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Understanding (eco) tourism from the bottom-up : a case study of Tofino, Clayoquot Sound, in British… De Andrade, Annemarie 2002

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UNDERSTANDING (ECO) TOURISM FROM T H E BOTTOM-UP: A CASE STUDY OF TOFINO, C L A Y O Q U O T SOUND, IN BRITISH COLUMBIA by ANNEMARIE DE A N D R A D E Lie. Biological Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 2002 © Annemarie De Andrade, 2002 In p resen t ing th is thesis in part ial fu l f i lment o f t h e requ i rements fo r an advanced d e g r e e at t h e Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that t h e Library shall make it f ree ly available f o r re ference and s tudy. I fu r ther agree that permiss ion f o r ex tens ive c o p y i n g o f th is thesis f o r scholar ly pu rposes may b e g ran ted b y the h e a d o f m y d e p a r t m e n t o r by his o r her representat ives. It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r pub l i ca t i on o f th is thesis fo r f inancial gain shall n o t b e a l l owed w i t h o u t m y w r i t t e n pe rm iss ion . D e p a r t m e n t o f The Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a Vancouver , Canada Date Wt 24 ZOO 2. DE-6 (2/88) Abstract The concepts of ecotourism and sustainable tourism at the local level refer to the processes within which tourism can foster and contribute to sustainable development at tourist destinations. This thesis argues that in order for destinations to move towards sustainability, tourism must be properly planned and managed towards this goal. Assuming that tourism is a community-industry, planning for tourism must incorporate the perspectives of all tourism stakeholders, including community residents who share their space with tourists and are also part of the tourism product. Using a mixed-methodology that combined 11 unstructured interviews with a 117-respondent survey, this study reports the main constraints for the development of a sustainable tourist destination. It also brings to light the perspectives of the local community on tourism development. I conclude that for the destination to move towards sustainability, barriers must be acknowledged and overcome. Some suggestions are made in this regard. Table of Contents Abstract '. ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables vi List of Figures vi Acknowledgments vii 1. Introduction 1 1.1. Background of the Study 1 1.2. Research Goal and Objectives 7 1.3. Thesis Outline 8 2. Theoretical Background 9 2.1. Tourism and Sustainability 9 2.1.1. Setting the context 9 2.1.2. The Negative Impacts of Tourism 10 2.1.3. Towards a Sustainable Industry 13 2.1.4. The Evolution of the Concept of Sustainable Tourism 15 2.1.5. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) Concept of Sustainable Tourism 17 2.1.6. The Implementation of Sustainable Tourism 19 2.1.7. Ecotourism: Concept, Principles and Implementation 21 2. 2. Tourism and the Destination 25 2.2.1. Understanding Tourism 25 2.2.2. Tourism: a Demand and Supply System 26 2.2.3. Tourist Destination Concepts 27 a) Destination Cycle of Evolution 28 b) Thelrridex Model 29 c) Carrying Capacity 30 2.3. Planning Sustainable Tourism 33 2.3.1. Community Participation in Tourism Planning 36 2.3.2. Collaboration in Tourism Planning 38 a) Benefits of Collaboration 39 b) Barriers to Collaboration 39 c) Conditions for Collaboration in Tourism Destinations 40 2.4. Managing Tourism for Sustainability 46 2.4.1. Partnerships for Sustainability 48 3. The Ecotourist Mecca 52 3.1. Locating Tofino 52 3.2. Unfolding Clayoquot Sound 53 3.3. The Road Changes History! 59 3.3.1. Pre-road: From Sustainable Development to Unsustainable Exploitation 60 a) Visitors Discover Clayoquot 62 3.3.2. Post-road: From Unsustainable Exploitation to Sustainable Development? 65 a) Ecotourism Emerges 66 b) Battles to Save Ecotourism Resources 68 c) Safe Room for Ecotourism? 75 3.4. Tofino Today 76 3.4.1. Social, Political, and Economic Aspects of The Community 76 a) Social and Political Aspects 76 b) Economic Aspects 78 3.4.2. The Tourist Realm 80 a) Tourist's Profile 80 b) Town's Infrastructure 81 c) Ecotourism Activities* 82 4. Methodology 87 4.1. Research Approach 87 4.2. Data Collection 88 4.2.1. Identifying Key Informants 88 4.2.2. Key Informants Interviews 89 4.2.3. On-Site Survey 90 4.3. Data Analysis 92 4.3.1. Qualitative Design 92 4.3.2. Mixed Design (Quantitative Dominant) 93 4.3.3. Data Validity 93 a) Data Validity in the Qualitative Approach 94 b) Data Validity in the Quantitative Approach 96 c) Research Limitations 98 5. Analysis and Discussion of Results 99 5.1. Issues in Ecotourism Development 99 5.1.1. The Impacts of Ecotourism 100 a) Social and Economic Impacts 100 b) Environmental Impacts 103 5.1.2. Ecotourism and First Nations .- 106 5.1.3. Constraints to Sustainable Tourism - The Local Level 109 a) The Strong Community Faction 109 b) The Lack of a Common Vision for Ecotourism Development 110 c) The Lack of Government Commitment 112 d) Organizational Constraints within the Local Tourism Business Sector 116 5.1.4. Constraints to Sustainable Tourism - The Regional Level 120 a) The Lack of Regulation 120 b) The Hegemony of the Ministry of Forests 125 c) Treaty Negotiations 126 d) Constraints within the Region's Participatory Planning Structure 127 5.2. The Community's Perception of Ecotourism Development 128 5.2.1. Analysis 129 a) General Profile of Respondents 129 b) Overall Perception Towards Ecotourism in Tofino 131 c) Creating a Vision for Ecotourism Development 138 5.2.2. Discussion 140 a) The Concept of Ecotourism in Tofino 140 b) The Town's Infrastructure 141 c) The State of the Industry 142 iv d) The Role of Ecotourism in Tofino 142 e) The Planning and Management of Ecotourism 144 f) A Community Vision for Ecotourism 144 g) Community Participation in Ecotourism Planning/Management 146 h) Ecotourism and First Nations 147 6. Conclusions and Recommendations 149 Cited Bibliography 153 Appendix I. Questionnaire applied to residents of Tofino - A survey on community perceptions 161 List of Tables Table 1. List of Unstructured Interviews '. 89 Table 2: Total household income before taxes 130 Table 3: Types of operation 130 Table 4. Satisfaction with the role of tourism 132 Table 5. Positive impacts of ecotourism 133 Table 6. Negative impacts of ecotourism (in percentage) 133 Table 7. Constraints for the development of a local ecotourism plan 135 Table 8. Responsibility for the planning/management of ecotourism 135 Table 9. Infrastructure to improve ecotourism development 137 Table 10. Important things for ecotourism development 138 Table 11. Vision for ecotourism development (in percentage) 139 List of Figures Figure 1: Clayoquot Sound Region, Vancouver Island, BC, study area 6 Figure 2: Tofino and Clayoquot Sound Region 54 Figure 3: Paddling in the Sound (Tofino/Clayoquot) (Photo: Annemarie De Andrade) 55 Figure 4: Sunset in the open Pacific Ocean (Photo: Annemarie De Andrade) 55 vi Acknowledgments First and always, I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to all the people in the world that do not measure efforts to save the forests of our planet. Being a Brazilian-Canadian, I have enough sources of inspiration in my own back yard: Chico Mendes, and the people of Clayoquot Sound. Thank you all for standing for the trees and securing the life systems! Your passion and determination help us humans to understand that there are limits to growth as well as in building not only a viable planetary society, but also a loving, interesting and smart one. We need our forests and the people of the forests for that! Second, I want to thank to all who contributed to this research. Many thanks to Tofino residents and community leaders who were interested and supportive of my work. My first contact with a Canadian community could not have been more especial! From getting informal to formal information, booking the interviews, delivering my survey or finding the accommodation with the best view in town, I had all processes facilitated in this community. Thank you Tofino! I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Frank Tester, who encouraged me to develop my own ideas, and see things from 'the eyes of the locals'. My appreciation also goes to my supervisory committee: Dr. Ratana Chuengpadee, who helped me to 'get in touch' with the local community; Dr. Les Lavkulich, who really makes the Institute for Resources and Environment (IRE) an interdisciplinary department; and Mr. Gordon Goodman, whose experience in tourism provided me with good insights of the area needs. I want to include in this group my dear friends Raul Pacheco-Vega, Katia Freire and Daniela Kalikoski who kindly revised my work whenever I needed. Thanks for the support and fun shared with me. I would also like to acknowledge financial support through a Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant from the University of British Columbia. Being a mother of two in a 'new' country (I was born in Canada but lived most of my life in Brazil) I had many challenges to face. Therefore, I also want to thank my Mom, sister, and extended family. Although they were overseas, they would always be there for me, providing me with all the love and support I needed. To my littles, Carla, Pedro and Bubbles. "Perception is the first and most important step in turning the raw data of the universe into reality". Deepak Chopra "There is also a need to address the terrifying domination of nature that characterizes the current global environmental crisis. The democratization of communities and management of resources upon which we all depend - materially, socially, and spiritually - must reflect the imperative of redefining how we relate to one another, and how we relate to the planet upon which our survival depends." Frank J. Tester viii C H A P T E R 1 Introduction 1.1. Background of the Study Traveling to what are claimed to be the 'remote' and 'pristine' ecosystems in the planet is becoming a common trend of modern times. This phenomenon has been known as ecotourism (Boo, 1993). These ecosystems are frequently of high biological diversity or unique in natural characteristics or landscape features. Despite their importance, ecotourism in many of these areas has had severe impacts on the environment and the local people. Trekking in Nepal for example, has caused deforestation, erosion, water contamination, non-biodegradable litter, inflation, and importing of inappropriate Western values, among others. In Kenya, it has led to wildlife disturbance and in some situations, the removal of local people from their traditional lands in order to support wildlife protection (Swarbrooke, 1999). The increasing growth of ecotourism in these areas therefore, offers a great challenge to destinations 1 to provide tourists with an exceptional recreational experience while ensuring the maintenance of ecological processes and aesthetic characteristics of the area, the well-being of local communities and still, satisfactory economic returns to the ecotourism industry. This challenge does not only concern ecotourism, but tourism as a whole. Throughout the world, tourism has shown that, while in some instances, it has provided economic, social and ' Definitions of destinations can vary: a country can be referred as a destination, a coastal resort, a city or a geographic area such as a national park, or even a enclosed resort as Disneyland. Nevertheless, an important common feature is that they are under a local authority. (See Middleton and Hawkins, 1998:82). 2 Although the term community can embrace several notions, in this study, it refers to the people leaving in one locality. 1 environmental benefits to host communities, most of the times, the activity has contributed to the destruction of their natural environments, economies, customs, traditions, and social relations (Archer and Cooper, 1998). These impacts however, not only pose a threat to the sustainability of host communities, but also to the sustainability of tourism itself, given the reliance of tourism on the local resources. If these resources are destroyed, so is tourism. Moreover, the opening of many 'new' unexplored tourist destinations throughout the world and the rise of tourist expectations have made modern tourism strongly competitive (Scott, Parfitt and Laws, 2001), especially ecotourism. As a result, destinations have to strive to maintain a high quality tourism product or they will not be able to succeed. Whether a popular sky resort like Whistler, a beach resort in the Bahamas, a reserve in the Amazon Rainforest, or an ecotourist Mecca such as Tofino/Clayoquot Sound, tourism should promote the sustainability of the destination. This call is therefore universal, and the origin of the concept of sustainable tourism (Clarke, 1997). Sustainable tourism is, in this context, the umbrella where all types of tourism, including ecotourism, must fit in (Cebbalos-Lascurain, 1998). Some specific strategies applied to different tourists destinations may though vary, according to the type(s) of tourism and particular goals for development (Coccossis, 1996). However, the core of sustainable tourism is that tourism should contribute to the maintenance or, at least, should not contradict the principles of sustainable development (inter and intra-generational equity and perpetuation of natural assets), while still meeting the needs of tourists (WTO, 1998). 2 Likewise sustainable development, sustainable tourism in the present context of society is an unattainable goal. Nevertheless, what is attainable is to develop more sustainable forms of tourism, continually moving towards sustainability (Butler, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). Many authors have even suggested that 'the local level' has become "the appropriate context level for the development of sustainable tourism" (Richards and Hall, 2000:5). The implementation of sustainable tourism at the local level is therefore crucial, and provides the basis for this study. There is a worldwide recognition of the existence of practices that if applied in the tourist destination, can make tourism more sustainable. Experience has showed that when tourism is planned (Gunn, 1994; Inskeep, 1994) and managed accordingly (Middleton and Hawkins, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999), tourism is able to provide benefits without significant negative impacts. Both planning and management, while focused on the interests of tourists, must consider the interests of the host communities (Murphy, 1985; Haywood, 1988; Gunn, 1994; Inskeep, 1994). This rationale is based on the fact that when residents of tourist destinations are highly impacted by tourism development and become dissatisfied with the experience, the quality of tourism decreases, and the industry3 is seriously affected. Murphy (1985), who sees tourism as a 'community-industry' explains this relationship: "The product and image that intermediaries package and sell is a destination experience, and as such' creates an industry that is highly dependent on the goodwill and cooperation of host communities. Many destination area attractions are public property or public goods, and the hospitality needed for a memorable visit must come from members of the public as well as employees of the industry" (p: 16). 3 Not all authors agree that tourism is an industry, however, in this thesis, to facilitate discussions tourism is referred as an industry. 3 The fact that tourism is highly dependent on the contributions and support given by residents, both in the treatment of tourists and in the preservation of the natural and human-made resources of an area, sets the rationale for community participation4 in tourism planning and development, which many authors support (Murphy, 1983; Haywood, 1988; Gunn, 1994; Inskeep, 1994; Pearce, Moscardo and Ross, 1996; McLaren, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). Community participation in tourism planning is therefore, another important component of sustainable tourism. While participation alone cannot ensure the sustainability of tourism, if applied properly, it can provide the means to achieve it. Sweeting, Bruner and Rosenfeld (1999), for example, explain that support for tourism is enhanced when the host community participates in the design and implementation of tourism plans and policies. Key information that comes from the community, such as local interests, priorities, potential conflicts, tourist attractions, for instance, can be incorporated into those plans and policies. Although community participation in tourism development is one of the major components of sustainable tourist destinations, the reality is that in many destinations, tourism planning does not even exist; the activity happens ad hoc. In this context, the participation of the community in tourism planning becomes an unachievable goal. While a constraint for the development of sustainable tourism, it could also represent an opportunity for the understanding of both impacts of tourism in the destination, and the aspiration of residents towards tourism development. Where tourism is still growing and impacts are still on a minor scale, the implementation of strategies to address these needs is more likely to succeed and less costly Participation in this study is interpreted as the active involvement of people in the decision-making process. 4 to implement. Understanding the state of the tourist industry from the eyes of the locals, could raise awareness about the problems and potentials of tourism, and hopefully, allow for mobilization of community leaders and interest parties, before the destination is severely impacted. Although this is not an active form of participation, the understanding of environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism from a local perspective, and of desired goals for its development, could prove valuable and helpful in prioritizing actions and plans for the area. In this thesis I pursue this venture. In order to accomplish this task, I conducted a case study in Tofino, Clayoquot Sound, the destination in British Columbia that has been raising the highest revenue from ecotourism (Gordon Goodman, pers. comm.) (Figure 1). This province has been known, in the last decades, for its spectacular natural settings and for its fantastic potential for the implementation of a strong ecotourism industry (MSBTC, 2000). Ecotourism is presently one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism in BC with tourism being the fastest growing industry in the province (MSBTC, 2000). This viable economic alternative to the collapse of fisheries and forestry has led many rural communities in BC to seek ecotourism development. Ecotourism, if well implemented in the province, could represent not only a boost in the economy, but also a means for environmental conservation and community development. While ecotourism in Tofino has generated overall wealth in the community, it has also caused environmental and social impacts that affect not only the life of many residents but also other communities in the region. In the long-term, they can have disastrous effects on the industry and on the destination, not mentioning the image of 'Beautiful B C , which the province relies on. 5 Figure 1: Clayoquot Sound Region, Vancouver Island, B C , study area. 6 The title of this study reveals this contradiction - (eco) tourism, since this activity is supposed to foster conservation and social/economic development. Nevertheless, the fact that ecotourism in Tofino is still growing and impacts are still at minor scales, provides an opportunity for the implementation of strategies that could help the industry and community to explore each other in a beneficial and synergistic relationship. Moreover, some community leaders have shown concerns about the impacts of ecotourism and have interest in addressing the destination's sustainability. This makes Tofino a good case study. Although Tofino is the main focus of the study, as it agglomerates a great amount of accommodations and tourism operators in the area, most ecotourism takes place over the entire Clayoquot Sound. Therefore, throughout the course of this study, Clayoquot Sound is constantly cited and used almost synonymously with Tofino. 1.2. Research Goal and Objectives This study seeks to understand the community's perception of ecotourism regarding the impacts of this industry and other aspects relevant to the sustainability of ecotourism development, in order to explore the potential for the destination to move towards long-term sustainability. The study has the following objectives: a) to provide a critical review of the concept of sustainable tourism and ecotourism, and the basic practices for implementing sustainable tourist destinations; b) to understand community's opinions about important aspects of ecotourism development and their perspectives for the industry; c) to identify issues that constraint the development of sustainable tourism; d) to suggest practical steps to move the destination towards sustainability. 7 1.3. Thesis Outline Following this introductory chapter, in Chapter 2, I present the theoretical framework of this study. This chapter provides the rationale for the adoption of the concept of sustainability in the tourism industry, and the use of specific strategies for promoting sustainable tourism at destinations. In Chapter 3,1 introduce the destination, where the study takes place. Historical and contemporaneous issues set the context for ecotourism today. In Chapter 4, the combined research approach employed in this study is presented. Chapter 5 presents the analysis of the findings. This is done in two main sections. The first concerns the analysis of the qualitative data, the second quantitative. A discussion follows the analysis. Chapter 6 concludes the study, and offers some reflections and recommendations for the development of more sustainable forms of tourism at the destination. 