More than 150 million trips, that’s 88% of all travelling done by Canadians in Canada, are made within home provinces, according to the Canadian Tourism Commission, a Crown corporation that works in partnership with tourism sectors to promote Canada as a four-season destination.

During interprovincial travel, Canadians fuel local tourism industries and search out places they’d like to return to. Cottage buyers, business transplants and relocating empty-nesters are among those who set down real estate roots in the “get-away” locations they’ve discovered.

Continued success of the tourism attractions that initially draw a buyer to a location may be vital for the continued economic stability of the chosen community. Whether or not the move includes a tourism-based business venture like a bed & breakfast, restaurant or eco-adventure business, tourism is vital to the economic well-being of many Canadians and their communities.

When searching for a new town or city to call home, consider investigating how successfully the community or region is bringing visitors into the area. Relocating to a growing, thriving community ensures continued services, improved healthcare, up-dated infrastructure and appreciating real estate values – all important factors in the success of your financial and personal investment.

Visible commitment by local government is essential to continued success of tourism ventures.

For example, one growing sphere of tourism is Heritage Tourism which builds on the history of an area to attract tourist revenue. For the fifth consecutive year, the local government of Perth Perth, Ontario has received a prestigious Heritage Canada Foundation award for its devotion to preserving and enhancing its built and natural heritage assets. Settled in the early 1800s, during the construction of the Rideau Canal, Perth was the first planned community in what became Ontario and its fine stock of historic stone buildings, which include 19th-century mills and factories, Victorian shop fronts and grand houses, reflect this rich history. Perth is also home to Algonquin College's Heritage Institute Heritage Institute -- the only one of its kind in Canada. The college's heritage masonry and carpentry programs have strengthened the Town's position as a continuing centre for demonstrating conservation skills.

Previous award recipients include Markham, Ontario (2000), Victoria, British Columbia (2001), Saint John, New Brunswick (2002), and Québec City (2003).

The Heritage Canada Foundation Heritage Canada Foundation and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) recently announced the release of the publication Discovering Heritage Tourism: Practical Ideas for the Tourism Industry, part of CTC's “Packaging the Potential” series.

"By recognizing that heritage tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism market," said Brian Anthony, Executive Director of the Heritage Canada Foundation, "this publication will serve an important acknowledgment of the significant role of tourism in assuring that heritage resources are valued and preserved."

Although this publication is designed for those in the tourism and heritage fields who want to develop effective heritage tourism practices and to generate and strengthen related business opportunities, it may be useful when evaluating the potential for tourism sustainability and growth before you commit to a community by buying real estate there.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is now working with the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity at Ryerson University in Toronto to research the economic impact restored heritage properties can have on their surrounding environments in various locations in Canada. Restored and revitalized heritage properties studied to date, including the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver, proved to be powerful local economic generators.

When searching for a new location, look beyond recently-built developments and ongoing construction for a historic backbone that may support your real estate venture.

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