Grand Opening of Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Information Desk Signifies Expanded Role at National Park Service Visitor Center

September 17, 2014 (Salem, MA) – Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that it has opened a new Visitor Information Desk in the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem. The Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Information Desk provides visitors and area residents with information about attractions, destinations, activities and visitor services throughout the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County). In partnership with the National Park Service, Essex Heritage staff will help visitors connect with the Area’s incredible heritage resources while  providing an engaged audience for the region’s numerous  heritage tourism partners.

At the  Grand Opening Celebration event on September 16, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll noted that “Tourism is an important part of the City’s economy, and the Salem Visitor Center is a focal point and starting place for over half a million visitors who come to Salem annually. I welcome Essex Heritage’s new role in the visitor center to provide important services in this region — promoting the numerous historic, cultural and natural resources around the North Shore and encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore more.”

Event attendees were also welcomed by National Park Service Superintendent Michael Quijano-West; Peabody Essex Museum Deputy Director Josh Basseches; Destination Salem Executive Director Kate Fox; and Essex Heritage CEO Annie Harris. Their remarks focused on the importance of tourism in local economies; sustaining the region by providing more information to the increasing number of tourists visiting throughout the year; and increasing partnership projects with regional support. Destination Salem Director Kate Fox added that “The goal – as everyone in the tourism industry knows – is to keep visitors longer.  If visitors stay overnight – they have a more enjoyable experience and they also have a much greater economic impact… It is wonderful that the National Park Service found a way for Essex Heritage to establish an information area in this Visitor Center. It is another example of how much we all benefit when we work together.”

Economic and Community Impact of National Heritage Area Sites
National Heritage Areas provide essential services to the residents of Massachusetts. An independent evaluation of the economic impact of Essex Heritage by the nationally recognized consulting firm of Tripp Umbach found that the Essex National Heritage Area sustains and supports 1,832 jobs and generates $153.8 million in economic impact in the Essex County region. Learn more at