8 CHAPTER 2 Theoretical Background 2.1. Tourism and Sustainability 2.1.1. Setting the context For many years, tourism has been claimed as being the largest world's industry (WTO, 1999), responsible for about 10 per cent of jobs globally (Honey, 1999). In the last decades, this industry has been heavily criticized, since the concept of sustainable development stirred up discussions about the negative impacts of tourism on the destinations and to a certain extent on the whole world. Whether for altruistic reasons and/or as a marketing tool, the tourism industry had an immediate response with the concept of sustainable tourism. In the meantime, the concept of ecotourism, is quickly adopted by the tourism industry generating not only great profits for the industry, but also a new generation of travelers and a lot of misunderstandings about the real meaning of these notions. Although these concepts have been used extensively and, in many cases, indiscriminately by the media, tourism industry, tourists, scholars and practitioners, they have also increased an overall awareness in tourists and in all involved in tourism development, and caused a shift in this industry's practices (or non-practices). While one cannot assume that neither sustainable tourism, nor ecotourism have been applied in their entirety, one cannot deny that efforts have been made in making tourism more sustainable, with some degree of success in tourist destinations throughout the world. However, it is only by understanding the complexity of tourism, the need for sustainable tourism, and ultimately the advantages of implementing sustainable tourism at the destinations that host communities will be able and willing to strive for the implementation of a sustainable 9 tourist destination. This chapter therefore, intends to emphasize the rationale for sustainable tourism and ecotourism, and to cover the basics of tourism and practices involved in sustainable tourist destination. This theoretical framework allows us to better understand the main issues that constrain the implementation of sustainable tourism in Tofino and in the Clayoquot region. Also, this framework was used as the foundation of my survey and interpretation of the data. 2.1.2. The Negative Impacts of Tourism Tourism impacts are not a new issue. Concerns about the detrimental impacts of tourism have been hovering around the industry since the middle 1960s, as a result of the negative impacts of mass tourism on the destinations primarily triggered by the introduction of the tourist class in commercial airplanes. Nevertheless, tourism continued to expand throughout the world. Growing popularity of many destinations, better access to transportation systems, and growing income and time availability have caused tourist travel to become a primary consumer good of modern society (Aronsson, 2000). It also became obvious that the costs of tourism have so far outweighed its benefits. As noted by Middleton and Hawkins (1998:4), "It has many critics who believe that tourism is a primary cause of environmental pollution and degradation". At the global level, tourism has produced high levels of air pollution generated by cars and airplanes, the main forms of tourism transportation. These pollutants, such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2) are arguably contributors to global warming, ozone depletion and acid rains, which are presently of great human concern. Transportation not only cause pollution but also increases energy consumption, which in turn, results in decreased resource reserves. According to estimations 10 done by Muller (1992), "transport accounts for up to 95 per cent of all tour holiday energy requirements, depending on the distance involved" (in Aronsson, 2000:119). Being claimed as the largest world's industry, one can infer the impacts caused by tourism only in the process of reaching and leaving the destination. At the local level, tourism has had a profound effect at tourist destinations (Archer and Cooper, 1998). Where most part of the tourism product is owned and managed by outsiders, like in many places in the developing world, leakage is very likely to occur, with fewer economic benefits accruing to local residents. Many tourism jobs are also unskilled, low paid and part time, little training is offered, career prospect is limited, and staff turnover is often very high (Davidson and Maitland, 1997). In addition, the development of tourism gradually increases demand for land, generating higher land prices. Furthermore, the buying up of second houses by outsiders tends to cause inflation on prices to the level that residents can no longer afford to live there. The negative socio-cultural impacts of tourism are also far reaching and encompass direct and indirect effects (Cooper, Fletcher, Gilbert and Wanhill, 1998). Tourism is a personal service industry. One of the risks of this contact is the exploitation of cultures and customs to satisfy the visitor, at the expense of local pride and dignity and, too often, traditional life degenerates into a commercialized version of the local traditions. Social differences between host and visitors can also create the so-called 'demonstration effect' which is the tendency that hosts have to imitate tourists by aspiring their values (Davidson and Maitland, 1997; Archer and 11 Cooper, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). Increasing materialism and a sense of deprivation, resulting in a loss of authenticity and identity of traditional cultures are consequences of this effect. Possibly, the most serious and one of the least desirable consequences of the social interchange that tourism promotes is a substantial increase in scale of crime, prostitution, gambling, and drug traffic. There are still other socio-cultural impacts associated with tourism, which are related to the degree of intensity of tourism development. Tourists use the same facilities as local residents. Overcrowding of these facilities by tourists creates additional strain for the resident population and also reduces the value of the holiday experience for tourists. In extreme situations, local people may even be denied easy access to natural facilities in their own region or country, especially beaches, on behalf of tourism development (Davidson and Maitland, 1997). Tourism is a consumer industry. As such, it consumes the environmental resources of the area. Pressures exerted over these resources are the cause of the endless environmental problems associated with tourism development. Among all the natural resources which tourism is reliant one deserves closer attention: fresh water. Fresh-water has been a key issue in tourism development as dispute of this resource has been a constant subject of conflicts between locals and tourists (Hunter, 1995). Another common and significant impact according to the author is the large-scale destruction of ecosystems through vegetation removal to give room to tourism facilities such as ski and beach resorts. Marine pollution is another major problem associated with tourism. The release, dumping or spillage of oil, petrol, inorganic and organic wastes from tourist boats and ships, as well as sewage pollution, can profoundly affect marine 12 ecosystems. Water contamination also constitutes a health hazard to the local and tourist population. Other less obvious but dangerous impact is the contamination of groundwater by large amount of fertilizers and pesticides used in golf courses (Hunter, 1995). Nature oriented tourism can also have an effect on fauna. Wildlife disturbance, caused by 'wildlife watching' can affect animal behaviour to the point that induces migration of these animals. Animal feeding by inadvertent tourists can be the cause of accidents and changes in wildlife feeding habits (Sindiyo and Pertet, 1984 in Hunter, 1995). Although the emphasis here is in the negative impacts of tourism, since this has been the biggest issue of the industry, tourism is also able to provide a series of economic, socio-cultural and environmental positive impacts (David and Maitland, 1997; Archer and Cooper, 1998). It is recognizing this great potential that efforts have been made towards making tourism more sustainable. 2.1.3. Towards a Sustainable Industry Attempts to mitigate the impacts of mass tourism have been made since the 1970s by the public sector, through visitor management techniques. These initiatives however, were usually at small scale and aimed to reduce the worst impacts of tourism in the short term, and did not seek to promote any changes in the industry as a whole (Swarbrooke, 1999). In the late 1980's, however, the discussions about the negative impacts of mass tourism were heated, when the concept of sustainable development gained real meaning with the publication of the Brundtland Commission's report Our Common Future ( W C E D , 1987). The report expressed 13 general concern about the effects of human activities on the Earth resources and questioned the viability of a society that seeks modes of production and development that threatens the environment and ultimately compromises human activities. 'Sustainable development', then, is the only conceivable model of development that modern society should pursue if it is to remain viable. Development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" is therefore, sustainable (WCED, 1987:43). The sustainable development approach was further elaborated and expressed in Agenda 21, a framework position paper adopted by 182 countries at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), popularly known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The widespread debate about 'sustainable development' was also reflected in the tourism realm, enhancing the debate about the negative impacts of the industry and the threat such impacts could represent to tourism itself. The potential for tourism to be a catalyst to sustainable development in each and every destination is then raised (WTTC, 2002). Moreover, tourism, if properly developed, is seen as a conservation tool in areas with "limited capability to accomplish environmental protection and conservation objectives" (Inskeep, 1994:7). Tourism's vested interest in sustainable development is well justified by Murphy (1998:178): "It is an industry [tourism] which should be involved in sustainable development, because it 'is a resource industry, one which is dependent on nature's endowment and society's heritage' (Murphy, 1985). It sells these resources as part of its experiential product, but it also has to share the same resources with other user, including local residents. Consequently, it is in tourism's own interest to be active in the quest for sustainable development and to work in cooperation with other groups, industries and government to ensure that the integrity of its resource base survives". 14 The concept of sustainable tourism is thus born. Unknown to most people in the late 1980's, in the early 1990's, the concept had been strengthened and promoted with rapid and widespread adoption by academics and practitioners (Hunter, 1995; Butler, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). In 1996, an action plan entitled 'Agenda 21 for the Travel & Tourism Industry: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development', was launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the Earth Council to help the industry in the implementation of the concept (WTTC, 2001). Widely circulated to governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and the media, this document contains general and specific guidelines and suggested steps to be taken by industry's players. Despite being broadly accepted, the concept of sustainable tourism has raised a lot of misunderstanding (Swarbrooke, 1999). A brief overview of the evolution of the concept is needed for a better interpretation of sustainable tourism and other concepts sharing similar meanings. 2.1.4. The Evolution of the Concept of Sustainable Tourism Clarke (1997) explains that since the negative impacts of tourism at destinations were mostly attributed to mass tourism, initially, sustainable tourism was generally accepted as a small-scale type of tourism. Ecotourism, adventure, nature, wilderness, scientific, and cultural tourism, for instance, became synonymous of sustainable tourism. Likewise sustainable tourism, ecotourism became to have widespread use, therefore, later in this chapter it is explained in more details. 15 By the 1990's, the original approach of sustainable tourism was generally rejected, in recognition that many of the infrastructure, transportation and reservation systems used in small-scale type of tourism such as ecotourism, were the same as mass tourism. Moreover, small-scale types of tourism begin to be seen as having the potential to turn into mass tourism. Although more loosely interpreted, sustainable tourism was still seen as a possession of certain types of tourism and used scale as the defining criterion. Both approaches were denying the complexity and dynamic of tourism and did not offer practical solutions to the dramatic growth in international and domestic tourist arrivals. As a result of this understanding, the new focus of sustainable tourism became to make mass tourism more sustainable. Clarke (1997) points out that large-scale tourism could potentially have a series of strengths that could be used to support sustainable tourism. Large tourism players are able to exert pressure and encourage environmental quality of tourist destinations. Besides, the marketing and communication skills of large operators and the opportunities of contacting great number of people could be a means to foster an interest in sustainable tourism among the traveling public. Large players can also induce the adoption of sustainable policies through the supply chain from their power of influence over suppliers and distributors. Such an approach, however, concentrated on the physical/ecological environment, emphasizing the management of environmental systems and lacked the small-scale interpretation of sustainable tourism. The need for an approach that could deal with the large and small scales of sustainable tourism culminated in the most recent interpretation of the concept. 16 The new approach sees "sustainable tourism as a goal that all tourism, regardless of scale, must strive to achieve" (Clarke, 1997:229). In this approach, the large-scale interpretation of sustainable tourism still has the same environmental perspective, expressed as a business orientation. However, the small-scale interpretation of sustainable tourism offers a social perspective from a local or destination platform. Since both scales (large and small) move towards the ultimate goal of sustainable development, the actions of each scale are complementary to each other. As Clarke explains, large-scale tourism initiatives aiming to induce shifts in tourist behaviour that is compatible to environmentally friendly travel, is also a corresponding demand of local tourism operators. There has been also a trend of local scale operators to become involved with environmental management systems, an area previously dominated by the large-scale sector. Small-scale operators have also followed the steps of large ones by producing guidelines, best practice codes and/or destination-based projects. 2.1.5. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) Concept of Sustainable Tourism Many interpretations of the concept of sustainable tourism are found within the tourism literature. In view of that, I present the definition used by the WTO, which is presently the only intergovernmental organization that serves as a global forum for tourism policy and issues. With membership of 136 countries, this organization has been responsible for a series of publications and reports guiding both private and public sectors in the implementation of sustainable tourism at the local, regional and national levels. Sustainable tourism development is seen by the WTO as: ".. . development that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural 17 integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems" (WTO, 1998:21). The complexity and multidimensionality of what sustainable tourism encompass is well reflected in this definition. Murphy (1998) calls attention to the seven dimensions of the concept and offers a brief and comprehensive interpretation of the implications that these dimensions have in the implementation of sustainable tourism. The first dimension refers to the need for resource management since resources are limited. Such management, however, needs to take into account that tourism is an economic activity, and as so, it must be capable of generating revenue. It is then fundamental that environmental legislation conforms to this condition. Tourism has also social responsibilities and this refers not only to inter-generational equity but also to the respect for other livelihoods and traditions. The aesthetic appeal of environment and culture is here emphasized given the dependence that tourism has in the attractiveness of its products. All these four dimensions, according to the author "should be addressed within ecological parameters to sustain both the physical and human environment" (p:179). Understanding ecological processes allows tourism to be less intrusive especially in sensitive areas such as shorelines, mountains, and wetlands. The conservation of biological diversity is inherent to sustainable tourism with tourism relying on the uniqueness of its settings. Particularities in the flora and fauna can serve as a means for attracting visitors. Ultimately the preservation of life support systems is at the root of any sustainable thinking and an essential requirement for sustainable tourism. The above interpretation offered by Murphy (1998), clearly anticipates the intricacy involved in the implementation of sustainable tourism. And yet, all the seven dimensions of sustainable 18 tourism must be addressed for tourism to become truly sustainable. Nevertheless, in order to assist the industry in the implementation of the concept, the WTO has developed five principles of sustainable tourism. They are: 1. "The natural, historical, cultural and other resources for tourism are conserved for continuous use in the future, while still bringing benefits to the present society; 2. Tourism development is planned and managed so that it does not generate serious environmental or socio-cultural problems in the tourism area; 3. The overall environmental quality o f the tourism area is maintained and improved where needed; 4. A high level o f tourist satisfaction is maintained so that the tourist destinations w i l l retain their marketability and popularity; 5. The benefits o f tourism are widely spread throughout the society." ( W T O , 1998:21) 2.1.6. The Implementation of Sustainable Tourism The emphasis of this study has been on the local level. However, while the responsibilities of the tourism industry in implementing sustainable tourism at the local level cannot be neglected, the industry at the regional, national and international levels, where a great part of the tourism demand is generated, is also greatly responsible in implementing the concept. As stated by Milne (1998:38) quoting Chang et al. (1996), "Tourism must be viewed as a transaction process incorporating the exogenous forces of global markets and multinational corporations as well as the endogenous powers of local residents and entrepreneurs". Therefore issues of scale must be considered in sustainable tourism and the sustainability of tourism addressed in all of these levels, which according to the author, will be dominated by different goals and constraints (economic, ecological, and social). Butler (1998) anticipates that, the issue of scale offers constraints to the implementation of sustainable tourism, as even if the concept is well implemented at the destination level, the 19 impact caused by tourists' transportation will be felt at the global level. There is also the issue of timescale, as he explains, and in order that any form of tourism or project development can be judged sustainable or unsustainable; a long period of time is required. Therefore, claims in this respect "are at best premature and in many cases not only misleading but often wildly optimistic" (p:31). Since the attainment of sustainable tourism development for the globe is presently an impossible task, what is possible is to develop more sustainable forms of tourism, continually moving towards sustainability (Butler, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). In this respect, this has been already seen in Europe, where four different interpretations of sustainable tourism have been described by Coccossis (1996:8): "Sustainable tourism can be interpreted from a sectorial point of view according to which the basic goal is the viability of the tourism activity, more in the line of economic sustainability of tourism. ...A second interpretation is largely based on ecology as a sociocultural and political view, and strongly emphasizes the need for ecologically sustainable tourism. ... The issue can be approached from a slightly different angle as sustainable tourist development, or the need to ensure the long-term viability of the tourist activity, recognizing the need to protect certain aspects of the environment. ...Another approach is based on ecologically sustainable economic development by which tourism is a part of a strategy for sustainable development and in which sustainability is defined on the basis of the entire human/environment system. From this perspective environmental conservation is a goal of equal importance to economic efficiency and social equity." As he suggests, there is no ideal tourism strategy. Each of them reflects different priorities and has its own merits. Different cases and settings - mature or emerging destinations, in growth or decline, natural areas or developed resorts - will require particular strategies more suitable to their contexts. Swarbrooke (1999), for example, explains that in wilderness areas, sustainable tourism means maintaining ecosystem's health. In other areas, where traditional industries are in decline, sustainable tourism means focusing in providing jobs to the community, which can 20 be maintained in the future. Nevertheless, as Coccossis (1996) notes, "sectorial policies on tourism, where they exist, often reflect short-term maximization of gains, underestimating the long-term effects of such strategies"(p.lO). In this context, sustainable tourism, while focusing on the present, must look at the future and the overall aspects of a destination. An important point raised by Swarbrooke (1999), however, is that emphasis should be not only placed on strategy generation, which has been the case, but also in strategy implementation. 