Its commemoration is also something that those in the tourism industry are hoping will garner their businesses and respective states increased tourism revenue.
What follows is a brief overview of some of the state’s Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration efforts and the perceived additional impetus behind the push.
Brief overview of Some States Promotional Efforts
The following states are currently participating in the sesquicentennial commemoration efforts; Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Of those states, several such as Georgia and Virginia have launched special Civil War websites that provide great detail about the state’s connection to the war as well as an ongoing list of special events.
The state of Tennessee has even gone a step further and is promoting a commemorative Civil War Sesquicentennial license plate.
Many of the states are using grant monies as well as other private and public funding in their collective Civil War commemoration efforts.
Those that would like to get a glimpse of what each state is doing to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial will find a brief list by state on the “Civil War Traveler” website.
Why the Ramp Up?
Not only is there an ongoing interest in cultural and heritage related attractions among Americans, it is popular with inbound tourists as well. Increased popularity brings with it increased profits.
According to the United States Travel Association, in 2009 alone heritage tourism had a significant impact on the United States economy, bringing in $192.3 billion dollars. Furthermore, it is estimated that heritage tourism makes up 78% of all leisure travel in the United States today.
Cultural and heritage tourism is especially important to states because on average the heritage enthusiastic traveler tends to spend more money, stay longer and travel farther than most other leisure travelers.
The “Cultural Heritage Tourism” website has an informative selection of reports regarding the impact of cultural and heritage tourism by state for those that would like to research the profitability of the matter further.
Furthermore, this across the board ramp up towards the commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial also corresponds with the Obama Administration’s objective to increase inbound travel with the formation of the “Tourism Promotion Act” and the subsequent “Corporation for Travel Promotion.”
Though the Obama Administration’s accelerated interaction with the tourism industry has garnered mixed reactions since the act’s inception, it does not appear that the increased interest in tourism serving as a balm for our country’s economic woes will end anytime soon.
Those that would like more information on their state’s efforts to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial should log onto their state’s tourism website.