Quicklink – Grand Pré UNESCO bid

More in the news yesterday about the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site bid – homeowners (well, two of them) in the proposed area shared their concerns about what might happen if the bid is successful – possibly higher property taxes, more visitors could mean more people cutting across private property hoping to walk along the dikes, and more development in the form of hotels and restaurants.

These World Heritage designations are a great tool to recognize (and preserve) significant landscapes, but they can be doubled-edged. A successful bid can be a bit like waving a red flag in front of the tourist industry. On the other hand, Grand Pré is already one of the top tourist destinations in the province, and I wonder if UNESCO recognition would  actually attract significantly more people than the area’s existing “carrying capacity” for tourists? If the nomination committee is a good one, they have already considered the increased environmental/infrastructure/lifestyle pressure at the site that this designation would create, and are able to address local concerns (who knows, perhaps the homeowners were speaking out at a public info session – the article is kind of poor, by j-school standards).

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