Experience Native American, African and Dutch Heritage in New York State

Albany, N.Y. (Aug. 5) - I LOVE NEW YORK today announced new heritage tours taking place across the Empire State. Black Heritage Tours, based in New York and the Netherlands, is offering a trip through the Capital - Saratoga and Hudson Valley Regions, stopping at sites connected to African, Dutch, and Native American cultures that have helped shape both New York State and U.S. history.


"New York State tourism generated an all-time high $102 billion in economic impact in 2015, $8 billion in state and local taxes, and supported nearly 894,000 tourism-related jobs statewide. The tourism industry continues to grow every year, and we thank the hard-working individuals and organizations that support the world-class attractions found in New York's 11 vacation regions," said ESD Executive Director of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK Gavin Landry. "Featured through the Governor's Path Through History initiative, the state's rich culture and history are an important part of the industry's continued success. I encourage everyone to experience the Empire State this year to learn all there is to love about New York's past and present."

The new Black Heritage Tours begin August 5-7, with the African American-Dutch Tour, and continue with additional tours scheduled October 28-30, and December 9-11, 2016.

Tour packages include: a professional tour guide; transportation; welcome reception; entry fees to all historic sites, museums and other excursions; two-night hotel accommodations; daily breakfast and boxed lunches; and a souvenir booklet, "Mapping Dutch New York - History of Slavery and African Heritage."

The influence of African, Dutch, and Native American cultures throughout New York State is still evident today through architecture, traditions, art, food, city and street names, and cultural celebrations. Black Heritage Tours - New York State offer cultural heritage experiences that uncover stories and struggles, and bring history to life through documents and research, interpretive guides, exhibits and more.

The August tour connects both the shared "transnational" history of the Netherlands and New York State (the former Dutch colony of New Netherland), as well as a shared Native American, African and Dutch heritage that dates to the 17th century.

While visiting historic sites, museums, monuments and local attractions, Black Heritage Tours - New York State invite visitors from around the globe to explore and discover the 'hidden history' of the origins of New York State and its inhabitants. Tour packages range from one to four days. To learn more about Black Heritage Tours - New York State, visit www.blackheritagetours.com.

"My vision is that through this tour and the tireless work being done by dedicated scholars and activists throughout the Netherlands and New York, we will move to pride when we will speak about ‘Black history' with pride, and to claim the heritage that is rightfully shared," said Jennifer Tosch, Founder and CEO of Black Heritage Tours.

"Black Heritage Tours fills a gap in this market, creating an experience that doesn't currently exist in this region," says Michele Vennard, President and CEO of Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Through her scholarship and vision, Jennifer has succeeded in connecting the New York of today with the New York of our Dutch founders."

"We are pleased to be working with Jennifer Tosch, Founder of Black Heritage Tours. This is a theme that the Hudson Valley region has been working on for years. This program helps to bring us together as a region, and it attracts new audiences to these unique sites. This tour provides true insight into how we developed as a nation," said Mary Kay Vrba, President and CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

The New York State Heritage tours are supported by the Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW York and New York's Path Through History program. The Path Through History Program features a number of experiences for residents and visitors to enjoy, including living history museums, forts and military landmarks, and historic homes of artists, writers, and six past U.S. Presidents. To learn how to plan your own Path Through History, click here.

About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions feature landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the largest park in the continental U.S. in the Adirondacks and treasures such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Corning Museum of Glass. New York State offers diverse activities for all: outdoor fun - fishing, hiking and boating, year-round festivals and exploring the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies. Visitors also enjoy the fine cuisine, beverage trails and farm-to-table fresh foods. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at iloveny.com/thebeat.

Follow the I LOVE NY social media channels for news on tourism in New York State. From NYC to Niagara Falls and all points in between, there's so much to love to LOVE in NY! Check out I LOVE NEW YORK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for great ideas for your next getaway.

Melanie Klausner
Finn Partners
(646) 307-6310
Eric Scheffel
Empire State Development
(518) 292-5274