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Orlando, Florida. Biltmore, a national historic landmark with America’s largest home in Ashville, North Carolina was honored as the Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year, in recognition of its leadership, marketing creativity and dedication to promoting cultural and heritage tourism.. Richard Peterson, of the California Academy of Sciences, recipient of the 2011 award, presented the award to Biltmore at the ONE Travel Conference SASI-ONE Breakfast at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Tuesday, January 17th. The Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance and the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council co-sponsor this prestigious award. “We are especially proud to recognize this remarkable cultural destination as the Cultural Tourism Destination of the Year. Biltmore is the embodiment of the high standards this award represents. The selection criteria includes demonstrating strategic marketing initiatives to invite cultural and heritage visitors to its destination, cultivating partnerships to expand market reach and budget and, most especially, providing visitors with authentic and educational experiences with innovative programs, events and exhibits,” says. Sheila Armstrong, Executive Director of the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference. The Biltmore was selected for this award by a committee of leaders in cultural and heritage tourism marketing: Jo Ann Haden-Miller, Director of Consumer Marketing, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Patricia Washington, Vice President of Cultural & Heritage Marketing, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation; Cheryl Hargrove, Hargrove International; Michael McDowell, Senior Director of Cultural Tourism, LA Inc. (The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau) and Richard Peterson, California Academy of Sciences Director of Sales, San Francisco, California. Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division; and Biltmore Inspirations, Biltmore’s home party business. The Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year Award is one of 22 SASI-ONE Awards (SASI = Shop America Salutes Innovation) for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence presented with Shop America Alliance, the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council in partnership with CenterCal Properties. Brandace Bruning of CenterCal Properties is the SASI-ONE Awards Chairperson Along with the 8 SASI-ONE Gold Awards and 9 SASI-ONE Merit Awards for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence, 5 SASI-ONE Special Award Recipients were honored in the categories of Shopping Tourism Retailer of the Year, TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year, Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year, Cultural Traveler Trailblazer Award and SASI-ONE Chairman’s Award. The achievements of SASI-ONE Winners from throughout the USA, Mexico and Latin America and the winners of the special awards were showcased in a video presentation. For additional information, please visit or contact Sheila Armstrong, co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 843.341.6392 About ONE Travel Conference: ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining and Cultural & Heritage Tourism is produced annually by Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. The Conference brings together leaders in the travel industry to focus on The Power of Partnership, speaking with ONE Voice. For more information visit or call 843.341.6392. About Shop America Alliance: Shop America Alliance is the travel trade organization representing hundreds of the premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers, museum stores and outlets in North America. Founded in 1998, Shop America Alliance co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook, publishes Shop America Magazine and markets more than 200 shopping tours in 40 cities. For more information, visit or call 707.224.3795. About U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is a travel trade association marketing U.S. cultural and heritage tourism experiences both nationally and internationally. USCHT represents leading U.S. tourism destinations, attractions and travel partners engaged in marketing U.S. cultural and heritage to travelers throughout the United States and around the world, co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook and sponsors market research on the Cultural and Heritage Traveler. For more information, visit and or call 843.341.6392. 


White Papers

Shop America Alliance publishes a series of tourism educational white papers in partnership with the Museum Store Association and the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. These are available free to members of SAA, USCHT and MSA and the media.

  • Driving Cultural Tourism in Challenging Times
  • Tourism 101 – Basic Information for Selling to Tourists
  • Partnership Strategies for Building Tourism Business
  • Public Relations and Special Events to Build and Track Tourism Business Online Travel and Tourism Marketing Strategies
  • Train Your Team To Be Tourism Ambassadors

Please email your request for PDF versions of any of these White Papers to Sheila Armstrong.

Media Contact

Rosemary McCormick