Why a National Cultural & Heritage Tourism Summit? Why not now and why not in Florida? Florida has been and remains one the top tourism & travel destinations in the United States. As a matter of fact, per Visit Florida, 116.5 million tourists who visited the state in 2017. We know that visitors travel to our destination for the warm, sunny weather and our pristine beaches. Yet, research continues to show that visitors stay longer and spend more money to experience the rich culture & history offered in heritage neighborhoods and multicultural communities not only in Florida but other U.S. cities. People traveling inbound from other countries and states are seeking off the beach and off the beaten path experiences that allow them to engage with locals and to become immersed in different cultures through the food, music, art and history of inner-city neighborhoods.


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The inaugural Summit in 2018 brought together more than 200 industry stakeholders from South Florida, Tampa, Orlando & as far north as New York City with hospitality, travel & tourism professionals, small businesses, artists, media and government agencies to engage in discussions and experiences around cultural & heritage tourism. Topics addressed issues that impact the tourism industry or are topics that are impacted by the industry such as gentrification, business opportunities & careers, multicultural marketing, and negative perceptions that impact tourism foot traffic and more!

The National Summit for Cultural and Heritage Tourism will broaden discussions that began at the inaugural Summit and invite industry stakeholders, small businesses & artists from across the country to:

  • Build new and strengthen existing alliances for broader participation in support of public policy impacting tourism in Florida and other states;
  • Leverage state & national cultural and tourism marketing agencies' resources to invest in enhancing community cultural assets and to attract cultural & heritage tourists;
  • Enhance the education of attractions, tour operators and tourism-related small businesses about the tourism industry, tourists’ expectations and effective tourism marketing;
  • Increase awareness for concierges, CVBs, DMCs, travel agents, meeting planners about unknown attractions, tour operators and tourism experiences in heritage neighborhoods and multicultural communities that can be marketed to domestic and international tourists;
  • Share cultural & heritage tourism best practices and establish industry standards;
  • Target and market destinations to multicultural audiences;
  • Introduce new tourism careers and business start-up opportunities;
  • Create cross promotional opportunities among “Tourism Power Players" across city, county, causeways and state lines; and 
  • Enhance promotion of cultural and heritage tourism regionally, statewide and nationally.