2.1.7. Ecotourism: Concept, Principles and Implementation Unlike sustainable tourism, the concept of ecotourism was not created by the tourism industry (Swarbrooke, 1999). However, it quickly became the catchword of the industry, which used it as a marketing tool to attract a new community of tourists and to open new, unexploited destinations (Honey, 1999). Ecotourism however, has also become the hope of many rural communities (both in developing and developed countries) who have lost access to important natural resources for their livelihoods or faced shortage of these resources (Honey, 1999). But what exactly is ecotourism? No single aspect in the sustainable tourism debate has been so controversial as the concept of ecotourism (Swarbrooke, 1999). Since ecotourism has been identified as a travel phenomenon, a number of authors have defined it, but no consensus has been reached on the meaning of this term (Eagles and Higgins, 1998:11). One of the most widely dispersed and concise definitions of ecotourism is given by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the former The Ecotourism Society (TES). The society sees ecotourism as being "responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people". A more 21 comprehensive definition of ecotourism is presented by Honey (1999:25). She argues that true ecotourism is: "travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and (usually) small scale. It helps to educate the traveler; provides fund for conservation; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and human rights". Whelan (1991:4) believes that "ecotourism, done well, can be a sustainable and relatively simple alternative" to the problems presented by traditional tourism. It has the potential to bring income and employment to local communities living in pristine areas, while enabling the conservation of the natural resources. It can involve travelers in conservation efforts by educating them about the local ecosystems. Indeed, ecotourism has been seen as a conservation tool for protected areas that often have insufficient financial resources for adequate infrastructure maintenance and are always subject to local communities' exploitation. Ecotourism therefore, according to him has the potential to restore the linkages between economics, ecology and ethics sufficiently to allow us to cope more efficiently with environmental problems. If estimations done by the World Tourism Organization, that nature-based tourists spent annually US $14 billion dollars (in Hawkins and Khan, 1998), is taken into account, one can conclude that there is great potential for ecotourism to contribute with money resources for conservation. To ensure that ecotourism development promotes sustainable development, attempts have been made by some authors such as Wallace (1992), Butler (1993), and Wight (1994) to define the 22 concept of ecotourism in terms of principles. Quoting Wight (1994) (in Swarbrooke, 1999:323), these principles are presented below: 1. " It should not degrade the resource and should be developed in an environmental sound manner; 2. It should provide long-term benefits (conservation, scientific, social, cultural, or economic) to the resource, the local community, and the industry; 3. It should provide first-hand, participatory and enlightening experiences for the tourist; 4. It should involve education among all parties: Local communities, government, non-governmental organizations, industry, and tourists (before, during, and after the trip); 5. It should encourage all-party recognition of the intrinsic values of the resource; 6. It should involve acceptance of the resource on its own terms and recognition of its limits, which involves supply-oriented management; 7. It should promote understanding and involve partnerships between players which could include government, non-governmental organizations, industry, scientists, and local residents (both before and during the trip); 8. It should promote ethical responsibilities and behavior towards the natural and cultural environment by all players; 9. Ecotourism operations should ensure that the underlying ethics of responsible environmental practices are applied not only to the external (natural and cultural) resources which attracts the tourists, but also to their internal operations". Given that the concept of ecotourism has its foundations in the concept of sustainable development, many people see it as synonymous with sustainable tourism. Ceballos-Lascurain (1998) however explains that, in fact, ecotourism fits within the larger concept of sustainable tourism. He suggests that, while sustainable tourism implies the conservation of the natural, socio-cultural, and other tourism resources for continuous use in the future, whether the activities are nature-based or not, small-scale or mass tourism, ecotourism implies that the activities are nature-based and usually small-scale. According to him, ecotourism should be seen as a sub-category of sustainable tourism. The author also recommends that ecotourism should not be equated with 'nature-based tourism" or 'adventure tourism' since these activities, although nature-based, may not be environmentally friendly or may not benefit the local people. He emphasizes that "ecotourism should only be used to describe tourism activities in a 23 natural environment when an additional, normative characterization is intended: tourism that actually encourages conservation and helps society achieve sustainable development" (Ceballos-Lascurain, 1998:8). The implementaton of ecotourism, likewise sustainable tourism, faces enormous challenges. One of the greatest is the potential of present ecotourism packages in becoming future mass tourism products. Examples are the safaris in Kenya where "the old specialist tourist has been replaced by the mass market package tourist mixing a week's safari with a week's relaxation on the coast" (Swarbrooke, 1999:321). Another challenge is the permanent appeal that 'undiscovered' (and unmanaged) destinations have to the ecotourist. Having not yet the capacity to manage the impacts caused by ecotourism, such destinations often are under threat. In addition, when such destinations begin to be well established with adequate infrastructure and receiving larger number of visitors, they lose their appeal to the ecotourist. As a result a new cycle of discoveries begin again. Honey (1999) sees that one of the greatest challenges of ecotourism is balancing equitable public-private partnerships, where part of the profits are invested in good infrastructure, national parks and reserves, public education, training, and other social programs vital for a sound ecotourism industry. More challenges, according to her, lies in the paradox of maintaining a small amount of visitors and generating substantial revenue from ecotourism. The choice for the industry, as she explains, has been either in becoming an option only for the rich, or in making it cheaper with a larger amount of tourists, which implies an overall pressure on ecosystems and in the host communities. 24 Despite the challenges, as Ceballos-Lascurain (1998) explains, ecotourism has produced concrete benefits in many rural communities and countries. In Venezuela and Costa Rica for example it has helped in the conservation of important stretches of tropical rainforests, while in the Galapagos Islands, it has supported the entire country's national park system. In South Africa, ecotourism has allowed black rural residents to improve their lives, and in Poland, the government has designated a number of conservation areas to foster conservation and tourism. In Australia and New Zealand, ecotourism is not only a large part of the tourism industry but it strongly contributes to the economy of theses countries. 2. 2. Tourism and the Destination 2.2.1. Understanding Tourism The understanding of what tourism comprises is essential in moving the industry towards sustainability. Defining tourism however has proven to be difficult and until today governments, researchers, and commentators have not yet agreed of what tourism is (Davidson and Maitland, 1997; Cooper et al, 1998). The reason lies in the complexity of tourism, which consists of " a multidimensional, multifaceted activity, which touches many lives and many different economic activities", and the fact that tourism is relatively new as a field of study (Cooper et al., 1998:8). Middleton and Hawkins (1998), suggest that the lack of agreement over tourism definitions and other terminology seriously inhibits the understanding of tourism in most parts of the world and impedes the development of sustainable strategies; Nevertheless, tourism was presented in the 1980 Manila Declaration on World Tourism, as being, in essence, "a massive interaction of people, demanding a wide range of services, facilities and inputs which generate opportunities and challenges to destinations" (in Davidson and Maitland, 1997:11). 25 It is very common to find the terms travel and tourism industry or tourism industry identifying tourism. Although tourism is usually identified as an industry1, some authors disagree. Gunn (1994:5), for example, argues that: "There is a prevailing misconception that tourism is an industry. Instead, it is an agglomeration of land development and programs designed to meet the needs of travelers. This agglomeration has environmental and social consequences as well as economic implications. It is made up of more than only a business sector. The better this is understood, the better tourism can be planned and the more successful it will be. Many of today's tourism problems can be attributed to a business-only scope of concern. It is true that the business of tourism, such as lodging, food service, and transportation represent the major economic inputs of tourism but they do not represent the cause nor whole of tourism. Organizations and agencies directed only to the businesses of tourism pursue an incomplete agenda. Those who make development and management decisions for tourism are grouped in three very important and interdependent sectors." {my emphasis) The interdependence of the three main tourism sectors as suggested by Gunn (1994), named the business sector, the non-profit sector, and the governmental sector, "is due to the simple tourism truth that the tourism product is not captured by a single business, non-profit organization, or governmental agency. The tourism product has often been defined as a satisfying visitor experience" (p.33). In order that a satisfying visitor experience is possible, however, two components must be in place: the consumer of the experience and the provider of this experience. This sets the rationale for viewing tourism as an overall system of demand and supply. 2.2.2. Tourism: a Demand and Supply System On the demand side of tourism are the tourists, whose motivations and travel purposes strongly define the market. On the supply side is a variety of resources and services, which Davidson 1 Although I agree with the perspective of the author, that tourism is not an industry and it is not made up only by the business sector, many refer to tourism as an industry. Therefore, as already explained, tourism in this study is referred as an industry to facilitate discussions. 26 and Maitland (1997) call the total tourism product. The total tourism product, which is comprised of resources (natural, built, and socio-cultural) and services (transport, hospitality, and support), is provided, developed and managed by the public, private and non profit sectors, the three very important and interdependent tourism sectors. The fact that the supply side encompasses a number of individuals, corporations, organizations and agents, that although, interdependent, as they all work towards the same goal of delivering the tourism product, most of the times act independently, offers some challenges to the process. The challenges go further as, visitors also encompass different groups of people with particular characteristics, aiming at specific products. Nevertheless, the tourism product has to match visitor's expectations, otherwise it will not be consumed. A balance between both parts of the system therefore is vital, yet it does not happen spontaneously. Tourism has proven to be a challenging industry where success depends on certain practices. Planning is an essential one. The other is proper management. Because tourism should be seen as an overall system of demand and supply, planning and management of tourism should be focused on that, as well as on some key concepts that will be addressed in the next section. 2.2.3. Tourist Destination Concepts Destinations have certain concepts related to their growth and development that have to be understood when addressing destination's sustainability, such as the destination cycle of evolution, the Irridex model, and carrying capacity. 27 a) Destination Cycle of Evolution The concept of The Tourist Area Life Cycle (TALC) was first suggested by Butler in 1980, although other authors had previously argued for similar process which tourist destinations seem to follow (Christaller, 1963; Plog, 1973; Stansfield, 1978, in Butler, 1999). Based on the highly dynamic nature of tourism, the model argues that destinations have a cycle of evolution similar to the life cycle of a product. The initial stage, exploration is followed by the stages of involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation, decline, and rejuvenation. Based in Butler (1980) and Cooper (1997), these stages are here explored by Cooper et al. (1998:115): "Exploration: small number of visitors, which volumes are constrained by the lack of access or facilities. Natural attractions, scale and culture are the main draw. Contact with local people is high. ... Involvement: Visitation increases. A tourist season and market area emerge and pressure may be placed on the public sector to provide infrastructure and institute controls. ... Development: Large numbers of visitors are attracted at peak periods perhaps equaling or exceeding the number of local inhabitants. By this stage, the organization of tourism may change as control passes out of local hands and companies from outside the area move in to provide products and facilities. These enterprises may have differing aims and time scales from those of the local community in terms of sustainable development. It is therefore at this stage that problems can occur if local decision-making structures are weak.... Consolidation: In the later stages of the cycle, the rate of increase of visitors declines though total numbers are still increasing and exceed permanent residents. The resort is now a fully fledged part of the tourism industry with an identifiable recreational business district. ... Stagnation: Peak tourist volumes have now been reached and the destination is no longer fashionable, relying upon repeat visits from more conservative travelers. Business use of the resort's extensive facilities is also sought, but generally major promotional and development efforts are needed to maintain the number of visits. Resorts in this stage often have environmental, social, and economic problems and find that competition for visits is fierce and coming from a number of well-entrenched, mature resorts. ... Decline: Visitors are now being lost to newer resorts and a smaller geographical catchment for day trips and weekend visits is common. However, resorts should not await decline as inevitable but should look to revitalize visits by seeking new markets, re-positioning the resort, or finding new uses for facilities. Rejuvenation: Destination managers may decide to rejuvenate or re-launch the destination by looking at new markets or developing the product. Introduction of new types of facility such as casinos is a common response. Here a destination should seek to protect its traditional markets, while also seeking new markets and products such as business, conference or special interest 28 tourism. ...Rejuvenation strategies are difficult to implement as managers are dealing with the built fabric of tourist destinations rather that with a consumer product." It is important to note that each destination has its own pace of moving through the cycle; some move very fast to development/consolidation, such as Cancun, while others can take, for example, up to three centuries to reach the stage of rejuvenation (Cooper et al, 1998). As explained by the authors, the T A L C is a framework of how tourist destinations and their markets evolve, and its understanding aids the development of community-based and sustainable tourism strategies at the initial stage of tourism. Middleton and Hawkins (1998), however, criticize Butler's life cycle for not taking into account several factors affecting the life cycle of destinations, which are mainly outside the control of local managers (in Swarbrooke, 1999). Limitations of this framework also relates to the fact that the approach does not consider that a single destination can have many lifecycles, and that, in practice, it is difficult to identify stages and turning points (Swarbrooke, 1999). Although the T A L C is not a straightforward managerial tool, the concept is still used as it provides practical insights of how destinations develop and the key issues that follow each stage of development (Copper et al, 1998; Swarbrooke, 1999). b) The Irridex Model The great number of tourism impacts over community residents is a well-known issue, but the residents' attitudes toward tourists may not be so well recognized. Doxey (1975) suggests that as tourism develops, the attitude of residents toward tourists changes for the worst (in Davidson and Maitland, 1997). Such attitudes have serious implications for sustainable tourism, as residents are part of the tourism product, can affect its quality, and can finally 29 compromise the sustainability of tourism. Doxey's Irridex model describes four attitudes commonly held by residents toward tourists, which change as tourism evolves (Doxey, 1975, in Davidson and Maitland, 1997:4): 1. Euphoria: Initial phase of development, visitors and investors welcome, little planning or control mechanism. 2. Apathy: Visitors taken for granted, contacts between residents and outsiders more formal (commercial), planning concerned with marketing. 3. Annoyance: Saturation point approached, residents have misgivings about tourist industry, policy makers attempt solutions via increasing infrastructure rather than limiting growth. 4. Antagonism: Irritations openly expressed, visitors seen as cause of all problems, planning now remedial but promotion increased to offset deteriorating reputation of destination. In view of that, Swarbrooke (1999) presents some strategies that i f implemented, might slow down this process or even reverse it: 1. "Ensuring that local people do not subsidize the tourist and that the tourist is seen to pay a fair price for the holiday; 2. Trying to educate both guests and hosts about each other to reduce the chances of antagonism based on ignorance or misunderstandings; 3. Involving the local community in tourism development decisions; and 4. Making sure that the volume of tourists never rises to the point where it threatens to overrun the local population" (p. 261). Assuring the 'capacity' of destinations to sustain tourism to a level where both tourists and residents can enjoy the experience is challenging and the subject that we now turn. c) Carrying Capacity The concept of carrying capacity is central to the issue of sustainability. Originated in the natural sciences, carrying capacity has been widely applied to recreation management and more recently to tourism. Mathieson and Wal l (1982, in Will iams and G i l l , 1998:232), in an 30 environmentally based perspective, define it as "the maximum number of people who can use a site without an unacceptable alteration in the physical environment and without an unacceptable decline in the quality of experience gained by visitors". In tourism, carrying capacity has been approached from several perspectives. Cooper et al. (1998) describe four types of tourism carrying capacity: 1. "Physical: This relates to the amount of suitable land available for facilities, and also includes the finite capacity of the facilities (such as car-parking spaces, covers in restaurants, or bed spaces in accommodation). It is the most straightforward of all capacity measures, and can be used for planning and management control (by, say, limiting car-parking spaces in sensitive sites). 2. Psychological: The psychological (or perceptual) capacity of a site is exceeded when a visitor's experience is significantly impaired. Of course, some people are crowd tolerant and enjoy busy places, while others shun them Psychological capacity is therefore a very individual concept and difficult to influence by management and planning, although landscaping can be used to reduce the impression of crowding. 3. Biological: The biological capacity of a site is exceeded when environmental damage or disturbance is unacceptable. This can relate to both flora and fauna, for example, at picnic sites, along paths, or in dune eco-systems. More research has examined the capacity thresholds of vegetation than has looked at the tolerance of animals and birds to tourism (at say whale-watching locations). It is also important to consider the total ecosystem rather than individual elements. 4. Social: The concept of social carrying capacity is derived from ideas of community-based tourism planning and sustainability. It attempts to define levels of development which are acceptable to the host community residents and businesses and may use techniques that attempt to gauge residents' threshold limits to acceptable change (LAC), (p: 110). Simple in its initial application in the field of wildlife management, the application of the concept in tourism becomes a complex task (Blank, 1989; Wight, 1998; Williams and Gil l , 1998). The reason lies in that carrying capacity "cannot deal with the complexity and diversity of issues associated with tourism and recreation" (Wight, 1998:78, based on O'Reilly, 1986; McCool, 1991; Wight, 1994). At the core is the fact that the majority of tourism carrying capacity conflicts revolve around value questions and not around resource questions (Shelby 31 and Heberlein, 1984, in Wight, 1998). These values change over time, whether tourists' or residents' preferences change, whether local development goals or local industry's objectives change, etc. Nevertheless, Williams and Gill (1998), corroborated by Lindberg and McCool (1998), suggest that the application of the concept in a slightly different perspective can offer better advantages in tourism management: "...dimensions of carrying capacity research that focus on establishing desired conditions or outcomes appear to have practical value for the management of tourism. This is particular the case if they can be incorporated into broader planning process associated with sustainable development and growth management. When applied within planning systems which focus on managing for desirable and acceptable change, some carrying capacity processes offer the potential of guiding the degree, rate and direction of change that occurs. Knowledge of the consequences of exceeding desired impacts can be used to direct management policies and practices in keeping with more sustainable tourism." {my emphasis, p.235). As indicated by the authors, the establishment of carrying capacity in a system management context is not determined by the resource, but " rather it is a function of the management goals and objectives established by the community"(p.237). The authors provide a series of indicators for community-based management of tourism impacts. This seems to be a practical application of collaboration in tourism planning as establishing objectives in the community require that several groups with quite often diverse views and power work together. One of the best applications of the concept of carrying capacity, according to William and Gill (1998), is its incorporation into comprehensive planning agendas of tourist destinations: "Research in well-established tourism destinations suggests that growth management planning programs can be effective management tools in addressing tourism impact issues. However, there appear to be few comprehensive applications of these approaches. ... [Nevertheless], both Aspen/Pitkin County, Colorado in the United States and Whistler, British Columbia in Canada exhibit what may be considered 'state of the art' growth management planning in North American tourism settings."