The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office promotes the UNESCO World Heritage and Creative Cities designations by maximizing the economic impact and enhancing the experience for visitors and residents through the implementation of their respective work plans and related projects, as well as manages Mission Marquee Plaza and Spanish Governor's Palace.
World Heritage, Our Heritage
Colleen Swain, Director
On July 5, 2015, San Antonio’s five Spanish colonial missions – Missions San Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, Espada and the world renowned Alamo – were declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. The Missions now represent the only World Heritage site in Texas and one of just 24 in the United States.
The UNESCO World Heritage Designation is a catalyst for socio-economic change, with increased visitation and tourist spending. San Antonio welcomed more than 39 million visitors in 2018. With this designation, we anticipate increased visitation and tourism to our city.
To prepare for this increased activity and to maximize the benefits of the designation, the City has used input from the community to develop the World Heritage Work Plan. The work plan identifies specific tasks and deliverables, which include the following categories: management and oversight, infrastructure, wayfinding, transportation, beautification, economic development, land use, and marketing and outreach. The work plan will be coordinated with the Alamo Master Plan effort.
The work plan is a dynamic document and items may be added to the work plan as a result of additional public input.
The World Heritage Office is responsible for planning, coordinating, implementing and managing the World Heritage Work Plan and related projects within the World Heritage Buffer Zone. The office is committed to promoting the San Antonio Missions and maximizing the economic impact of the World Heritage status designation and enhancing the experience for visitors and residents.
The World Heritage Office also oversees two historic cultural facilities - Mission Marquee Plaza (the former Mission Drive-In Theater) and the Spanish Governor's Palace, as well as San Antonio's UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation.