American ‘culture’ and British visitors
CD Traveller mentioned a little while ago that British visitors were returning to the US after declining numbers, over the last few years. One of the reasons we go is for the appeal of its heritage according to a study recently released by the US government.
This shows that 71 per cent of all visitors to the country can be classed as what they call CHV (culture heritage visitors.) The study is based on figures from 2010 so there is every chance that this has increased still further, since 2011 celebrates the beginning of the Civil War. Sites like Gettysburg and Richmond in Virginia have been experienced a surge in visitors, which may last until the end of the Civil War celebrations in 2015.
The USA wants more of these types of visitors because they apparently stay longer and spend more. Up until recently the study shows that CHVs have tended to concentrate on the traditional destinations for British travellers; New York, California and Florida. But some places are overtaking those such as Las Vegas. You might wonder how that city fits into a CHV category but you’ll understand it when I tell you that amusements and theme parks are included. Obviously the gaming tables constitute ‘culture’! This also explains why Los Angeles comes out of it well, as Disneyland and Universal are only just outside that city in Anaheim. New York, Boston and Chicago however, have seen slight falls.
My conclusion would be that it is theme parks and family offerings that are driving these figures rather than galleries, museums and what we might interpret as culture or heritage.
Whatever it is, the American travel trade must be pleased. After a few years in the doldrums, UK and Irish visitors are returning in their droves.