The Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Heritage Areas
By: John M. McGrath, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and David Primm and William Lafe
Research was conducted in five Pennsylvania Heritage Areas in 2014-2015 to analyze their economic
impact in Pennsylvania. The research involved a survey of heritage-area visitors, interviews with
stakeholders in the five study heritage areas (HAs), and an estimation of the economic impact of the
heritage-related visitation to all 12 HAs statewide.
The five study HAs were: PA Route 6, National Road, Allegheny Ridge, Lincoln Highway and
Overall, the research found that tourists spent an estimated 7.5 million days/nights in Pennsylvania’s
12 HAs in 2014, purchasing $2 billion worth of goods and services. The total contribution of heritage
visitor spending (direct, indirect and induced effects) to the state’s economy was 25,708 jobs and $798
million in labor income.
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