Visiting a historical place is an exercise that is integral not only to shaping the visitor’s experience but also boosting the economic and social spheres of the host areas. These benefits can drive cultural and historical recovery, particularly in areas that hold special value to a locality’s identity, and assist in defining collective appreciation of relevant places and moments across time. In this essay, we will focus on Louisiana as the host city.
Louisiana offers a diverse mix of influences that shaped the state’s history and culture. Foremost of these are the Bayougulas and the Houmas, followed by the French, Spanish, and English, which resulted in the current influences seen in the state, in terms of architecture, cuisine, language, music, and even governance (Louisiana Secretary of State).
Visiting the area does not only add value in that it helps visitors grasp the imprints left by the state’s history, but also in enhancing the economy and quality of life within the state. Historical or cultural tourism acts as a driver of development, as seen in its role in restoring local cultures, creating opportunities for national creativity, and uplifting the local population (Ismagilova, et. al 158-160).
In 2004-2005 alone, the Louisiana State Museum saw a seven-dollar return on investment for every dollar that the state invested into the museum. Additionally, the museum created 666 total jobs, which totaled earnings of $10,946,033. And taxes generated by the presence of the museum amounted to $2,697,645 (Louisiana State Museum 1).
By visiting a historical place or site, visitors contribute to their historical and cultural knowledge, which can hone their sense of self, especially if they are local to the area. Similarly, they help reinforce cultural identities in the region, influence economic conditions that can boost development within the population, and ensure the preservation of historical and cultural ties to be enjoyed by the next generations.
Ismagilova, Lenar S., et al. “Using Historical Heritage as a Factor in Tourism Development.” Elsevier Ltd. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 188, 2015, pp. 157–162. Science Direct, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815021485.
Louisiana Secretary of State. “Archives and Museums.” Louisiana Department of State, https://www.sos.la.gov/HistoricalResources/Pages/default.aspx.
Marcell, Marianne Hawkins, and Melody Alijani. “Louisiana State Museum.” The Louisiana Research Team, https://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/documentarchive/impact-report/Museum.pdf.
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