Digest>Archives> November 1997

SOMEWHERE IN TIME - History Has A Financial Future

By Jerry Biggs


Yesterday's traveling tourist was often tempted to spend a night's lodging at an inn advertising "George Washington Slept Here." But based on today's tabloid approach, the pitch would also have to imply who slept with George, there.

However, "Historical sites draw some of the tourists with the deepest pockets," according to a recent survey. "Travelers who plan their itineraries around historical attractions take longer trips and spend more money than the average tourist. Typically, they stay more than five nights and spend $688 a person."

In addition, these travelers are typically older - 48 years on average - better educated and wealthier.

The Travel Industry Association of America arrived at these findings as a result of surveying 240,000 households. "History and culture are now a significant part of the U.S. travel experience," said the association.

One third of all U.S. adults - 66 million people - visited a historic site in the past.

Would a structure built in the 1800's qualify as a historic site? You bet your beacon it would. With 350 lighthouses in the Great Lakes, over 100 in Michigan; shouldn't that get somebody's attention? Most are all located near or on the water, many at sandy beaches.

A survey of the gross profits of lighthouse related merchandise and services - shirts, caps, jewelry, ceramics, photos, artwork, books, cruises, etc. - ought to shed some startling light on the subject. But there still is some foggy thinking out there.

What chamber of commerce or tourist bureau wouldn't like a shot at 10 million (historic site) visitors a year? You don't have to know about lighthouses or even have to like them. All you need to know is that there are 66 million people out there who are spending upwards of $700 per historic site visit.

If your community has a lighthouse that is not open to the public; why isn't it? Exercise your options and acquire your local lighthouse, fix it up and paint it up. Those are definite aids to navigation. It won't hurt your local economy, either. And you meet some of the nicest people at lighthouses.

This story appeared in the November 1997 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History