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

  • Burc Kayahan Acadia University
  • Brian VanBlarcom Acadia University


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.