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WHO WE ARE
The CHTA is guided by a volunteer steering committee. We have no formal office or association, no dues or paid membership. Anyone working in the industry may be part of the Alliance and participate in the network. Our participants include tourism professionals, heritage preservationists, arts marketers, consultants, educators, statewide agencies, local economic development officers, students and more.
In the 1990s, many tourism offices across the United States were beginning to create designated Cultural Tourism positions, state and local arts agencies were recognizing the benefits of Cultural Tourism as a way to build audiences, and many organizations and individuals were eager to exchange ideas about this newly evolving field.
A group of practitioners in the field of cultural tourism met to discuss their similar goals, ideas, and challenges. That forum, "The First Gathering of Movers, Shakers and Practitioners in Cultural Tourism," was held in San Diego in October of 1998.
Out of this first meeting in San Diego was formed the Cultural Tourism Alliance, an association of working professionals promoting the arts, culture, history and heritage of their regions. At the 2002 conference, the organization agreed that a slightly amended name better reflected the true scope of these efforts and the organization was renamed the Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance (CHTA).
Since the first San Diego gathering, CHTA conferences have been held in Portland, St. Louis, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, and Delray Beach. Attendance has come from throughout the US and Canada.
Top Photo: Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC.