Embedding tourism in broader rural development strategies
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Embedding tourism in broader rural development strategies

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This presentation was given at the National Extension Tourism Conference 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina

This presentation was given at the National Extension Tourism Conference 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina

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Embedding tourism in broader rural development strategies Embedding tourism in broader rural development strategies Presentation Transcript

  • Insights from Canada Nicole L. Vaugeois, PhD BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development Vancouver Island University Presentation at : National Extension Tourism Conference, South Carolina – March 8-10, 2011
    • The need to broaden our horizons in tourism development
    • Potential approaches to link to tourism
      • Amenity-based rural development
    • Steps to further integrate tourism in rural development planning
    • Questions and discussion
    • Efforts to stimulate tourism development in rural areas has often been motivated:
      • To stimulate new revenue to communities
      • To provide income for small businesses
      • To provide employment from declining resource based industries
    • The approach to develop it has often been sectoral:
      • To promote the attractive features in an area;
      • To bring together tourism operators (cluster, package)
      • To advocate for access to land, lobby for marketing investments
      • Focused on communities more than regions.
    • Repopulation of areas
      • Attracting young families
      • Immigrants
    • Attracting investment
      • Enhancing climate for small business success
    • Addressing aging infrastructure and services
    • It is the front door to most economic development efforts
    • People visit a place first, form an impression and consider relocating or investing …
    • This is often not fully recognized by stakeholders in rural development
    How can those involved in tourism development embed our efforts in broader rural development strategies?
  • Canada is rethinking rural development with the
    • Amenities refer to the hedonic or pleasurable aspects associated to natural and cultural features of rural areas.
    • These make rural areas attractive places to visit, play, live and prosper.
    • The use of non production aspects of the rural environment from which individuals, communities, or society at large derive utility. It is this utility and corresponding valorization of rural amenities that are considered resources for rural development.
    • FROM
    • Sectoral approach
    • Subsidies
    • Places of production (resources)
    • Export goods
    • TO
    • Territorial approach
    • Investments
    • Places of consumption (amenities)
    • Import people, ideas and investment
    • Rural areas are not homogeneous.
    • Despite overall trend of decline – some are growing…
    • This growth is highly correlated to the presence of amenities which are speculated to drive rural development.
      • People are often attracted to rural areas as visitors. They may then be attracted to relocate as a resident, to set up business or invest.
    • Amenity based rural development attracts new people and ideas to rural communities
      • Visitors
      • Residents
      • Businesses
    • Induces a range of impacts to the landscape
    • (positive and negative)
      • Environmental
      • Economic
      • Social/cultural
    Use of amenities to attract people, ideas and investments requires foresight and appropriate planning supports
    • “ Rural communities are not yet equipped to deal with the planning consequences of amenity-led rural development. The explosion of impacts has caught many rural areas unprepared.”
    • Need for balance in promotion, protection and valorization.
    • Is to identify what amenities exist in regions and the possible development strategies for each type of region –
    • as uniform, cross-cutting strategies are no longer seen as viable long term solutions for rural development.
    • What amenities are in Canada’s rural areas that could support ABRD?
    • Amenities that are based on the natural attributes of rural areas including climate, air quality, land and water and which provide the scenic settings and materials for work and leisure pursuits of residents.
    • Amenities based in the cultural context of rural areas including heritage, recreation and sports, arts, work and community and which serve to enhance quality of life in rural regions.
    • Amenities that enable the development of natural and cultural amenities including infrastructure, services and connectivity.
    • These enable and support rural areas to realize and manage impacts from in-migration, enterprise development or tourism activity.
  • The future for tourism within ABRD
    • Tourism stakeholders are often not engaged in the broader discussions related to ABRD:
      • Regional planning
        • Infrastructure
        • Sustainability and smart growth
        • Engagement processes
      • Real estate development
    • Tourism stakeholders are not often viewed as key stakeholders in broader rural development discussions
      • Perception of tourism as a sectoral approach suitable for some areas
      • Lack of understanding about the tourism delivery system
      • Perceptions about tourism being part of the problem in “booming communities” creating impacts on local residents
    • “ I have people question why we are supporting tourism development in our province. This gives me a tool to show how it is part of a larger picture for our rural regions and why we need to support it.”
    • Tourism stakeholders need to be “ at the table ” in regional development, and seated with a broader lens about their contributions and role. We need to understand the rural development issues within our regions – and be willing to do more than just promote to “more – high yield visitors”, particularly in areas that are dealing with negative consequences or experiencing planning challenges.
    • What are the driving amenities in the region – for visitors, for residents and for investment?
    • Understand population dynamics in the region :
      • If more are needed – who is desired and what amenities would attract them? Are these the same as tourism marketing efforts?
      • If less are needed – work alongside efforts to plan for sustainable development of the region (long term thinking vs. short term gains that may detract from the regions attractiveness over time)
    • Work with real estate agents to share market knowledge and collaborate on marketing key amenities;
    • Share knowledge about key visiting markets with regional planners and consider fit with the types of amenities and desired new population for the current residents.
  • Broadening our horizons: Amenities, regional development and collaboration 108 Mile House, BC, Canada – April 19-21, 2011
    • ABRD showing promise as an approach to rural development;
    • Tourism is embedded within ABRD as a key tool to develop awareness of rural regions;
    • The approach invites the participation of tourism stakeholders in regional economic development – but with an expanded set of goals.
  •  
  • Lots of questions to answer…
    • How does the Typology of Canadian Rural Amenities fit different regions of Canada? Further testing on the universality of the typology is suggested. An audit tool that allows rural areas to assess their own amenities could be developed as a way to translate the typology into practice.
    • Data on the role or influence of amenities is not fully understood. Are there a set of factors or preconditions that are required to enable communities to realize value from amenities? Are some factors more relevant than others? And is there a generally recognized process to amenity-based rural development that could assist rural areas to implement strategies?
    • What are the specific goals of rural development and which goals are linked to amenity-based development? What are the specific goals of amenity-based rural development? Are they promotion, protection and valorization?
    • Which types of amenities contribute to the goals of ABRD? Are some amenity types more important for in addressing depopulation? Encouraging tourism development? Or supporting enterprise for valorization?
  • And a few more…
    • How are these amenities distributed across the Canadian context? Are there high amenity locations and can these be identified, prioritized and supported for ABRD?
    • At what level does population and economic growth threaten the existence of natural and cultural amenities? How do rural areas balance the promotion of amenities with their protection?
    • What conflicts exist or have the potential to exist in ABRD? Who are the stakeholders with an interest in ABRD? What are their specific interests and, how can a shared set of interests emerge to address the potential conflicts in the promotion, protection and valorization of amenities?
    • What common property amenities are suitable for promotion or valorization ? Which ones are not? Are there ways to develop programs or strategies that balance promotion and protection or will they continue to be addressed separately by different stakeholders?