(p.239). 32 The fact that the focus of the former Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture (MSBTC) in the province of British Columbia has been in dealing with carrying capacity issues through growth management strategies (Gordon Goodman, pers. comm.), allied with the successful example of Whistler, offer great opportunity for tourists destinations in British Columbia, such as Tofino, to adopt the approach. 2.3. Planning Sustainable Tourism The notion that tourism is inherently destructive is a result of the great amount of negative social and environmental impacts of the activity on host communities and societies. "Tourism can enrich people's lives, can expand an economy, can be sensitive and protective of environments, and can be integrated into a community with minimum impact" when the activity is planned accordingly (Gunn, 1999:4). Inskeep (1994:3) corroborates this statement and goes further explaining that, where tourism is new, planning can give the necessary guidance for its development. Where tourism already exists, planning is often necessary to revitalize the sector and maintain its long-term sustainability. Since tourism requires special organization and leadership, for effective tourism planning at the destination level, a special tourism council is frequently needed (Gunn, 1994). He explains this issue: "the traditional functions of a chamber of commerce or tourism department may be too narrow. These organizations usually focus only on tourism promotion. Their scope is usually restricted to within the city limits. They also lack representation from needed constituency groups."(p.279). 33 This special council, as he points out, should have representatives of the government, tourists businesses, civic groups, non-profit organizations, planners and environmentalists. Braddon (1982) lists a series of characteristics of what constitutes effective tourism planning (in Davidson and Maitland, 1997:6): 1. " The planning process needs to take account of very many factors ranging from topography to the economy and from tourists' needs to residents' needs. It is subject to a great many external influences which both modify the process and the outcome - the implementation of the plan. 2. Tourism is a social, economic and environment activity. Its planning has to operate at various levels: nationally, regionally, locally. 3. Tourism planning must take account of conservation of the physical environment ... The spatial planning of tourism can be very effective in this regard. 4. Ideally, tourism planning should be fully integrated with all socio-economic activities and at all levels of involvement. This would ensure the optimal use of tourism resources with least social, economic and environmental costs..." Inskeep (1994) corroborates that when he explains that being tourism an inter-related system of demand and supply, "the system will function much more effectively and bring the desired benefits if it is planned in an integrated manner, with coordinated development of all of the components of the system" (p.6). Gunn (1994) explains that because the system is difficult to manage, as "it is owned, developed and managed by thousands of separate actors within the three developer sectors", it is important to understand the 'complexity of ownership and control' (p:43). He states that: " No owner or manager has complete control of his own destiny. But, the more each one learns about the others, the more successful he can be in his own enterprise no matter whether it is run by commercial business, non- profit organization, or government. Tourism cannot be planned without understanding the interrelationships among the several parts of the supply side, especially as they relate to market demand" (p:33). 34 Likewise Braddon (1982), Inskeep (1994) emphasizes the need for tourism to be integrated not only within the system itself, but also "into the overall development policies, plans and patterns of a country or region" (p.6). Moreover, for effective tourism planning, the author recommends that tourism should be firstly planned at the national and regional levels, and smaller scales of tourism planning should be prepared within the framework of those plans. One of the issues that arises in local destinations is that many traditional official community plans do not take tourism into consideration even though tourism is affected by those plans and vice versa (Gunn, 1994). Very frequently, city officials and city plans do not see the planning for attractions, services, transportation, information, and promotion as their role (Gunn, 1994). Nevertheless as Dredge and Moore (1992, in Gunn, 1994:261) conclude, "town planners have not only great opportunity but responsibilities to incorporate vision, guidelines, and specific plans for tourism into their traditional local roles". Because tourism planning is a complex process as tourism itself, there is a need for an approach to tourism planning that can deal with such peculiarity (Haywood, 1988; Inskeep, 1994; Reed, 1999). Inskeep (1994:6) explains this approach: "The planning of tourism, ... should also be recognized as a continuous and flexible process. Within the framework of the policy and plan recommendations, there must be flexibility to allow for adapting to changing circumstances. Planning that is too rigid may not allow development to be responsive to changes. ...Even though allowed to be flexible, the basic objectives of the plan should not be abrogated although the specific development patterns may be changed. ... Planning for tourism development should make recommendations that are imaginative and innovative, but they must also be feasible to implement." 35 Haywood (1988), likewise Murphy (1985) who also sees tourism as a community-industry, explains that not only should tourism planning be a continuous and flexible process, but also responsible and responsive to the local community. As he explains: "Tourism planners are now being asked to be more responsive to a broader set of economic and social needs. If this is to occur local governments should recognize that they will have to become more responsible to the local citizens whose lives and communities may be affected by tourism. .. .While the complexity of the operating environment and the intensity of the rhetoric demanding change in the way tourism is planned at the community level, differs from one region to another, the underlying theme is a call to include a greater degree of public participation"(p.l05). 2.3.1. Community Participation in Tourism Planning Community participation in the tourism planning process is generally accepted as being "the involvement of individuals within a tourism-oriented community in the decision-making and implementation process with regard to major manifestations of political and socioeconomic activities" (Pearce, Moscardo and Ross, 1996:181). According to Haywood (1988:106), this involvement should include "all relevant and interest parties (local government officials, local citizens, architects, developers, business people, and planners) in such a way that decision-making is shared". The call for community participation in tourism planning is based on the fact that the negative effects of tourism development decreases not only the quality of life of the community, but also the experience of tourists (Marien and Pizam, 1997). Mathieson and Wall (1982) explain that whenever these negative impacts surpass the community's level of tolerance, the industry is doomed to decline and self-destruct (in Haywood, 1988). Murphy (1985:153) well explains this issue: 36 "Tourism, like no other industry relies on the goodwill and cooperation of local people because they are part of its product. Where development and planning does not fit in with the local aspirations and capacities, resistance and hostility can raise the cost of business or destroy the industry's potential altogether" (my emphasis). Murphy (1983) expresses the relevance of seeing tourism as a community- industry, meaning that "tourism must attract visitors and remain competitive if it is to succeed in the world market, but at the same time it extends decision-making beyond the business sector to consider the long-term interests of the host community on which the industry is so dependent" (p. 105). Haywood (1988:108) lists a series of benefits of community tourism planning: 1. An opportunity to improve the management of the community's tourism life cycle; 2. An improved understanding of the relevant elements in the community having an impact on tourism; 3. Better anticipation of the internal and external challenges to tourism; 4. A chance to ameliorate detrimental impacts, such as congestion; and 5. A superior opportunity to accommodate the full range of publics that may be affected by tourism." Despite the call for community participation in tourism planning, the well-known diffuse and fragmented nature of tourism development offers constraints to this process. The existence of extensive bureaucratic organizations linked with tourism at all levels, the lack of tourism planning or comprehensive planning, and the problem of public participation, which is viewed as costly and unnecessary, among others, act as obstacles to full representation in the planning process (Haywood, 1988). Besides, in any discussion on community involvement in tourism development, the question of power and influence becomes a dominant consideration (Reed, 1999). Ways of overcoming these problems have been sought and presently trends in tourism planning have been towards collaborative arrangements or partnerships. Murphy (1988), based 37 in examples of effective cooperation in British Columbia, suggests that communities and the tourism industry are able to "work together to form mutually beneficial partnerships" (p.96). 2.3.2. Collaboration in Tourism Planning The need for increased collaboration in tourism planning has been recognized by many researchers (Keogh, 1990; Hunt,1991; Long, 1991; Jamal and Getz, 1995; Marsh and Henshall 1987, in Sautter and Leisen, 1999). Collaboration in the context of community-based tourism is interpreted by Jamal and Getz (1995:188) as "a process of joint decision-making among autonomous, key stakeholders of an inter-organizational, community tourism domain to resolve planning problems of the domain and/or to manage issues related to the planning and development of the domain". Donaldson and Preston (1995) present two key concepts of stakeholders (in Sautter and Leisen, 1999:314): "[First], Stakeholders are persons or groups with legitimate interests in procedural and/or substantive aspects of corporate activity. Stakeholders are identified by their interests in the corporation, whether the corporation has any corresponding functional interest in them. [Second], The interests of all stakeholders are of intrinsic value. That is, each group of stakeholders merits consideration for its own sake and not merely because of its ability to further the interests of some other group, such as the shareowner". Intrinsic characteristics of tourism settings make collaboration in decision-making highly recommended. Jamal and Getz (1995) explain that change, uncertainty, complexity, and conflict are not only attributes of environmental management situations but of tourism settings as well, especially emergent ones. The authors describe the community tourism planning domain as "underorganized systems (presence of numerous organizations, lack a well-defined inter-organizational process)" (p:195). In addition, Reed (1999) indicates that individuals and 38 organizations involved in tourism development often act independently as they carry their own agendas, values, and strategies. a) Benefits of Collaboration There are many potential benefits of collaboration among stakeholders of a tourist destination. Gray (1989) states that collaboration can be effective, e.g., in solving conflicts when they arise or in advancing a shared vision (in Jamal and Getz, 1995). Bramwell and Sharman (1999) list a series of justifications for collaboration in tourism planning from diverse scholars. First, collaboration, in the long term, has the potential to avoid the cost of solving hostile conflicts among stakeholders. Second, relations based in collaboration may be more politically correct. In addition, collaboration helps the coordination of policies and actions, and promotes consideration of the intrinsic impacts of tourism development. Further, the process of sharing ideas among stakeholders allows for the creation of innovative policies. To finalize, the policies that are designed by shared decision promote "shared ownership" among stakeholders, allowing for joint implementation of resulting policies. b) Barriers to Collaboration Collaboration is only possible when stakeholders recognize the advantages of working together (Gray, 1989, in Jamal and Getz, 1995). Bramwell and Sharman (1999) explain that the influence of certain stakeholders may be restricted due to "resource allocations, policy ideas, and institutional practices embedded within society" (p.393). The issue of unequal power among stakeholders is also important. Hall (1994:52), for example, suggests that "power governs the interaction of individuals, organizations and agencies influencing, or trying to 39 influence, the formulation of tourism policy and the manner in which it is implemented" (in Bramwell and Sharman 1999:393). Blank (1989) explains that community players, such as political leaders, the dominant industry, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, residents, environmentalists, and public agencies at all levels, can offer resistance to build an authentic community tourism product (in Reed 1997:568). Reed (1997) corroborates this issue and states that "...power relations may alter the outcome of collaborative efforts or even preclude collaborative action" (p:567). Although power can be a constraint for community-based tourism planning, there is a belief that it could be managed and balanced (Reed 1997). For that, certain conditions should be considered. c) Conditions for Collaboration in Tourism Destinations Bramwell and Sharman (1999), based on the literature on inter-organizational collaboration, communicative approaches, and citizen participation, develop a framework to explore the fundamental conditions for collaborative policy-making in tourism destinations. The authors identify three sets of issues to consider: the scope of the collaboration, the intensity of collaboration and the degree to which consensus emerges. The work of the authors and others are discussed further under these set of issues. The scope of collaboration In assuming that collaborative tourism planning is a process built from diverse views, there is a clear need to include a wide range of representatives in the planning process. Waddock (1989 in Jamal and Getz, 1995:) suggests three essential conditions for organizations to engage in collaborative efforts: "recognition of interdependence, perceptions that significant benefit will 40 result from the collaboration, and recognition of importance of the issue (s)". Penrose (1996) points out that "all interested and affected parties must be allowed to participate. Timely notification of opportunities to participate must be given and provision made to add parties after negotiations begin. Government representation is critical" (in Williams, Penrose and Hawkes, 1998:866). The identification of legitimate stakeholders however, may be subject to controversy in tourism emergent settings. The lack of institutions supporting tourism in these localities, could favor conventional power holders to determine who should participate in decision-making (Reed, 1997). Another important point raised by Bramwell and Sharman (1999) relates to the difficulty to assess the 'ideal" balance among stakeholders with power and those with little power. There is also the problem that some stakeholders seek collaboration only with those who have compatible objectives and resources, and that collaborative arrangements become just conversations among local elites. Reed (1997) in her analysis of a community-based tourism planning in Squamish-BC shows that despite efforts of some stakeholders, local elites were able to retain their influence. The presence of a facilitator to promote active and balanced participation can be crucial in the participatory planning arena. Jamal and Getz (1995:198) state that "A convener is required to initiate and facilitate community-based tourism collaboration. The convener should have the following characteristics: legitimacy, expertise, resources, plus authority, and may be derived from a government agency, an industry firm, or group such as the local Chamber of Commerce, or the local tourist organization (e.g., convention and visitors bureau)". Friedmann (1992) believes that a facilitator from outside of the community may be perceived to have fewer vested interests (in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). 41 Also important is that the stakeholder(s) responsible for implementation be part of the process. Gray (1989) explains, "Acceptance of any solution is enhanced when those who must abide by it are included in designing the solution" (in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999:396). Another issue raised by him refers to the fact that group representation can affect collaboration if individuals representing the groups have not decision-making authority for their organization. Penrose (1996) corroborated this by saying "sector representatives must be committed, interest-based, empowered, maintain communication with constituents, and use their resources efficiently. Government representatives must exhibit all traits of sector representatives and be neutral, available, skilled and knowledgeable" (in Williams et al, 1998:866). A great deal of attention should be given to the need for stakeholders to understand the purpose of collaboration, whether is simply for information exchange or to develop policies. They also need to be aware of what realistically can be delivered through collaboration. As posed by Penrose (1996), "Appropriateness of negotiation should be assessed before negotiation begin" (in Williams et al, 1998:866). Resources for the planning process and its implementation have to be realistically set as well, to avoid further disappointments and distrust with the process. Jamal and Getz (1995:197) explain "Collaboration for community-based tourism planning will require a perception that decisions arrived at will be implemented (i.e., the process has legitimacy and power to either make or strongly influence the planning decisions)". Another relevant point refers to the appropriateness of participation techniques related to group size. Some participatory techniques require a small group and a range of interest represented - focus groups, decision conferencing - while others, are more compatible with the involvement of many individuals (Cortese, 1996). 42 The intensity of collaboration Collaboration is attached to innovative ways of thinking. Participants should be open and receptive to new proposal styles (Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). Dominant elites however' could act as constrainers. Hall (1995) explains that often the level of public participation is more a form of tokenism since governments, have their agendas already prescribed (in Bradwell and Sharman, 1999). Therefore, it is fundamental that power holders be willing to redesign their agendas, if necessary, and to adapt to new circumstances. At the same time, 'less powerful' participants have to 'learn' how to exert their power. Collaboration is also dependent on the engagement of stakeholders in the process. Several researches (Murphy, 1983; Haywood, 1988; Inskeep, 1991; Brandon, 1993) suggest that participation should begin from the start of the planning process. Failure to involve stakeholders in the design phase, for instance, yields to difficulties during the implementation phase. The involvement of stakeholders in decision-making is also dependent of the techniques applied at the meetings. Marien and Pizam (1997) advise that techniques should be chosen according to the participation objectives. Techniques that involve information-giving (displays or newsletters) or opinion-collecting (interviews or questionnaires), do not either promote direct debate among stakeholders or consensus-building. Simmons (1994, p:100) extends this view when he argues that in collaborative tourism planning, "No technique can fulfill alone all the requirements of participation and a 'staged approach' using a variety of techniques, will be required" (in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). 