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Community Research Needs: Tourism

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One of the central purposes of the Clayoquot Alliance is to promote academic research that responds to community needs and concerns. With this intent in mind, Senior Research Associate Barb Beasley has compiled a list of community research needs related to aquaculture, community health, marine resources, and tourism, each identified collaboratively through a number of interviews, meetings and community events. These included:

Our acknowledgements and thanks go to all involved. Questions, comments and additions to this list are welcomed.

Aquaculture Community health Marine resources Tourism
Themes Relevant Disciplines Research Questions
Tourism Impacts Geography, Resource and Environmental Management, Conservation Biology What are the social, economic and environmental impacts of different types of tourism on different communities at different times of the year. Surveys to identify where, when and how often problems occur. Need to define problems & their incremental nature, as well as who is affected – residents and/or tourists?
What are the effects of tourism activity on wildlife, e.g. marine mammals, birds, herring, rocky intertidal life. Select representative species as indicators.
How are tourism activities distributed (spatially & temporally) with respect to herring spawn sites? What are the risks of certain tourism activities impacting herring spawn? Measure the relationship between duration & intensity of activity with impacts.
First Nations Studies, Philosophy Study of sport fishing and FN sensitivities. Need to define these sensitivies – see comments in Symposium Proceedings.
Carrying Capacity Geography, Resource and Environmental Management, Environmental Planning What is the carrying capacity of existing infrastructure (sewage, landfill, water, etc.) within each community – Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousaht, Hotsprings.
Environmental Planning What innovations are going on elsewhere to create tourism space?
Geography, Resource and Environmental Management How do we maintain the quality of experience for tourists and residents? See questions under management systems below. How do we develop a strategic tourism plan?
Sociology What are the limits to acceptable change from the community, i.e., how many visitors, vacation homes, etc. are acceptable?
Economic diversity Economics How do we maintain other economic activities in our communities? Does tourism interfere with other activities?
Is tourism a catalyst for secondary industries? Consider different sectors of tourism.
Capacity Building Education What programs are needed to involve local youth in tourism at all levels?
Green Development Environmental Design, Resource and Environmental Management Assess the costs/opportunities for existing tourism businesses to switch to green practices/technologies, e.g., water conserving toilets, composting/local shuttle service, etc.
Mapping & planning Geography; Resource and Environmental Management Mapping sensitive sites and special areas; mapping zones where special tourism practices/guidelines should be applied, examples below.
Sensitivity mapping for critical wildlife habitat & cultural values in the Tofino Mudflats WMA to be used for planning hiking trails, viewing platforms & kayaking/canoe routes.
Site assessment and mapping of optional mtn-biking trail networks around Ucluelet (logging roads and deactivated logging roads ). Consider liabilities and environmental effects.
Sensitivity mapping for wildlife & cultural values in the Kennedy Flats – to be used for planning hiking trail & mountain-biking trail development & kayak/canoe access.
Management systems Geography; Resource and Environmental Management How do we create access to tourism benefits for FN? What options for tourism management would benefit local communities and FN? Review and analyze case studies in other areas, e.g., Haida Gwaii.
How do we ensure that culturally sacred sites are protected from tourism use?
How do we maintain our sense of community while allowing tourism? How do we organize and direct tourists? Literature review of successful tourism management strategies in other rural communities.
Are there guidelines (or protocols) for best tourism practices for cultural tours, educational tours, etc. (as for wildlife viewing?)
How well do ecotourism certification systems work? A review of different ecotourism certification systems used around the world and analyses to determine whether and how we should develop one for the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve region.
Philosophy How do we resolve the tension between regulating access to the environment and allowing people to become part of the landscape?
Economics How do we keep tourism affordable for low income? What are the expenditure patterns?
Public Administration How do we create collaborative relationships between communities in the region?
Funding for sustainable management Business How do we tax tourists? What are the legal mechanisms? A literature review of mechanisms used to generate funding for sustainable tourism management in other regions. Include an analysis and recommendations for suitability to the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve region.
Tourist Education Resource and Environmental Management; Education; Recreation How do we provide effective education for tourists about local cultures and conservation of ecosystems?
How do we make information available to tour guides so that they can be sensitive to local environmental and cultural values?
How effective are educational tour guide programs in terms of reducing tourism impacts?
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Last modified: November 11, 2004 | Contact: web@clayoquotalliance.uvic.ca