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For Immediate Release 
Contact: Monica Hill, 202-482-3809 
Monday, May 8, 2000 


Creating the largest collection of cultural heritage itineraries

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism Industries and its American Pathways 2000 partners today unveiled 27 new tour itineraries to be added to the program, bringing together a total of 101 cultural heritage tours, and making it the largest collection of cultural heritage tours in the United States. The itineraries are designed to help visitors explore America's heritage treasures in 48 states and 147 cities, including Washington, D.C.

"These new itineraries are joining the American Pathways 2000 collection of tours that surprise, educate, entertain and highlight the diversity of American cultural heritage tourism product," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tourism Industries Leslie R. Doggett. "With close to 250 participants now in the program, American Pathways 2000 underscores the U.S. travel and tourism industries' growing commitment to cultural heritage tourism." 

To be designated as an American Pathways 2000 itinerary, tour operators were required to develop and submit new, never-yet sold itineraries. Tour operators worked with destination marketers, such as state tourism offices and local convention and visitor bureaus, to develop itineraries that interpret one of five official American Pathway themes. The itineraries are spread geographically throughout the United States (see attachment). 

This year's theme, Food for the Soul, is featured in four of the 27 new itineraries and showcases traditional ethnic foods. The first round of tours were officially designated in July of 1999. At that time the themes were: From Sea to Shining Sea (showcasing the indigenous people of America), I Have a Dream (telling the story of America's striving for a true democracy from slavery to civil rights), Lady Liberty (spotlighting the influence of immigration in the building of America), and America's Cultural Mosaic (highlighting ethnic influences in American "Pop Culture"). In 2000, Food for the Soul was added to the pre-existing themes of tour categories.

All 101 itineraries are currently featured on the official American Pathways 2000 website sponsored by Alamo Rent-A-car at www.americanpathways.com. The American Pathways partners include the National Tour Association (NTA), the American Bus Association (ABA), the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA), the Receptive Services Association (RSA), and the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (IACVB).




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