Our old friend, heritage tourism

The absurd claims made for heritage tourism seem to have died down just as we approach the middle of the Sesquicentennial.

Exceptions really stand out:
State's heritage tourism worth $196 million a year, study says

The state is Nebraska and before reading the underlying report I couldn't name a single attraction in Nebraska.

The report represents numerical projections - modeling - based on surveys and interviews. For more than half of all sites under management, management did not respond to the survey!I would say, that's a problem.

Another item worth noting is that the report includes natural history (and landscapes) under its heritage tourism definition. I don't think of beachgoers in the coastal states as being heritage tourists, but if people enjoying inland landscapes are part of the Nebraska mix, why wouldn't oceansiders be such? This looks like someone is stretching definitions to boost numbers.

Again, reading the report another thought struck me. The figures - if you had real ones - would show a natural underlying pattern of movement, visitation and spending. The question that a report like this must answer (they never do) is how susceptible is this natural pattern to manipulation?

Meanwhile, the larger ACW battlefield sites are probably counting, rather than estimating their visitors, and thus at the end of the Sesquicentennial there will be a moment of truth for heritage tourism and all of its hype.

Until then, enjoy your many Nebraska vacations.