43 Collaboration also requires that participants exercise tolerance, respect, confidence and trust with each other. If the dialogue reflects openness and honesty, collaboration is favored. Daniels and Walker (1996, in Reed 1999) suggest that effective public participation depends on communication competence and offer collaborative learning as an approach, one that is focused on group learning about each other. Reed (1999) supports this claim explaining that a learning component in collaboration is critical in emerging tourism settings. She believes that learning about the system as well as the group dynamics yield to a better understanding on how to address unequal distribution of power. Haywood (1988) describes tourism planning and public participation in planning as a process of trial and error, "It is incremental, experimental, managed shared and based on recent information" (p: 112). Healey (1997) suggests that policies designed by collaborative alliances are likely to have more support if they are built from the local knowledge of participants (in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). Degree to which Consensus Emerges Consensus in collaborative policy-making is a desirable outcome. Consensus can be interpreted in many ways, but commonly it is referred to a situation where all parties agree to the decision (Williams et al., 1998). Different from voting process, consensus building aims to produce win-win solutions. Cormick (1989) believes that in consensus building, power imbalances among parties can be reduced or eliminated since each party has a veto over the decision (in Williams et al., 1998). This ideal, however, is not always achieved. Several factors can affect consensus-based processes. According to the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (BCRTEE 1991), the success of consensus based-processes depend on three factors; " ...the willingness of all parties to reach decisions by consensus, the 44 perception of all parties that conventional decision-making routes are less acceptable, and the political will on the part of the government to see the process through the end" (in Williams et al, 1998:864). There is also the need that stakeholders have realistic expectations of consensus building and be aware and accept that it may be impossible for them to agree on every aspect of the decisions. Sometimes to reach a partial consensus can be a more realistic goal. However, when stakeholders are focused in finding common ground rather than focusing on contentious issues consensus is more likely to emerge (Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). The consensus process also allows stakeholders to have a sense or ownership over the decisions (Healey, 1997, in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). With the sense of ownership comes support for the implementation of the resulting decisions and ultimately, the achievement of an efficient decision. Gray (1989) also argues that stakeholders may support the overall policy direction developed by consensus even if it is not their most preferable solution (in Bramwell and Sharman, 1999). Collaboration in tourism planning as seen above is not a simple task and requires that these set of conditions is applied throughout the whole process and pursued not only by planners and managers of tourism, but stakeholders as well. Moreover, as explained by Haywood (1988), "This may require that leadership and management of tourism be vested in an individual or group of people who can sustain the necessary effort" (p. 118), which according to Gunn, (1994) should be at the hands of a special tourism council. 45 A very important point raised by Swarbrooke (1999) is the fact that most conventional thinking in sustainable tourism concentrates on the idea of communities influencing public tourism planning as discussed above. Nevertheless, the author believes that communities can also apply a 'more radical approach' and gain influence not only through the public sector but also directly in the private sector. He proposes that "Instead of relying in public sector regulation of the private sector tourism industry, communities should set out to be more pro-active, by becoming active players in the tourism market"(p:128). In Malasya, host communities have been suggested to be actively involved in the market by organizing consortia of local Chambers of Commerce, cooperatives, which have equity shares in new development and developing tourism via nonprofit making trust companies. In this case, organizations could play a role in "visitor attractions - heritage centers, retail complexes and restaurant, ground handlers organizing itineraries for inbound tourists and local transport systems" (Swarbrooke, 1999:128). 2.4. Managing Tourism for Sustainability Since tourism is a system of demand and supply, tourism management must cover both (Middleton and Hawkins, 1998). Middleton (1994) summarizes tourism management as: "Strategies and action programmes using co-ordinating available techniques to control and influence tourism supply and visitor demand in order to achieve defined policy goals for the local destination" (in Middleton and Hawkins, 1998:84). In practice, according to the authors, it means using procedures to influence five primary variables, which are central in addressing tourism sustainability: 46 "tourism management focuses on ways and means to influence visitor's choice of location, access, timing, and product provision and to develop local understanding and knowledge of tourism. It is concerned with judgements of an appropriate balance between demand and supply. It is traditionally problem oriented but it could and should be opportunity and solution focused" {my emphasis) (p.85). Control and influence of supply (tourism products) and demand (tourists) requires the use of resource constraints and market forces, which are under the domain of both the public and private sectors. Resource constraints, which relate to the supply side of tourism, involve: regulation, and control. These are largely done by the public sector. On the other hand, market forces, which have a demand orientation, involve: knowledge of visitors, promotion and distribution of visitor products, provision of information and price, and are mainly in the hands of the private sector (Middleton and Hawkins, 1998). Traditionally, tourism has had a supply-side management orientation as public sector played the major role in tourism development. The main criticism of a supply-side orientation, however, is that it attempts to match visitors, who have many other options, with the resource base, not considering new trends in modern tourism, characterized by strong competition and high customer expectation. Therefore, since the beginning of the 1990's, this tradition has been broken, and the trend now is for tourism to have a demand-side orientation. Typically associated with the private sector, a demand-side orientation is customer-focused, and seeks the understanding of the characteristics of the visitor with which an organization is interested to do business. Many, however, criticize a commercial orientation of tourism, fearing that environmental issues may not be considered, at least, in the short-term. Middleton and 47 Hawkins (1998), however, argue that a marketing perspective is able to provide the best possible management process for achieving sustainability at the destination and explain: "A marketing perspective is essentially and overall management orientation reflecting corporate attitudes that, in the case of travel and tourism, must balance the interests of shareholders/owners with the long-run environmental interests of a destination and at the same time meet the demands and expectations of customers" (p. 8) In managing tourism within a marketing perspective, as expressed above, a balance must be sought. Therefore, the development of partnerships to achieve synergy between the public and private sectors is essential., , 2.4.1. Partnerships for Sustainability "Partnership for sustainability means jointly negotiated and agreed approaches to tourism management in which the goals are mutually defined and endorsed, and the techniques designed to achieve matching of demand and supply are jointly operated" (Middleton and Hawkins, 1998:90). Partnerships are extremely important in sustainable tourism, as each of the sectors involved in the management of tourism at the destination, is equipped with different tools to achieve sustainability. Five tools are in the hands of the public sector, with four of them are focused on the supply side. They encompass: land-use regulation, building regulation, provision of infrastructure (especially access), investments incentives and fiscal control, and influence over demand (price, control by licensing, marketing and information). In theory, as suggested by Middleton and Hawkins (1998), the use of these five management tools would be sufficient to achieve sustainability at the destination, as they directly and indirectly influence demand. In 48 practice, however, this sector lacks the necessary knowledge to use and coordinate these available tools. The reason lies in that for effective visitor management, selected visitor groups must be targeted, since tourism boards and private sector are not able to have direct influence on a great part of the total volume of visitors. Therefore, management based on the principle of selective influence and control, requires adequate information for targeting particular visitor groups and market segments and, for monitoring the results achieved. Management based simply on judgement and local knowledge will not allow for effective use of the principle. Information is, in this way, a key issue in sustainable tourism. Although local governments and public agencies have access to information, their information reflects a 'mass market', as they deal only with aggregates of tourism. Middleton and Hawkins (1998:109) explain that: "...although received wisdom has it that the public sector is the proper source for the statistics of tourism, the commercial sectors in tourism are far ahead of the public sector in knowledge of customers. Private sector companies posses, therefore, the fundamental requirement for influencing demand in sustainable ways - adequate, up-to-date information for targeting, using relevant management techniques, and monitoring achievement". From the above, one can anticipate the power that lies in the hands of the private sector. Their power however is not limited to that. Like the public sector, the private sector is equipped with five equally powerful management tools. Known as the 'marketing mix' (product, price, promotion, place (or distribution)), with the addition of 'people', which refers to the tourism 49 employees who can influence tourist behaviour, these tools are available to the three distinct groups in the private sector whose decisions affect tourist destinations. The first group is locally based and provides accommodation, attraction, transport and other visitor services and facilities. The second group, although not locally based, is involved in marketing the destination such as transport operators, tour-operators and travel agents. The third, involves developers, banks, and other investing agencies. Although commercial organizations do not have a reputation of being environmentally friendly, and the amount tourism impacts in destinations are the best proof of this statement, potentially, these organizations can play the most powerful role in sustainable tourism (Middleton and Hawkins, 1998). Many health and safety regulations, for example, can be applied to business enterprises, as well as the implementation of environmental management systems for energy efficiency, waste treatment and re-use and recycling. There are many other tools such as eco-labelling (Lee, 2001) which can foster the development of sustainable products and practices at destinations. Although in the long-term, the application of these practices in the private sector will benefit the destination as a whole, in the short-term in fact, can reduce operational costs and used as a marketing tool. Nevertheless, as Middleton and Hawkins (1998:128): "Unless effective regulatory process and working partnerships between public and private sector are established at a destination, laissez-faire industry-led commercial practices are never likely to produce sustainable tourism at destinations. The industry/environment symbiosis is not self-generating; it needs direction. It can only be achieved on collaborative basis". Although the role of the non-profit sector in tourism management is not stressed, this sector can play an important role in sustainable tourism in a variety of ways. Some groups literally manage visitor attractions while others play indirect roles. They encompass public pressure 50 groups, concerned with environmental and social causes, private pressure groups, lobbying on behalf of the tourism industry, professional bodies involved with eco-labelling, among others (Swarbrooke, 1999). 51 C H A P T E R 3 3. The Ecotourist Mecca 3.1. Locating Tofino Tofino is a little town located in the central west part of Clayoquot Sound, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Figure 2, 3 and 4). Forty kilometers away sits Ucluelet, a traditional logging and fishing community no longer able to log or fish, has also turned to tourism (Klein, 1999). Between the two communities, lies the Long Beach Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which is the most accessible and developed component of the Park and an important element in tourism development in the area. Tofino and the Long Beach Unit are inside the boundaries of the Clayoquot Sound Region, while Ucluelet belongs to the Barkley Sound. Tofino and Ucluelet are the only non-native communities in the area. The District of Tofino, on the northern part of the Esowista Peninsula, is partially protected from the open ocean by Vargas and Wickaninnish islands and other small islands. This geographical condition allows Tofino to have calmer waters along the west coast of the peninsula, while the east coast, totally protected from the Pacific Ocean, is a natural harbor. This natural condition, combined with the abundance of fishing in the area, favored the development of a prosperous and busy harbor in the past (Guppy, 1997). Today, although the activities have changed, the harbor is still the busiest place in town. The privileges of this little town do not stop here. Tofino sits in the heart of Clayoquot Sound, a blend of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems orchestrated by contrasts, extraordinary scenery and wildlife abundance. Moreover, Meares Island, the second largest island of Clayoquot 52 Sound, with 95 percent of its prehistoric rain forest unaltered and holding the largest trees in Canada, adds to the vista of Tofino. The town is also the official terminus of the Pacific Trans-Canada Highway. If one cannot assume that 'the end of the road' status has been drawing more tourists to the area, it is not difficult to watch them taking pictures of the sign, in the First Street Dock. With these particulars, Tofino flourished "from isolated fishing village, to commercial logging center, to ecotourist Mecca" (Payton and Herger, 1997:53). To understand why this little town of 11.05 square miles (18 km2) and approximately 1,500 residents ( A P v A / K P M G and Williams, 2000) has been attracting, in the last decades, passionate residents and millions of visitors from all over the world, we have to immerse ourselves in the richness and exuberance of the Clayoquot Sound region. 3.2. Unfolding Clayoquot Sound Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve represent only a small part of Clayoquot Sound. Protected areas, Indian reserves, and Crown Land, all still in a relatively pristine state, make up the greater part of the Clayoquot Sound region. The area of 350,000 hectares (including the water) encloses snowcapped green mountains and an explosion of marine and terrestrial wildlife that can be viewed from the peaceful waters of the many inlets that characterize the region. Not far away, large waves of the unpredictable Pacific impose their temper on the shore leaving magnificent impressions on the black rocks and white sandy beaches. Clayoquot Sound is an amazing region, full of natural phenomena, life, and enchanting landscapes. Among the extraordinary things offered in the region is the opportunity to meet the most threatened ecosystem in the planet: the virginal temperate coastal rainforest (Browne* a/., 1992). 53 5 4 Figure 4: Sunset in the open Pacific Ocean (Photo: Annemarie De Andrade). 55 Temperate Coastal Rainforests Predominantly evergreen and dependent on high rainfall - at least 1,000 mm/year distributed over a minimum of 100 days - the temperate coastal rain forests originally covered about, 0.2 percent of the continental land, primarily in areas of North America, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway (Dorst and Young, 1990). Today, only half of these forests still stand. Of the remaining, half is in North America with the majority occurring in British Columbia (Schoonmaker, von Hagen and Wolf, 1997). Stretching from northern California to Kodiak Island, in Alaska, the temperate coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, also known as the 'old-growth forests', is an ancient ecosystem whose form was achieved 2,000 to 3,000 years ago (Dorst and Young, 1990). In the Clayoquot Sound Region however, these forests gain one of their highest expressions of lush and productivity (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). Rich and diverse, these forests hold a treasure in time and space. Clayoquot Sound is the home of some of the largest and ancient trees in the world. In this environment, Western Red cedar trees, along with Western Hemlock and Sitka spruce can commonly reach 60 to 75 m (200-250 ft) in height, with trunks of more than 3 m (10 ft) in diameter (Alaback and Pojar, 1997). The life span of the trees range from 300 to 800 years, but some can be up to 1,500 years old or more (Dorst and Young, 1990). In fact, the forests of Meares Island, which are seen from Tofino. and whose landscape represents one of the trademarks of this town, sustain "the largest known living cedar tree in Canada" (George, Dorst, Friends of Clayoquot Sound & Western Canada Wilderness Committee, 1985:11). With 56 three quarters of the forests still intact, Clayoquot Sound holds one of the largest remaining contiguous tracts of temperate coastal rainforests in the world and contains the majority of the intact rainforest valleys on Vancouver Island (Langer, 1999). Attempts to preserve these forests have led Clayoquot Sound to stage the largest non-violent protest in Canadian history and the largest mass trial in the western world (Maclsaac and Champagne, 1994). The luxury of these forests is associated with the mild temperature of the region, a high frequency of clouds, fog, and precipitation (Alaback and Pojar, 1997) and the unparalleled interaction between the marine, estuarine, and terrestrial components (Schoonmaker et al., 1997). In this unique environment, land and sea interact in a symbiotic relationship allowing these forests to maintain one of the highest levels of diversity and biomass productivity of all the ecosystems of the temperate zone (Schoonmaker et al., 1997). The apex of this interaction can be seen, for instance, in the dependence of the seven species of Pacific salmon on the coastal rain forests and, in a harmonious cycle, the dependence that these forests have on the fish. The forest provides shelter for their initial life cycle and, in some cases, their whole life. For the species that migrate to the ocean, after a period that varies from one to four years, they return to spawn and die in the forests, enriching the water of rivers, the life of mammals and birds that feed on their carcasses (Nehlsen and Lichatowich, 1997). Salmon literally supply nutrients to the trees, as well as the urine of bears, as recent research indicates (Hilderbrand et al, inPaone, 1999). The richness of these forests is accompanied by a great number of vertebrate species, greater than in any other temperate region in the planet (Bunnel and Chan-McLeod, 1997). 57 Representing only 0.4 percent of the area of the province, Clayoquot Sound is either a permanent or a temporary home for approximately 57 percent of the native terrestrial vertebrate species of the province (Bunnel and Chan-McLeod, 1997). The marine mammal fauna is also abundant, with at least twenty species occurring in the nearshore environment. Among them are the northern elephant seal, gray whale, and the harbor porpoise (Bunnel and Chan-McLeod, 1997). Killer whales are also spotted in the inlets, two to three times a year, when they come in pursuit of seals and sea lions, a more frequent visitor of these waters (George et al., 1985). Thousands of shorebirds also gather every year in the rich mudflats of Tofino, which, with the exception of the Fraser delta, attracts the greatest number of shorebirds in BC (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). Home of all these dwellers, Clayoquot Sound is also the home of the Nuu-Chah-nulth people. For more than 3,000 years the 'salmon and cedar people' have inhabited the region living a prosperous life based on the careful management of the natural resources of the area. The understanding of seasonal cycles and the great respect for nature allowed the Nuu-chah-nulth to utilize the area for all this time without affecting nature's balance (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). Nowadays, descendants of these people, still with the memory of their ancestors, strive to gain sovereignty in their traditional territory (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). Three First Nation communities, comprising half of the population of Clayoquot Sound, share the area with the community of Tofino. The Tla-oqui-aht, where the name of the area comes from, on the village of Opisaht, on Meares Island; the Ahousaht, on Flores Islands, and Hesquiat, on Hot Springs Cove (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). 58 Modern times have vanished a great part of the refined civilization of the 'salmon and cedar people' that once dominated the rainforests of the Pacific Northern Coast. Along with that have also vanished half of the forests. But the forests of Clayoquot Sound remained standing, almost intact. As the forest was preserved, rivers, watersheds, marine waters, and the wildlife had a more fortunate fate. For the new generation of the Nuu-chah-nulth people that remains in Clayoquot, and for the new comers, their fate might be also fortunate. For them Clayoquot Sound still holds the link to a bountiful past, and possibly, the link to a future established in more harmony and wisdom. Maybe this is the appeal that Clayoquot Sound has on people, the connection with outer and inner nature, the link that modern man is eagerly looking for in modern life. Maybe this is the reason why Tofino, this tiny little town, in the heart of Clayoquot Sound, has been attracting so many people lately. 