Denver, Colorado (PressExposure) August 08, 2008 -- The U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and Museum Store Association (MSA), working with the U.S. Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries and Shop America Alliance, are launching a unique, new publication called The Cultural Traveler, a high-end tourism guidebook and corresponding Web site that will showcase the leading museums in America. This publication is the first of its kind designed to exclusively promote cultural and heritage travel to and within the United States.
The Cultural Traveler will be distributed in 2009 to more than 40,000 consumers, tour operators, travel agents and travel media interested in museum store shopping. In addition, participating museums will be featured on [http://www.Museum-Store.travel]. Museums and other cultural institutions provide travelers with rich experiences that are reflective of the art, history and unique qualities of the city or destination where they are located and therefore provide singular shopping experiences within the museum store. The United States is home to a treasure trove of cultural travel destinations and The Cultural Traveler will be a required directory to these fine institutions.
U.S. Department of Commerce data underscores the importance of cultural and heritage travel, shopping and dining as the top tourism activities in the United States. Todayâs traveling consumer is more discriminating than ever, seeking value and quality in every experience and every purchase. Museum stores offer unique shopping opportunities that canât be experienced anywhere else. The Museum Store Association represents more than 1,600 stores in every kind of cultural institution â from art museums and science centers to zoos and historic houses, and many of these institutions will be highlighted in The Cultural Traveler.
Numerous prominent institutions have already committed to participate including: Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center; The Childrenâs Museum of Indianapolis; Georgia OâKeeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM; Gray Line, Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA; Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau; Saint Louis Art Museum; Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, Wilmington, DE; and de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA. The deadline to participate in this groundbreaking tourism guidebook is Sept. 22, 2008.
Why Get Involved?
"For Pasadena, cultural tourism is the cornerstone of our tourism initiative. We are fortunate to have a wealth of cultural institutions and it's paramount that we promote them. Advertising in The Cultural Traveler meets our objective to reach the cultural travelers and invite them to visit one of our country's most distinguished cultural centers."
â Nan Marchand, Executive Director, Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau
"San Francisco is one of the top travel destinations in the world. As such, cultural tourism is key to our success, given that we are the largest fine art institution in Northern California and one of the largest museums in the country. The Cultural Traveler guidebook and Web site promises to greatly expand our outreach to the ever important national and global cultural travel market."
â Stuart Hata, Director of Retail Operations, de Young / Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
"In tracking sales by ZIP codes for over a year now, we have learned that many of our shoppers are visitors from out of town. In fact, during the height of the summer season, well over 50% of our shoppers are tourists. When such a significant number of our shoppers are tourists, it makes perfect sense to re-allocate our advertising dollars to reach the cultural tourist market and The Cultural Traveler addresses that strategy perfectly."
â Cliff Harrison, Director of Retail Sales, Saint Louis Art Museum
The guidebook will be directed to the consumer travel market and also to the travel trade. An electronic version of the complete contents of The Cultural Traveler, along with direct links to participantsâ Web sites, will be featured on MSAâs new travel Web site in 2009. Distribution of The Cultural Traveler will include a select list of targeted media tour operators, travel agents and travel leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. Visit [http://www.Museum-Store.travel] for more information.
MSA is a nonprofit, international association organized to advance the success of museum retail professionals. MSA also is focused on helping increase awareness about museum stores as unique shopping destinations for tourists and cultural travelers. As part of a strategic alliance with the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) and Shop America Alliance (SAA), MSA provides expertise in cultural and heritage tourism to its members and the general public.