Heritage Conservation Briefs Job creation

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Heritage Conservation Briefs

Job creation

  • Heritage conservation generates a diverse variety of jobs

  • Heritage conservation generates the most returns for public works investments

  • Jobs generated from heritage conservation are expect to increase

A wide variety of direct and indirect jobs are generated from the rehabilitation of heritage buildings

  • In Canada, an estimated 3,800 to 5,300 people work in specialized built heritage occupations (such as heritage institutions, government, professionals, heritage crafts, and heritage trades). This does not include any non-specialized occupations involved (such as engineers, non-specialist architects, and contractors).

  • In 2004, heritage institutions incurred approximately $254 million in capital expenditures. Due to the greater labour intensiveness of built heritage work, construction employment related to these capital expenditures was estimated around 2,200 persons, plus another 200-300 persons employed in a professional capacity.

  • In addition to these, many indirect jobs are generated through material provision (such as lumber, stone, clay, glass, and metal).

(Cultural Human Resources Council, 2005)
Heritage tourists spend more money and stay longer than other tourists, creating more jobs and economic activity

As the housing stock ages, the potential for heritage conservation work will increase.

Renovation activity is increasing largely due to the aging of the existing housing stock, which needs repairs and updating. Approximately 1.7 million of these dwellings were built before 1941. If a conservative 10% of pre-1941 buildings possess heritage value, then there exist approximately 128,000 residential heritage properties that require ongoing maintenance, repair, and preservation work.

(Heritage Canada Foundation, 2003)

  • Heritage tourists stay longer and spend more money:

    • Historic travelers spend $722 per trip, while average travelers spends $457

    • Historic travelers spend 5.7 nights per trip, while average travelers spends 3.4 nights

    • Historic travelers use hotels, motels, and B&B establishments 62% of the time, while average travelers use these establishments 56% of the time.

    • Historic travelers include shopping as part of their trip 44% of the time, while average travelers include it 33% of the time.

(Travel Industry Association of America, 2002)

  • There are 34.5 million American and 2.6 million Canadian Heritage Tourism Enthusiast. This large pool of potential tourists can be attracted to take leisure trips in Canada through effective heritage conservation. This would generate a considerable amount of jobs and economic activity for communities.

(The Canadian Tourism Commission, 2003a and 2003b)
Heritage conservation generated more jobs and income, and a greater GDP increase than other similar public works investments
A groundbreaking study out of the United States found that public works money invested in the rehabilitation of heritage buildings generates more jobs and income and a greater increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) than the same amount of money invested in new construction and highway construction. Every $1 million invested nationally and locally:

Type of Investment

Jobs Generated

Income Generated

Increase in the GDP

Rehabilitation of Nonresidential Heritage Building




New Nonresidential Building




Highway Construction




(New Jersey Historic Trust, 1997)


Gunn, Cynthia. 2003. Human Resource Issues in

the Preservation of Heritage Buildings: Research Report. Heritage Canada Foundation.
Listokin, D. and M.L. Lahr. 1997. Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation. New Jersey: New Jersey Historic Trust. Found at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njht/ download/ec_imp.pdf#search='Listokin%20economic%20impacts%20of %20historic%20preservation'
Prism Economics and Analysis. 2005. Human Resources in Canada’s Built Heritage Sector: Mapping the Work Force and Setting Strategic Priorities. Cultural Human Resources Council. Government of Canada.
Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). 2002. Travelers Who Love History and Culture Spend More And Stay Longer Than Average Tourists. Hospitality Net – Industry News. Found at http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4010544.html.
Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd. 2003a. Canada’s Heritage Tourism Enthusiasts: A Special Analysis of the Travel Activities and Motivation Survey. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).
Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd. 2003b. U.S. Heritage Tourism Enthusiasts: A Special Analysis of the Travel Activities and Motivation Survey. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

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