Why heritage preservation is good for business in MeafordBy Bonnie Altman
Conservation of our main street heritage architecture has many benefits; especially increasing economic growth through tourism and promoting our continued growth towards a greener community.
The cost of a large commercial rehabilitation is approximately 4% lower than a comparable new build on a vacant site and even greater if demolition of an existing building is necessary. (Rypkema 2003)
Heritage buildings do not need to be “Grand” like the Parliament buildings or the Chateaus Frontenac or Laurier to appeal heritage tourism enthusiasts. Heritage architecture, even the common everyday vernacular buildings of many authentic towns, attracts tourists by offering a genuine sense of local differences that assert a sense of place identity. Unfortunately, in part, due to the homogenization of our cultures our vernacular structures are vulnerable to obsolescence and destruction and replacement with sameness. (Built Heritage: Assessing a Tourism Resource)
The tourist sector has seen an increase in tourism in the 18-24 year old range as well as an increase in baby boomer tourists. (Canadian Tourism Commission 2014-2018 Corporate Summary) Both of these groups tend to stay longer and spend more in their chosen destinations. Heritage destinations are most appealing to the retired tourists who have the financial means and time to extend their visits.
Heritage Canada. Built Heritage: Assessing a Tourism Resource...
2014-2018 Corporate Plan Summary - Destination Canada
More economic reasons to protect and promote Meaford's downtown built heritage
This excerpt from Global Urban Development Magazine
summarizes many of the economic advantages of preservation over demolition.
Read the entire article here:
Heritage Conservation and the Local Economy - GUD
This overview from the Heritage Foundation
reveals the impact on tourism of leveraging heritage resources.