3.3. The Road Changes History! Tofino has been attracting visitors since the beginning of the 19th century. Means of transportation until the middle of the century, however, allowed that only few visitors could appreciate the joys of this remote area. The fact that the Trans-Canada Highway met its final destination in Tofino in the second part of the century has definitely changed the contemporary history of Tofino and the Clayoquot Sound Region. Initially built with the purpose to serve the timber industry, which was together with fishing the two major economic activities in the region, the new road provided the perfect opportunity for the development of tourism (Darling, 1993). Slowly at the beginning, but intensely in the last ten years, tourism has grown to the point of becoming the major economic activity in the area. Ironically, the road that was meant to bring clear-cut to the old growth forests of the Clayoquot Sound, was the same road that 59 brought tourists who supported environmentalists, First Nations, and tourism entrepreneurs in one of the most heated environmental campaigns in Canada against deforestation in the area. With such significant impact, the history of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound can easily be divided in two moments: pre and post-road. 3.3.1. Pre-road: From Sustainable Development to Unsustainable Exploitation Before European contact, the Nuu-chah-nulth was the people inhabiting the entire West Coast of Vancouver Island, from Port Renfrew north to the Brooks Peninsula. There, they lived immersed into their culture, in a society composed by whalers, hunters, warriors and artisans (George et al., 1985). When Europeans first arrived in the region, they encountered a civilization that was distinct from any other they have seen before. " The Natives of the Northwest Coast were unlike anywhere else in the New World and nearly unique among the world's peoples. They were foragers, living wholly on fish and game and wild plants, and yet they had relatively dense populations, permanent villages of great wooden houses, socially stratified societies, and highly developed art and ceremonies" (Suttles and Ames, 1997:255). Heavily relying on the abundance of the salmon and cedar trees in the region along with the general profusion of wildlife in the waters and forest, these people left a distinct legacy of knowledge and art. Their great knowledge of the region, plants, animals, and the weather, allowed them to hunt seal, humpback and gray whale, and to fish halibut. In mid summer, the salmon was their primary source of food. Throughout the year, there was shellfish, while during winter they would rely on smoked and dried salmon (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). From the cedar they made plank houses, dugout canoes, fabric, and basketry. The giant communal houses were made from split planks harvested in a way that allowed the tree to live and 60 mature. They also skillfully carved and painted the cedar in enormous sculptures and beautiful masks, which presently is recognized "as one of the world's great art traditions" (Suttles and Ames, 1997:261). One aspect that was unique to the 'salmon and cedar' people was the potlach - a political, religious, and social gathering as explained by George et al. (1985:8): " At potlaches, gifts were given, tribal laws ratified, traditions and history relayed, social status awarded and good inter-tribal relations assured trough honoring guests from other villages. The potlach was also a time for great feasting, entertainment, gambling and celebration". The balanced lifestyle in which the Nuu-chah-nulth had been immersed for thousands of years was severely interrupted when Europeans arrived. The arrival of Captain James Cook's ship in 1778 marked the first trade between natives and Europeans and the beginning of an era of exploitation and humiliation of these people. In a few centuries, their population would decrease considerably, their vast territory would be taken, and the remaining people would be confined to small reserves (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). Many others followed Cook's route including Joe Meares, who later had an island named after him (Guthrie, 1998). One by one, they came eagerly after the local richness, leaving nothing but a trace of disruption and almost extinction of sea otters in the early 19th century (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). The first settlers arrived in the area by the middle of the century, making their living by trading fur, seal and dogfish oil with the natives. As the sealing industry experienced a boom (1889-1894), the trade of this fur grew intensely leading the seal to the same fate as the sea otter, coming near to extinction by the end of the 19th century (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). By the turn of the century Chinese settlers were engaged in mining, British homesteaders were 61 farming at Clayoquot and Vargas Island and Norwegians seafarers were building homesteads where Tofino was later established (Guthrie, 1998). Most fishers at that time were Norwegians, whose knowledge of salting and storing fish in barrels made possible the development of the first fishing industry in the region. In the beginning of the century however, this technology was replaced by canning (Guppy, 1997). Fishing was established as an important industry on the west coast, when a small salmon run in 1921 put many canneries in a difficult economic position. A successful alternative was then to explore the vast schools of pilchard, a member of the herring family, which appeared along the coast, probably as a result of the El Nino phenomenon (White, 1999). a) Visitors Discover Clayoquot The pilchard industry developed rapidly, bringing significant progress to the local communities and the first tourism initiatives in the region (White, 1999: 111): "Many fishermen switched from salmon trolling to pilchard seining, with seasonal catches averaging 2,500 tons per boat. More hotels were developed in West Coast settlements, and the first 'Goat Ranches' (brothels) appeared in suitably secluded spots along the coast (Nicholson 1962). Rum running to Washington State during the prohibition also became a local industry in Clayoquot Sound, starting the fortunes of some B.C.'s future political families (Nicholson 1962). Cannery settlements became less seasonal affairs, since the pilchard season began in the late fall after the salmon season was finished (Sharcott 1970). A small local tourism industry developed in Clayoquot Sound as disposable income became more available, with cottages, beaches cabins and hotels catering to both local residents and to tourists visiting on the Princess Maquinna from Victoria (Abrams, 1945; Nicholson, 1962)." While the pilchard industry played an important role in the development of tourism in the region, if it was not for the help of the Canadian Pacific Railway's steamship Princess Maquinna, the small tourism industry would not succeed. For many years, the Maquinna was 62 the only transportation to the outside world, along with fishing boats or exhausting overland hikes (Guthrie, 1998). Bringing supplies, mail, new settlers, and tourists every 10 days from Victoria, the arrival of the Maquinna in Tofino and Ucluelet was always a popular event and a statement of the dependence of the local communities on the ship (Guthrie, 1998). In 1928, another vessel ("Nohah") started to operate in the area along with the Maquinna thus during summer months there were twice as many trips as before (Guppy, 1997). The prosperous 1920's was very important for the future development of the tourism landscape of Clayoquot Sound, as it was during that decade that the area's wild beauty, history, and abundant resources were first identified and signified by travelers, writers, journalists, developers, and tourists (White, 1999). The market crashed in 1929, putting an end to the great economic progress that Tofino and other coast communities were experiencing (Guppy, 1997). The pilchard industry collapsed at the same time because of variations in ocean currents and possibly to over fishing in California (White, 1999). For the settlers who remained in the area, government posts once again became one of the few working opportunities with many turning to hand logging. Very few settlers continued to homestead and by 1940 many had moved into nucleated settlements such as Tofino (White, 1999), which became a municipality in 1932. The outbreak of the Second World War brought once again sudden changes for the west coast settlements. Japanese-Canadian fishers were dispossessed of their properties and sent to interment camps in the interior of the province. Demands for spruce for fighter aircrafts increased timber extraction activities in the west coast whose cutting methods would impact 63 many acres of forested areas (White, 1999). In 1942, a road between Tofino and Ucluelet, which had been initiated many years before, was completed to provide defense to Long Beach, a potential area for invasion, and to give support to Ucluelet, that at one point, became a wartime base. The Tofino airport was also built in the subsequent years. The road generated contentment among residents, and the construction of a second road to Port Alberni was brought into consideration in case of need for evacuation (White, 1999). This road, however, would be only built more than a decade later. The post-war years were marked by the return of the slow economy of pre-war times. In Tofino, Canadian and European fishers continued to fish, but Japanese fishers were not allowed to return to the community by local people. As pointed out by Guthrie (1998:15): "The village of Tofino then began nearly four decades of status quo hibernation, a small town of up to 300 residents of fishers, artists, small merchants, astute retirees and a few loggers". In spite of the demand of timber instigated by the war, there had been only small-scale operations in the west coast, and Clayoquot Sound remained almost intact. The main reasons were the scarcity of Douglas fir, the predominant commercial species, and the lack of a road (Guppy, 1997). After the war, however, with all species of timber coming into demand and new logging transportation techniques in place, logging in remote areas such as the west coast became more feasible, resulting in an intensification of logging activities in the region (White, 1999). 64 Radical changes occurred in the history of B.C. forest management when the Social Credit government under W.A.C. Bennett won the election in 1952. With goals of expanding the pulp and paper industry, a Tree Farm License tenure system was instituted in the area. In this new system, timber companies would have large areas where they could concentrate the logging activity, and after the clear-cuts, they would replant the forests (Guppy, 1997; Guthrie, 1998; White, 1999). The new policy of large Forest Management License gradually eliminated small logging operators, consolidating the hegemony of large timber companies such as MacMillan Bloedel Ltd, The Powell River Company, B.C. Forest Products, and other corporate giants. Two major companies were granted with tree licenses in the area extending from Barkley Sound westward into Clayoquot Sound: MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (MacBlo) and BC Forest Products. One of the conditions for these companies to be granted with the licenses was the construction of some sections of a road that would connect Tofino and Ucluelet to Port Alberni. As part of the agreement, the road would be kept private with restricted public access for five years, and then it would pass on to the government as a public road (Guppy, 1997). In 1959, the so dreamed road that would connect the west coast to the east coast of Vancouver Island was finally completed, setting the stage for radical changes in which economic development in the region would occur. 3.3.2. Post-road: From Unsustainable Exploitation to Sustainable Development? The road to Tofino was not paved. But the road connected Tofino to the outside world, and this was attractive to fishers, who could leave their boats in the harbor and drive back home during bad weather (Guppy, 1997). Not only fishers however, benefited. 65 "The road was difficult but the destination was spectacular and it wasn't long before tourists started finding their way to Long Beach and small tourist operations began near Long Beach, Chesterman's Beach, Mackenzie Beach and Cox Bay; these smaller resorts joining the Wickaninnish Inn, Ucluelet Hotel and Hotel Maquinna, in Tofino, to provide accommodations for 'adventurous motorists'" (Guthrie,1998:16). The road, which in principle was a logging road, would have public access only after working hours and weekends. Over the years the road would gain a reputation as the 'adventurous road' as some drivers ended up having 'adventures or misadventures' (Guppy, 1997). With the road in place, tourism could slowly build its imminent future as the major driver of the local economy, but not without certain resistance. Many of the tourists in the 1960's were young people, trying to get away from the cities and finding in Long Beach the ideal place to camp and party, especially during the long weekends, where hundred of people would gather in often wild celebrations. This would raise conflicts between wealthy residents of the East End of Long Beach and 'hippies'. This problem only came to an end when the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve was created, as park authorities forced people out of the beach. Not everyone however left the area and many of these counter culture residents, whose values and beliefs differed from old residents, became environmental activists (Guppy, 1997; Guthrie, 1998). Later they would become an important part of the history of Clayoquot Sound. a) Ecotourism Emerges Tourism in the west coast grew steadily over the 1960's as magazines and travel articles emphasized the wonders of the region. But it was in 1971, when the 'adventurous road' was 66 paved and the Pacific Rim National Park officially opened, that the number of tourists and new residents climbed dramatically (Guthrie, 1998; White, 1999). Darling (1993:5) describes this moment: "With the advent of the highway and eventually, the Pacific Rim National Park, came a new industry, new residents and a different perspective on the wilderness "resource". In the minds of both "pre-road" and "post-road" residents, the value of Clayoquot Sound took on a different x meaning. A new conservation ethic began to challenge the long-standing exploitation mindset. Driven by new ecological imperatives, and in defense of their home, an increasing number of residents saw the need for change - to become "different from what they used to be" ". The park attracted tourists even though the Long Beach section of the park encompassed many logged areas, buildings and wartime installations, a condition that contrasted with the designation of a wilderness park of the west coast. The park administration, however, engaged in reestablishing the park to a more natural condition and soon installations were removed and areas reforested giving the park a more natural appearance. The Wickaninnish Inn was closed and converted into an interpretive center and restaurant, while boardwalks and interpretive trails were built along the bogs and the rainforest. The airport, built during the Second War, remained active, playing a significant role in the emerging tourism industry. At the start, the Park was the central focus of tourism but soon tourism grew outside its boundaries, and it was not uncommon to see surfers, kayakers and campers all around the Sound (White, 1999). Tofmo's metamorphosis had just begun. In a short time, the once sleepy fishing village had enhanced its precarious tourism infrastructure with a campground, a bakery, arts and craft center, motels, restaurants, and beach front cabins, many of them opened by the new wave of residents (White, 1999). Old residents resented tourism at first but it did not take too long for 67 them to realize they could make a living from tourism. Tourism was rising, but fishing was still playing a major economic role in the region with the Tofino Fisheries plant being the main employer in the area (Guppy, 1997). The 1980's were characterized by the development of an ecotourism industry based on wilderness and wildlife viewing. Whale watching and kayaking tours began to be offered in Clayoquot Sound at the same time that wealthy people were building second homes in Tofino and surroundings. A more sophisticated tourism structure began to appear with bed and breakfasts establishments, high-end beaches resorts, and recreational air charters becoming available for the ecotourist (White, 1999). The successful development experienced by the new ecotourism industry in Tofino, however, would be soon threatened by forest interests, setting off a series of heated events in the area. b) Battles to Save Ecotourism Resources The first threat towards the emergent ecotourism industry occurred on November 21, 1984, when MacBlo sent loggers to Meares Island to initiate the process of deforestation of 90 percent of the island (George et al., 1985). This happened despite the protest of the Tofino town council before the Ministry of Forests, the non-acceptance of the plan by the Nuu-chah-nulth leaders, and the declaration of Meares Island as a Tribal Park by the Tla-o-qui-aht and the Ahousat, both part of the 15 First Nations that make up the Nuu-chah-nulth (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). For the Nuu-chah-nulth, the old-growth rainforests of Meares Island have great spiritual value. For the community of Tofino, Meares was the source of their water and a very significant landscape, whose alteration would compromise both tourism and local property 68 values. Oyster growers in the area were also concerned about the pollution logging would bring to the clean water (Ecotrust Canada, 1997). As a result of this situation, environmentalists, Tofino residents, and First Nations reacted with a successful blockade that prevented the timber company from logging the island. Important to mention is that a previous outcome of the Meares battle was the creation of the Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) in 1979, a registered BC society based in Tofino and formed by a group of concerned residents right after MacBlo made clear its plans to log the island (Mychajlowycz, 1999). Meares, however, would be the first of many other battles the environmental group would face to preserve one of the largest tracts of a rare forest that was already being devastated by the same logging practices in other parts of the province. The peaceful tactic used to stop logging in Meares would be used in other successful blockades in Clayoquot Sound. The blockades would definitively contribute to change the way logging would be conducted in the region more than a decade later. Moreover, these battles would bring the region to worldwide attention, a condition that strengthened the image of Clayoquot Sound as an ecotourist destination, favoring the expansion of the ecotourism industry in Tofino and surroundings (White, 1999). Soon, tourism would become the major economic activity in the community of Tofino. It was not before the early 1990's, however that the 'real money' from tourism would come to Tofino. In the late 1980's the region had already caught national and international attention promoted by the battle in Meares Island and by the following blockade in Sulphur Passage in 1988, where 36 protesters were arrested and 20 sent to jail (Mychajlowycz, 1999). Aerial 69 pictures of the forests of Clayoquot Sound taken during the Sulphur Passage blockade would raise the notion of 'intact wilderness' creating a new concept for the region and new meanings for the emergent tourism industry (White, 1999). But Clayoquot was yet to be considered by the media an 'ecotourist destination' with ecotourism in Tofino being mostly associated with Meares Islands, whose trail recently built to view the biggest trees in Canada, was attracting a great number of tourists. In 1989, however, when Tofino was ranked by Outside magazine as 'one of the top ten places to visit', the first big wave of ecotourists responded to the appeal provoked by the article (Payton and Herger, 1997). Nothing however brought more attention to the region and a wave of national and international ecotourists, as did the 'Clayoquot Summer of 1993'. A reaction to the BC government's Clayoquot Land Use Decision on April 13, 1993, to log 74 percent of Clayoquot old-growth forests, the successful summer-long blockade organized by the FOCS culminated in "the largest peaceful civil disobedience in Canadian history" (Mychajlowycz, 1999:7). With about 12,000 participants, among them 856 being arrested and charged, this protest was highly publicized with exceptional national and international media coverage. Once more, the forests of Clayoquot Sound were saved from the ferocious chain saws of forest companies. But more than ever, the region had been now introduced to the world in a touching way, seducing the mind of ecotravelers eager to experience the few unexplored wonders of an over consumed planet. If huge waves of ecotourists, especially during summer months, would come to see the 'intact' ancient rainforests, abundant wildlife, and superb landscape of Clayoquot Sound, the fact that 70 they would come would not guarantee the preservation of these valuables resources intrinsically important for environmentalists, ecotourists, and the local ecotourism industry. In a province ruled by the interests of timber companies and where the Ministry of Tourism lacked the "authority to account for tourism resources in land use and management decisions" (British Columbia: Scenic Corridors, 1995, in White, 1999:232), the lack of legislation protecting such resources was not the best scenario for both the ecotourism industry and environmentalists interested in the preservation of the region. Attempts to address this issue had been made since 1988 when the FOCS called for a moratorium on all logging in Clayoquot Sound until local communities were given the opportunity to prepare a comprehensive sustainable development plan for the region (Darling, 1993). In the same year the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce hired a consultant to prepare the Tofino Regional Tourism Study. The study sketched out scenic corridors used by tourism operators and independent visitors. It also identified important tourist attractions and key visual landscapes (Careless, 1988). A comparison of Tofino and its neighbor Ucluelet for tourism development in 1981 was also done in the study, and it became apparent that 'the pristine environment' surrounding Tofino, in contrast with the deforested background of Ucluelet, played a role in the doubled size of Tofino's industry (Careless, 1988). In the spring of 1989, a process for developing a sustainable development strategy proposal for Clayoquot Sound was initiated by the Steering Committee of the District of Tofino and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (Darling, 1993). The community-based proposal presented to the Environment and Land Use Committee faced reactions from the forest 71 industry that immediately suggested "a regionally based Sustainable Integrated Forest Management Planning Team under the auspices of the Ministry of Forests" (Darling, 1993:10). On August 4 th of the same year, the Province of British Columbia delegated a Task Force comprised of representatives of local and provincial governments, the local Tribal Council, the forest industry, and