Cost Benefit Analysis of UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation in Nova Scotia

Burc Kayahan, Brian VanBlarcom


The objective of this research is to compare the economic benefits (defined as visitor spending) and costs of a UNESCO World Heritage (WH) designation. The study focuses on two sites in Nova Scotia; Old Town Lunenburg (designated as a WH site in 1995) and Grand Pré National Historic Site (which has applied for a WH status). Pre/post designation visitation data from Lunenburg was used to quantify the impact (6.2%) in the Nova Scotia context. A proportional (to visitation) impact was projected for Grand Pré. The analysis indicates that the level of visitation is important in determining economic viability and that the rising costs of a WH designation further challenge smaller scale attractions.

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