The success of a heritage tourism project depends on people: local history and preservation experts, community organizers, elected officials, business owners, nonprofits, and members of the community. Given the many partners involved, a strong, supportive, and experienced facilitator to help navigate the various stages of community outreach and collaboration, can be a huge advantage when tackling heritage tourism development in your community. That’s where we come in.
Meet the Team:
Sarah Page is the Heritage Tourism team lead. She has worked in the Texas tourism industry for over 30 years and is known as a connector of people and resources. Her expertise is in tourism product and experience development, marketing, and community capacity building.
Teresa Caldwell oversees the Texas Heritage Trails Program. She has worked at the THC for over 20 years, as well as at county parks and recreation departments, the former Texas Department of Commerce, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Her expertise is in heritage tourism development and organizational management.
Mallory Laurel coordinates special projects for Heritage Tourism, including the Texas Treasure Business Award. She has worked in museum education, the public humanities, and marketing and branding. Her expertise is in interpretation, storytelling, and experience design.
A Team With Values
You can be assured that our team possesses the insight and connections to help you come up with a plan, and get that plan off the ground. But, more importantly, we’ll make sure that your project is always guided by the following values:
Our Collective Heritage
We believe history can be interpreted in many ways, and that one interpretation can mean different things to different communities. Heritage is similarly diverse, defined by both the shared experience of culture and one's individual experience of it. It's important to consider these multitudes when interpreting a historic site and to tell stories that speak to visitors of diverse backgrounds.
The Sacredness of Place
An encounter with the tangible past, that magical experience we like to call the shiver of contact, can enable our connection to a place or community. When the past is made real through objects we can touch and rooms we can walk through, it becomes easier to reach back through time and see ourselves in these stories.
History requires an audience, and the traveler requires a destination. The challenge of heritage tourism is to convince those within tourism and preservation that they, in fact, need each other, and to develop projects with the other in mind.
Both people and organizations are capable of lifelong learning. Any organization—no matter how big or small, however financially robust, and in any type of community—can produce meaningful and innovative work if provided with thoughtful guidance and a boost of confidence.