the Province, to come up with a land-use plan for the region. Although the sustainable development strategy proposal for Clayoquot Sound had been mostly driven by the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and supported by the FOCS, the government appointed the District of Tofino to represent the community on the process (Darling, 1993). "After more than a year of intense and often acrimonious deliberations, the Task Force concluded that it could not deliver what was expected of it" (Darling, 1993:1). A transition committee was then established to prepare the Sustainable Development Strategy, but consensus was not achieved. The responsibility was now with the government who handed out the Clayoquot Land Use Decision in April 1993. There was an increase in the size of the protected area designated in the Clayoquot Land Use Decision (a total of 33 percent in contrast with 15 percent prior to the Decision). Tourism values were also represented (15 percent of the area was designated as scenic corridors), even though two-thirds of Clayoquot would be opened for logging (British Columbia, Clayoquot Land Use Decision - Background Report, 1993), a decision that triggered the famous 'Clayoquot Summer of 1993'. The political and market pressure resulting from the campaign ensured the establishment in 1993, by the provincial government, of the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel. The goal of the panel was'to review and to recommend forest practices and land use standards for the region with the recognition of the diverse values in Clayoquot Sound 72 including forestry, recreation, fisheries, tourism, wildlife, and First Nation's values. The panel would review important resources such as visual landscapes and other landscape features necessary for the development of tourism (British Columbia, 1995a). Parallel to that, the Scenic Corridor Process was initiated to support the panel with decisions regarding the several levels of protection needed in those corridors. There was the need to secure that scenic values would be considered in the planning process in view that logging activities would occur in many of the corridors, (British Columbia, 1995b). The panel represented an important gain to the tourism industry as it included scenic resources in forest management. It also represented an important change in a province that has been always dominated by the interests of a single industry, as seen below: "Managing forests for their scenic values has a short history in British Columbia. Scenic landscape management activity was minimal before 1981 when the Forest Landscape Handbook (B.C. Ministry of Forest 1981) was produced. That work was only a guideline. In the late 1980s, the B.C. Ministry of Forests was authorized to manage scenic values, but visual resource management was not mandatory. Only with the passing of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (July 1994) has visual landscape management become a requirement. In many areas of the province, forest practices are conducted with limited regard for scenic values" (British Columbia, 1995a: 134). In 1994, while the Panel was still being discussed, the First Nations bands of Clayoquot Sound and the Province signed an Interim Measures Agreement. The Agreement would provide for joint management of resource and land use in First Nations traditional territories while land claims were being negotiated (IMA, 1994). The agreement established the Central Region Board (CRB), a management structure comprising of an equal number of aboriginal and non-aboriginal members to review all decisions affecting land use and management in Clayoquot 73 Sound (CSCRB, 2001:1). Although tourism land use was not specifically addressed in the Agreement, the fact that harvest rates were stipulated for certain areas would possibly offer good opportunity for future contestation by tourism stakeholders regarding this matter (White, 1999). However, as pointed out by the author, "the Agreement also allowed for substantial future Aboriginal forest extraction, a cause of concern for environmentalists and tourism operators" (p.246). A series of other tourism-related initiatives during this period took place in the province (White, 1999), especially concerning nature-based tourism activities promoted by the Ministry of Tourism and tourism private actors. All these initiatives indicated the efforts of the nature-based tourism industry (adventure tourism and ecotourism) and the tourism industry in general, along with the Ministry of Tourism, to have the tools to fight for a 'seat at the table' in a province dominated by the interests of timber giants, accused of jeopardizing the interests of those industries (White, 1999): "The intense activity between 1991 and 1993 reflected a rapid growth in the tourism industry as a whole and particularly in Nature-based 'Adventure Tourism' and 'Ecotourism', which were becoming major features in the marketing efforts of the Ministry of Tourism. By the early 1990s, Clayoquot Sound was very high profile internationally, and there was an emerging awareness that the 'Super, Natural' British Columbia advertising campaign was in danger of contradiction as international awareness of BC logging practices grew" (p. 163). The adoption of the Scientific Panel by the B.C. government in 1995 offered better perspectives for the ecotourism industry in Clayoquot Sound. An ecosystem-based model for forest management was recommended by the Panel, i.e., forest lands should be managed for ecosystem integrity in contrast with the prevalent practices of the forest industry that managed 74 forests for sustained timber supply (British Columbia, 1995a). In addition, the Panel ensured higher levels of protection for important tourism resources such as scenic corridors and sites. c) Safe Room for Ecotourism? The new approach of forest management avoids the threats of a fragmented landscape in Clayoquot Sound, a situation that would be devastating for ecotourism in the region. However, the Panel does not ensure that the most fundamental resource for the industry in the region is preserved: the image of 'pristine wilderness" and 'intact old-growth forest', which are key elements in attracting ecotourists. Nevertheless, the Panel had facilitated the creation of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in January, which potentially enhances the image of the region as an ecotourist destination and brings the perspective of sustainable development to the area. As a result, a community-based and ecosystem-based approach to logging was introduced to Clayoquot Sound in August 2000 by Iisaak Forest Resources (a joint venture owned 51% by the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations and 49% by forest giant Weyerhaeuser Co.). The new company, supported by several high-profile environmental organizations, with the exception of the FOCS who opposes logging in old-growth forests, aims to harvest the forest not only with environmental considerations, but also focus on the needs of local communities (Hamilton, 2000). FOCS points out that after five years of the implementation of that Panel, the results are unsatisfactory, despite some progress on forest practices (Mychajlowycz, 2000). Latest press releases from the FOCS have also provided evidence of the impacts that recent industrial logging is causing in the area, which have the potential to affect the ecotourism industry. 75 International Forest Products - Interfor's operation in marbled murrelet habitat, has been threatening the only nesting area found in the distribution region of this endangered bird, which ranges from California to Alaska (FOCS, 2000). The preservation of this habitat in Clayoquot Sound is important from the conservational viewpoint, the birdwatching industry, and ultimately for the image of Clayoquot Sound as an 'Ecotourist Mecca ' . Interfor has also been logging on the border of the Pacific R i m National Park Reserve, making both environmentalists and tourism operators angry (FOCS, 2001). Forest issues have been one of the major threats to ecotourism in the region, but not the only ones. Other problems that ecotourism is facing are presented and discussed in chapter 5. 3.4. Tofino Today 3.4.1. Social, Political, and Economic Aspects of The Community a) Social and Political Aspects Tofino is an "intense little town" where residents share different backgrounds and ideas (Madrona, 1995), probably due to the town's historical past. From fishing village to commercial logging center and to a renowned tourist destination, the town has had a flow of a variety of people with a wide range of interests and experiences. Although many of the traditional people have left, many fishers and some loggers stayed, while counter culture people arrived, leaving the village with its unique character. Tofino is considered the most political community in Canada, with the highest voting rate (interview n.3). Not only residents, in general, are politically active, but women in particular have significantly contributed to the grassroots environmental movement (Boucher, 1997). The 'Clayoquot Summer of 1993' is a proof of this statement, where women acted as the key organizers of the campaign, and formed 76 the majority of people arrested and charged at the blockades (Bell, 1994). More evidence is found in Boucher (1997), where she states that most of the organizers of the Community Values Workshops and the Community Values Survey carried out in the District of Tofino in 1990 were women (a women's demand to include community values in the community-initiated sustainable development planning process for Clayoquot Sound). Despite being politically active, residents of Tofino do not consider that they have adequate "involvement in planning and decision making for resource management in Clayoquot Sound" (White, 1991:3). At the same time, this political community is fragmented, especially concerning environmental issues (White, 1991:1), although residents are opened for discussions and a good dialogue is usually maintained. During the summer, the high season, tourism brings a daily average of 22,000 tourists to Tofino (Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, 1999). Whether working as much as 12 hours a day catering to tourists, or being forced to move to a campground due to the lack of affordable accommodation, or simply by having to cope with full parking lots, residents have to adapt, every year, to this busy time in town. For many residents it is glory, for others a stress. During winter, however, although tourists still come for 'storm watching' (the new fashionable activity), the town is able to have the 'sense of itself. Life comes back as it was for centuries in this once quiet fishing village. It is during this time that residents can relax, take trips, and/or put energy into community issues, organizing official community meetings and/or sending letters to authorities addressing those issues. 77 Being a busy and fragmented community located at 'the end of the road', with costly housing, residents have to pay a 'very high cost' to live in Tofino. "It is a matter of real choice", as explained by a resident; "that makes this place special" (Madrona Productions Ltd., 1995). For teenagers however, it may not be a choice. Even though they get used to the life style after a while, "living in a town like this is weird. I have to go to the same place every night" (Madrona Productions Ltd., 1995). Although they have been trying to get a recreational center, with pool and some entertainment, so far, they have had to find other alternatives to get away from boredom. Despite that, the passion for living in this little town is apparent as "Overall, 68.7% of all residents are satisfied with Tofino as a place to live" and 78.6% "value Tofino's easy going lifestyle/small town atmosphere/knowing everyone/friendliness than they value anything else about living in Tofino" (White, 1991:1). The commitment that residents have with this community is such that, according to the same survey, "over, 64.4% of Tofino's residents would, in the event that they lost their source of employment, prefer to stay in Tofino and work at an unrelated job than move elsewhere" (p.l). b) Economic Aspects Tourism Being a renowned ecotourist destination, most residents are directly or indirectly involved with tourism. According to the manager of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, 149 out of the 160 businesses registered are directly or indirectly related to tourism. This industry is the main economic machine - the largest employer and the leading growth sector of the area (Steering Committee of the District of Tofino and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, 1989). It is very difficult to know the percentage of people working in a service 78 industry such as tourism, which also uses other services, both directly and indirectly. Nevertheless, according to the C E N S U S 1996, about 56% of the population was working either in wholesale and retail trade/business service/accommodation, food and beverage service/other service industries, while about 9% were in primary industries, mainly fishing industry (Statistics Canada, 1999). Fishing The 'o ld ' fishing industry based in wi ld stock catches, that once made a great part of the history of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound, still plays an important role in Tofino. However, it has been in great part substituted by aquaculture and seafood processing, as a result of the depletion of wi ld stocks in the area (Clayoquot Sound Sustainable Development Strategy, 1992). Some fishers remained in the industry, while others turned to tourism. Logging Logging has been an important industry in the Alberni/Clayoquot Regional District and about one third of the district workforce - approximately 1,404 workers - depend on harvesting in Clayoquot Sound. However, "a few, mostly associated with small business sales, live in Tofino" (Clayoquot Sound Sustainable Development Strategy, 1992:9-1). The 1991 survey confirms this trend, showing that only 2.7% of the current occupations in Tofino were held by people working in the logging industry (White, 1991). Nevertheless, the value-added wood processing industry maintained, in 1996, 150 people working in their 23 local business operations ( L B M F S , 1997). Operating at a half or third of the capacity, due to the lack of raw material ( L B M F S , 1997), some growth in this sector might be expected, as logging techniques 79 in Clayoquot Sound switches to a community and ecosystem-based approaches (Hamilton, 2000). Retail Sector and other Services It is difficult to separate in Tofino what is targeted to tourism and what is not. Nevertheless, although Tofino is a very small town, the retail sector is not. Apart from an array of accommodations, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, gift shops, and art galleries, that mostly serve the tourist, the town is complemented with a series of shops varying from fishing stores, to organic shops as well as a co-op, which provides food, basic products, and services. The services reflect the diversity of people in town. Traditional services, such as car rentals, photographic services, medical services, psychological counseling, environmental consulting, are found along with alternative services such as astrology, healing massage, acupuncture, and reflexology. Despite the lack of data concerning the economic contribution of these sectors, data from the survey (White, 1991) points out that, in 1990: 17% of the population surveyed was professional self-employed/employed by other, while 19% made up for independent crafts-person/not fish/log/tour/aquaculture, trades person self-employed/employed by other and government employees. These data exclude people working in logging/seafood production/tourism industries as well as in restaurants. 3.4.2. The Tourist Realm a) Tourist s Profile The majority of tourists visiting Tofino are Canadian (48%), mostly from British Columbia (27%); the international contingent is made up of 25% Europeans, 15% North Americans, and 80 12% of the tourists from Asia/Australia (Tofino InfoCentre, 2001). The great majority come either with the main purpose of sightseeing (56%) or for having an outdoor wilderness experiences (39%), in contrast with 2% of tourists that come for cultural events or to visit friends/relatives (2%) (Tofino InfoCentre, 2001). b) Town s Infrastructure To deal with 22,000 tourists daily during summer months (Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, 1999), this picturesque town has to come up with some good alternatives. Apart from the 557 motel/hotel/lodge rooms within the District, varying from Inns to Four Star resorts, 67 Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) private accommodations are also available, along with 816 campsites (Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, 1999). A s one can imagine, getting a room in Tofino during summer can be 'tough' i f reservations are not made in advance. If finding accommodation can be a challenge, the same is not true for getting information. Tourists have good access to information everywhere in the town, especially through the Tofino Visitor InfoCentre, opened most part of the year. The center, maintained by the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, reveals the strong dependence that local businesses have on tourism development. Tofino is assisted with top quality restaurants that benefit from the abundance of fresh local seafood. Salmon, crab, shrimp, and halibut are practically found on any menu and served with skilled preparation. A vegetarian restaurant shows the versatility of options that Tofino is able to provide. The town has a number of cozy coffee shops, bars, and a 'bakery', serving as informal community center (Hoyt, 1990). Visitors can shop in the several gift shops, many of 81 them located in the tour-operator's facility. Some of the products are locally made, such as wood products and crafting. Tofino is also well served with art galleries, with local art becoming a popular attraction in town, especially the West Coast native art. Two successful First Nation owned art galleries, the House of Himwista and The Eagle Aerie Gallery reflect this popularity. The latter, owned by the international acclaimed First Nation artist Roy Henry Vickens is the most visited attraction in town (Payton and Herger, 1997). c) Ecotourism Activities* Tofino offers a variety of outdoor activities that satisfy a great range of tourists' interests. Companies offering whale watching tours, fishing and undersea dive charters, charter float planes, trips to the local hot springs, sea kayaking trips, hiking tours, and bike, kayak and surf board rentals can be seen everywhere. Native tours, personalized educational programs, and customized tours expand the possibilities. Although many tourists make their trips independently, more and more people are taking the tours offered by tour operators. Trips can vary from a 2.5-hour hiking guided tour, including a short trip in a motor boat to some day trip involving paddling a kayak and sleeping on a pristine beach. The price paid for the tours can be interpreted as reasonably affordable, but to enjoy many activities in a row, the tourist must be financially prepared. Whale-watching Among all the tourism activities offered by tour operators, the sightseeing of whales in the * Although some readers may not consider sport fishing or surfing, or other activities here presented as ecotourism for conceptual reasons, (see Chapter 2), for the purpose of this thesis they are considered ecotourism. 82 inlet waters of the sound or in the open ocean has been the most popular activity. It is estimated that 90% of visitors of Tofino in March and April are whale watchers (Baild, 1992). According to a whale-watching operator, during the last five years, 50,000 to 55,000 people have annually come to this town to watch the migration of Pacific Gray whales to the feeding grounds in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, and back to the lagoons of Baja California (Mexico), where they mate and give birth. Some 40 to 50 whales stay along the west coast of Vancouver Island enhancing the opportunity for tourists to see these large mammals. Killer whales are also spotted in the area two to three times a year and occasionally the humpback whale, which seem to be recovering after the collapse caused by Europeans (George et al., 1985). The Pacific Rim Whale Festival in middle March, hosted by Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, shows the impact that the whaling industry has in the area. Kayaking The kayaking industry in Tofino is also strong. Paddling in the several inlets in the Sound has become a popular activity. The Clayoquot Sound Region is one of the more perfect places in the world for paddling - protected waters, astonishing landscapes, great variety of plant and animal life, presence of big mammals such as whales, seals, otters, tortoises, bears, wolfs, and cougars, allied with the proximity of Tofino. Besides, the large size of the Sound and the numerous inlets allow paddlers to experience the feeling of 'wilderness', which is one of the main draws to the area. 83 Rainforest trips Trips to the forests to see the ancient trees that made the Clayoquot Sound Region worldwide known are also a popular activity. With many guided trails in the area, the visitor is well served. The most visited trails are: The Big Tree Trail in Meares Island, to see one of the largest trees in the world; the Hot Springs Cove in Flores Island, where a hot bath by the cooling ocean instigate visitors to walk a 40 minutes trail; and the 12 hiking trails of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve from where whales can be spotted during the migratory season. Sport fishing In a region where fishing has been a strong part of the local history, this activity has turned the millennium as an important tourist attraction. With the crisis in the fishing industry, traditional fishers could find in tourism an economic option and an opportunity to use both their skills and equipment. In spite of the increasing depletion of fish stocks around the world, the tourists are still able to enjoy this sport in Clayoquot Sound with the support of skilled fishers. No data is available however showing the importance of this activity in the local economy. Nevertheless, this industry may face some challenges discussed in Chapter 5. Birdwatching Birdwatching is also becoming a trendy eco-pastime in Tofino with great potential. With over 150 wild bird species in the area, several businesses are adapting their marketing scheme to the lucrative birdwatching (Michael Curnes, pers. comm.). He also pointed out that some initiatives, such as the installation of spotting scopes in rooms and on outside decks and of bird blinds at the edge of the tidal mudflats for discreet birdwatching, have helped to enhance this 84 market, which is already substantial in other parts of the world. Tofino has a great natural potential for birdwatching and the 4 th Annual Clayoquot Shorebird Festival is a statement of this promising activity. Other ecotourism activities With the increasing importance of ecotourism, wolf, bear, sea lion, and other wildlife viewings have become part of the many options offered by tour operators. More options are found in the bike and kite shop that takes advantage of the new paved biking trail along the town, the easy access to beaches, the trails of the national park, and the open windy beaches. Undersea dive charters also allow visitors to explore the rich marine environment, and scenic flight companies invite visitors to enjoy the geothermal hot springs while contemplating the same aerial views that made Clayoquot Sound known worldwide. Surfing is another big activity in Tofino. Although surfers have been spotted in Long Beach since the 1960's, when ecotourism was a word not yet conceived, surfing in the only open beach in the west shore of Canada, is still a regular and popular activity. Canada's number one surfing destination, Tofino, attracts surfers from all over the world, and tourists who want to challenge the wild and cold waters of the Pacific can find support in the local surfing shops and schools. Women in Tofino receive special treatment in the only exclusively female-oriented surfing school in the country. Aboriginal Tourism In face of the local abundance of aboriginal culture, more and more visitors are interested in having aboriginal experiences. Although in its infancy, there has been growing demand in this field making aboriginal tourism a promising slice of the tourism market, especially if it is taken 85 into account that tourism experiences are provided throughout First Nation territories. Despite the potential, the development of aboriginal tourism faces several constraints (see Chapter 5). In Tofino, however, Tin-Wis Resort, The House of Himwista, The Eagle Aerie Gallery, the Matt & Benz Campground in Indian Island, all successful First Nation enterprises along with two other First Nation whale watching and scenic tour companies, are presently the gateway for these experiences. Supporting Institutions Tofino is supplied with a number of institutions dedicated to research and education that directly or indirectly benefit and support tourism: Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Trust (CBT), Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS), North Island College- Tofino Centre, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Long Beach Unit, Rainforest Interpretive Centre, The Strawberry Isle Research Society, Tofino Botanical Gardens, Tofino Business Association, Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Tofino Visitor InfoCentre, and The West Coast Tourism Association. 