AUSTIN, TX – The House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism today announced that it will hear House Resolution 1443, State Representative Rick Galindo's resolution in strong support of the San Antonio Missions nomination to become a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. The committee will hear the resolution on Tuesday, April 21 at 2:00pm.
According to a 2013 report, if achieved, the highly coveted designation will boost local tourism, add $2.2 million in hotel tax revenue, grow Bexar County economic activity by $105 million, and create 1,100 new jobs.
“This designation means one thing: Texans love the Alamo, and so does the whole world,” said Rep. Galindo. “We would be proud to have The Alamo and the San Antonio Missions join the ranks of the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, and the Pyramids of Giza as legendary treasures of the world.”
The cultural criteria for a World Heritage designation specifies that the site "…bear a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition…” and "is directly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs…of outstanding universal significance." The process to achieve the World Heritage nomination took six long years and UNESCO will decide on the designation this July.
The UNESCO World Heritage designation does not, under any circumstance, transfer control, management or ownership of the Alamo away from Texas. The State of Texas maintains complete control of the site.
Taking its cues from the Texas Legislature, the General Land Office has operated, managed and maintained the Alamo since 2011. "The Alamo is known to the entire world as the symbol of freedom and liberty," said former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. "It is an enduring reminder that freedom is not free and that the Texians and Tejanos of 1836 were willing to die for liberty. It is our duty to preserve this Texas treasure for that purpose, and that purpose alone."