The U.S. Secretary of the Interior today formally nominated the Alamo and the four other Spanish colonial missions to become World Heritage Site, completing a three year drive to get the local Missions recognized as among the handful of the most significant attractions for world culture, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "The U.S. wants to recognize the San Antonio landmark as among the most significant cultural and natural sites on earth," Secretary Sally Jewell said. 

  The designation does NOT mean that the UN would 'take over' the Alamo, as some conservative blogs have claimed.  Management of the Alamo would remain with the Texas General Land Office.


  The missions would become the first World Heritage Site in Texas, and among fewer than two dozen in the United States.


  Casandra Matej, the Director of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the designation would be a massive boost for the local tourism industry.


  "We know that there are people, hundreds of thousands of people, who make their travel based on world heritage sites," Matej said.


  The final decision will be made by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and that could be a drawback.


  The United States has not paid its dues to UNESCO since 2010, in a dispute over UNESCO's decision to admit Palestine as a full member.


  The decision is expected to be announced in 2015.


  The Missions would join such facilities as the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican as World Heritage Sites.  It would be the first designated World Heritage Site in Texas, and just the 22nd nationally.