Secretary Salazar Visits Independence Hall
March 15, 2012
We come to a place like Independence Hall, it's a World Heritage site. It is important for us in terms of understanding our own heritage and history here in the United States…our heritage icons around the world are preserved as instruments of learning and teaching for the entire world.
World Heritage really means something internationally. In many ways countries only have World Heritage sites, they don't have a National Park system, and so as these countries develop their middle class, that are to travel around the world, World Heritage is the perfect place to draw them. Once they get here, they spend the night, they stay in hotels, eat in the restaurants, and that is a direct contribution to the American economy.
It's a perfect way to renew our economy because we can't export it…tourism is about places, and places are where they are.
It's a place that's known around the whole world, but we know we need to do a better job of promoting our national site within the world community, and I think this was a great place to start.
We've got a great airport, we've got great historic sites, we've got wonderful sports teams, and we have wonderful culture. And all those things come together. But I think the one thing that brings them to Philadelphia initially is the history, and from there we can tell the rest of the story.
The National Park Service has been in the tourism business for a long time…we've had partners since the Park Service was created in 1916. And the only we will succeed is to continue with partners.
We in America have a goal. And that is to become the top tourism and travel destination for the world.