Blue and Gray Make Green: Five Interesting Facts about Civil War Battlefield Tourism
Earlier this week, the Civil War Trust released a ten-page report packed with photos, statistics, and testimonials on the benefits Civil War battlefields have on the economy. The study, Blue, Gray & Green: Economic & Tourism Benefits of Battlefield Preservation, updates the group’s previous economic impact research with new information that underscores the importance of these historic sites during the 150th anniversary of the war, which continues through 2015. The bottom line: Much like national parks in general, Civil War battlefields draw enthusiastic tourists, generate revenue for local communities, boost property values, and support jobs.
Here are five interesting facts that stood out for me as I read through the report:
- Civil War tourists love learning and tend to have cash to spare: They earn a higher household income, on average, than the general population, and more than half are college graduates, compared to the nationwide average of 24 percent.
- The average family of four visiting a Civil War battlefield spends $1,000 on their trip—and their spending looks something like this:
- In Virginia alone, tourists at Civil War battlefields stay twice as long and spend twice as much as the average tourist.
- On average, visits by 956 tourists support one job in a battlefield community.
- In Philadelphia, property values increase an average of 1.6 percent for each mile closer the property is to a national historic district.
For more great information on battlefield visitation in general and the specific effects places like Antietam, Chickamauga, and Harper’s Ferry have on their communities, read the report on the Civil War Trust website.
-Jennifer Errick, Editor, Online Communications
If you liked this story, you might also like
- Living History and Solemn Reflection at Antietam Commemoration (September 28, 2012)
- Did You Know? Only 28% of Civil War Battlefields Have National Park Protections (September 12, 2012)
- From Civil War to Civil Rights: All Peeps Created Equal (March 29, 2013)