Tourism and Economic Development – A Multi-Regional Project

Participant cooking bread during a culinary program hosted by the Feasting Place in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Multi-Regional International Visitor Program (IVLP), "Tourism and Economic Development", brought together 23 industry experts and government officials from all over the world to examine strategies and policies to promote tourism. They were also able to examine concepts of sustainable tourism and explore current trends in the industry such as cultural tourism, food tourism, and heritage tourism. The participants traveled to cities across the U.S. including Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Concord, NH; Bar Harbor, ME; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM; and Seattle, WA.

Highlights in Washington included a keynote address from Dr. Kristin Lamoreaux, Associate Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at New York University; a meeting with the Department of Commerce's National Travel and Tourism Office; and a workshop dedicated to building social media capacity under the guidance of Ms. Lily Ciric Hoffman. The participants then traveled to Boston, where they were able to meet with representatives from the Freedom Trail Foundation, Boston University's Sustainable Economic Development via Tourism program, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism Leadership Council.

From Boston the group split into three smaller groups to visit Burlington, Concord, and Bar Harbor. Each city stop set up meetings to cover specific themes including access for people with disabilities, ecotourism, and attracting visitors to rural areas. Each group also enjoyed home hospitality before traveling to Albuquerque and Santa Fe where they learned about cultural/culinary tourism, cultural preservation, and workforce development. A major highlight included a Native American culinary program organized by the Feasting Place, which involved hands on traditional cooking and hospitality. The final stop in Seattle offered the opportunity to meet with representatives from Expedia, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Port of Seattle.


Project summary