Heritage sites in the North East bring in more than £74m to the local economy every year, a study has found.
Heritage plays an important part in the region's quality of life
Research showed there are more than six million visitors to the region's historic houses, archaeological remains and museums every year.
The sector also supports 7,345 jobs, the Historic Environment Forum said.
The study concluded that heritage makes an important contribution to the economy, society, and quality of life in the region.
One of the findings was that the proportion of visitors to museums in the north east from the most socio-economically challenged groups was higher than the national average at 50% compared to a UK average of 31%.
Heritage assets were also seen as an important education resource, with a high level of children engaged in education activities at museums.
The research was commissioned by the Historic Environment Forum, a partnership of groups which promote access to and conservation of the region's heritage.
Carol Pyrah, chair of the forum and regional director of English Heritage, said: "This study demonstrates how the historic environment provides a nicer place to live in, work in, and visit, contributes to physical and economic regeneration, and supports the regional tourism industry.
"In short, the historic environment makes a real difference to the people of the North East, and we hope this study will help the full potential of our heritage to be realised."