86 CHAPTER 4 Methodology 4.1. Research Approach The research approach applied in this thesis is the case study. Stake (1995:xi) describes the case study as "the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances". In this form of empirical inquiry, the investigator has little or no control over the events (Yin, 1994). In this regard, case studies are an instrumental tool, where the understanding of a particular situation provides insights and helps to build the theoretical field (Stake, 1995). I chose this research approach as a result of the following reasons: a) the exploratory nature of my research; b) the lack of control over behavioral events; and c) the focus of my research on contemporary events. These are essential conditions posed by Yin (1994) for using the case study approach. Another relevant reason to choose this approach was the fact that "case studies can be based on any mix of quantitative and qualitative evidence" (Yin, 1994:14). The nature of my inquiry, which aimed to gather the perception of ecotourism development from a significant part of the local community, would be better accomplished if both approaches would be used. Therefore, the study employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Greene et al. (1989, in Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998:43), based on a review of 57 mixed methods studies, proposed five reasons for combining methods in a single study, from which two were applied to my case: - "development, or using the methods sequentially, such that results from the first method inform the use of the second method; - expansion, or mixed methods adding breadth and scope to a project." 87 The rationale for using the methods sequentially is the need that exploratory interviews precede the formulation of a questionnaire. As a result, the research was developed in two phases: the first was qualitative, where data were collected and analyzed to provide information to the following phase, and the second was mixed (qualitative and quantitative), to to add breath and scope to the study. 4.2. Data Collection 4.2.1. Identifying Key Informants This step involved a three-day visit to the community of Tofino. Informal conversations with local people, such as owners and employees of shops, tourism operators, hotels and restaurants, managers and employees of the tourism infocentre, municipal hall, educational centers, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), allowed me to identify key informants, based on their political role in tourism development, and their stake and/or knowledge of the industry. Documents related to local history, tourism or any other subject relevant to the study were also collected. Key informants included policy makers (representative of the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture; Ministry of Forest; Tofino Municipal Hall), community leaders, tourism operators (accommodation, food and tour-operator sector), and representatives of local NGOs. I had attempted to interview representatives of First Nations but it was not possible. Some never responded to my letter, while others had conflictive time arrangements. However, I did interview a First Nation tourism businessman and a First Nation tourism employee from whom I could get some First Nation's perspectives. 88 4.2.2. Key Informants Interviews Eleven interviews 45 to 60 min long were carried out and tape-recorded in June 2000, in Tofino and Port Alberni. Table 1. List of Unstructured Interviews. Unstructured Interviews Number Local government employee 1 Community leaders 4 Non-governmental organizations 2 First Nations 2 Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture 1 Ministry of Forests 1 The aim was to gain an understanding about the recent development of ecotourism in Tofino as well as the problems and potential of the industry. Although I had two main questions in mind, 'What are the issues in ecotourism development in Tofino/Clayoquot Sound?' and 'How these issues are being addressed?', each key informant would have particular perspectives, which I would like to explore. Therefore, although I always began the interview with the first question, there was no control over the responses during the course of the interview as in unstructured interviews (Bernard, 1994). Agency approval and/or written consent were obtained when necessary, and confidentiality was assured. The collection of data followed all the procedures required by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board, and received its approval. Information gathered in the interviews was used as the basis for the questionnaire. 89 4.2.3. On-Site Survey The final step of the study involved an on-site survey of Tofino residents. The main objective of the survey was to understand the resident's opinions about important aspects of ecotourism development and their perspectives for the industry. As the objective of the survey was descriptive, there was no hypotheses testing, a common feature in social research. This will have some implications when addressing issues of validity. Nevertheless, this type of study, referred to by Sonquist and Dunkelberg (1977) as quantitative-descriptive, searches for relationships between relevant variables to determine the existence of patterns, but not necessarily for cause-effect relationships. A questionnaire was developed using data from the interviews along with documented information. In the questionnaire, the term ecotourism was used as synonymous with tourism as the tourism industry has advertised Tofino as an ecotourism destination at the local, provincial, national, and international level. Visitors are drawn to the area to experience 'wilderness', whether the experience has an adventure, cultural or educational appeal, or simply for relaxation purposes. The questionnaire consisted of three sections (Appendix 1). Section 1 included a set of 12 questions about various issues related to ecotourism development in the area that were raised during the interviews. The purpose of this section was to identify respondents' perceptions and perspectives about these issues. In this section, respondents were asked to explain their choices in questions, 1, 5 and 7, contributing to a better understanding of the context in which their choices were made and also of ecotourism. More qualitative data were assessed in the open-90 ended responses - category others, found in the questions 4, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The purpose of this category was to enlarge the array of options, giving an opportunity to respondents present suggestions/possibilities other than the ones suggested in the questionnaire. Section 2 included a set of 13 propositions of a type of ecotourism that not only promotes a sustainable industry but also contributes to sustainable development. The questions in this section measured, in a five-point agree/disagree scale (Likert Scale), the respondents' support for this type of ecotourism. The purpose of this section was to elicit the community vision for ecotourism development as the community has not yet gone through this process. Such a vision is fundamental for planning and managing the industry successfully. Section 3 included a set of 12 questions that are for statistical and demographic purposes (n.l-12), and a question (n.13) offered to respondents for commenting on any viewpoint related to ecotourism development. The qualitative data provided in the question 13 helps to increase the understanding about the ecotourism industry in Tofino. The open-ended responses to the questions 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11 in this section have the same purpose. The survey was conducted during summer, the high tourism season, from August 20 to August 29, 2000. The survey was entirely voluntary, i.e., individuals were approached by the researcher and asked if they would complete the questionnaire. Preference was given to individuals who lived in the community for more than two years. Individuals were approached at stores, galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, hotels, B&Bs (bed & breakfasts), lodges/resorts, tour-operators, real state offices, fish plants and governmental institutions such 91 as the city hall, police station, hospital, and post office. Non-governmental institutions such as the local ENGO (environmental non-governmental organization), interpretive centre, botanical garden, and skill centre among others were also targeted. In addition, around fifty local residences were visited. This form of non-probability sampling, called accidental sampling, used in this study is convenient and economic and thus utilized for these reasons. This is later detailed in this chapter when data validity is addressed. One hundred and fifty (150) questionnaires were distributed throughout Tofino and 117 were returned (78%). The high turnover percentage was attributed to many facts. First, I personally explained the research purpose to the respondents when handing the questionnaires. Second, I picked the completed questionnaires up at the location and time defined by the respondents, and it was not uncommon for me to return more than once until the questionnaire was completed. I used this strategy, as I knew that people would be extremely busy with the great number of tourists in town, so I had to facilitate the process. Third, many of the respondents were aware of my research, as the manager of the Chamber of Commerce had previously contacted the members. And lastly, the fact that Tofino is a little and informed town allowed me to be a noticeable figure in only few days raising the interests of respondents. 4.3. Data Analysis 4.3.1. Qualitative Design The full content of the interview was transcribed to get the sense of the whole, with no preoccupation in doing any thematic analysis. After the transcription, key issues were identified and analyzed. As all of the issues raised by the interviewees potentially affect the 92 sustainability of the tourism industry in the area, they were identified as factors constraining the implementation of sustainable tourism. 4.3.2. Mixed Design (Quantitative Dominant) This phase was predominantly quantitative; therefore I started with the descriptive statistics calculated from the quantitative data (see Gray & Guppy, 1999 for procedure details). The results were standardized and expressed in relative frequency of the total of interviews (percentage). When appropriated, contingence tables were created to examine the relationship between variables. The statistical analysis was done with the help of a software program, the SPSS version 10. The qualitative data gathered in the questions 1, 5 and 7 of section 1 and in the question 13 of section 3, represent a justification of the questions and comments about ecotourism development. Data from the questions 1, 5 and 7 were grouped according to a category defined by the quantitative response, which allowed a greater understanding of the reasons for the respondent's choices. In the case of the question 13, which was answered in 50% of the cases, the data were grouped by topics and used to enrich interpretation of the case study as a whole. 4.3.3. Data Validity Data validity is addressed slightly different in the qualitative and quantitative research approaches. As presented by Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998), in the quantitative approach, measurement validity (data quality) is an attribute of the process of data collection, while internal and external validity (inference quality) is an attribute of the conclusion, when all the 93 data have been already processed. In the qualitative approach, however, no clear distinctions have been made between these two components, as data collection and data analysis are not distinctive processes. Therefore data validity is here addressed separately from the perspectives of each approach. a) Data Validity in the Qualitative Approach There have been no serious efforts by qualitative researches in separating the issues of measurement validity and internal/external validity (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998). In fact, no consensus has been achieved on how to address validity in qualitative research (Creswell, 1994). Lincoln and Guba (1985, in Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998), however, introduced the concept of "trustworthiness", a global qualitative concept to addresses the issues of design and measurement quality in qualitative research, and Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998) presented different methods for determining it. Two of them were applied in this research: triangulation techniques and referential adequacy. The first refers to a technique where multiple sources of evidence are sought; the second involves reanalysis of part of the raw data in order that new interpretations are checked against original ones. Four types of triangulation techniques are possible when doing evaluations: triangulation of data sources (data triangulation), among several researches (investigator triangulation), of multiple perspectives on the same data set (theory triangulation), and triangulation of multiple methods (methodological triangulation) (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998). In this research, I have used both data and methodological triangulation to increase the validity of the results. Data were triangulated using three sources of evidences: the interviews, document analysis, 94 and participant's informal conversations. Results from the expert interviews (tourism policy-makers and other stakeholders) matched with the findings provided by the great amount of documentation concerning Tofino/Clayoquot Sound (government and non-government publications, theses, magazines, videos and several historical/pictorial books). They were also supported by information provided by informal conversation through fax/phone/e-mail with some key informants throughout my study as well as by personal contact with members of the local community during my sixteen days immersed in the context as a participant observer. As a tourist or a student delivering my research, I extensively interacted with people both in informal (stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.) and formal situations, e.g., in a meeting about the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The second type of triangulation used was the methodological triangulation. The mixed research model applied in this study is already itself a methodological triangulation technique, as it involves the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study. Results from the survey supported to a great extent the results of the interviews and vice-versa, considering that not only no discrepancies were found between these two sources of information, but accordance of results was truly found. Another way of determining the trustworthiness of qualitative results was through what Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998) called the use of 'referential adequacy'. As mentioned before, a part of the raw qualitative data is storage after being transcribed for later recall and reanalysis. After analysis had been performed with information carefully being organized in themes, I went back to five interviews (already transcribed) that I considered most relevant (perspectives 95 of five different stakeholders) and performed another analysis. Although some bias might be introduced with the reanalysis, as I had previously categorized the same data, no different theme emerged and no relevant discrepancy in the interpretation occurred. b) Data Validity in the Quantitative Approach The quantitative approach taken in this study is a quantitative-descriptive survey, which seeks to calculate the frequency distribution of characteristics of a particular population and to identify relationships among them. "The strength of survey research lies in answering questions of fact and in assessing the distributions of the characteristics of populations. In uses of this kind, issues of internal validity are not raised... (Kidder and Judd, 1986:141)". In this regard, this study should be concerned only with the issues of measurement and external validity. Measurement validity is used to assess whether what it is observed and measured is a satisfactory representation of the concept that is supposed to be measured (Kidder and Judd, 1986). Much of social research attempts to measure abstract and/or complex concepts through empirical variables, such as 'self-esteem', 'creativity' or 'mathematical knowledge'. In this circumstance, several procedures for assessing validity need to be used. The present survey, however, does not attempt to measure abstract or complex concepts through variables, but deals with objective information that does not need to be measured through variables or related to them. In this context, my great concern when developing the questionnaire was of deciding upon and defining the most appropriate variables that would be especially important or valuable to explore residents' perception of the ecotourism development in Tofino. The order 96 of questions was also observed and questions that may antagonize respondents, such as income, were put at the end. Questions were designed with two principles in mind, to encourage responses: simple language and short length. The questionnaire was also pre-tested among members and non-members of the target community with some questions modified after suggestions. External validity refers to the possibility of generalization of the study's findings (Kidder and Judd, 1986). The key issue here is then to know how far the survey's findings can be generalized to the whole community of Tofino. Kidder and Judd (1986:35) explain that the only way one "can be confident about generalizing from a sample to a population of interest is to draw a random or probability sample". According to them, probability sampling allows for an estimation of the difference between the sample findings and the findings from the total target population (if the entire population could be studied). If one can estimate this difference, one knows how close the sample is to reality. Despite this desirable choice, in practical conditions, probability sampling is very costly and time consuming, and not feasible in many situations. The non-probability sampling used in this study, on the other hand, is convenient and economic therefore applied in many situations. The disadvantage, however, is that there is no basis for estimating how far sample results are likely to deviate from true population figures, as probability sampling does. In spite of this drawback, this study attempted to enhance the external validity by comparing some data from the survey with results of the Census 1996 (David Tindall, pers. comm.). 97 c) Research Limitations The fact that this research was done during a very short period of time and during the high tourist season can affect the results. Some people were unable to answer the questionnaire, as they were extremely busy. Others were not in town because of short trips or were away for the summer. It would be important to have the perception of these respondents, especially the ones that had to leave the town seasonally as result of tourism. Another limitation of this research relates to the fact that "single case studies are not as strong base for generalizing to a population of cases as other research designs" (Stake, 1995:85). While results from this case study cannot be generalized to other tourist destinations -perceptions will vary according to the host/guest ratio, size of tourism in the local economy, economic dependence on/benefit from tourism, among others - they can and should be compared with several similar studies for further understanding and insights in this matter. To summarize, this research involves the use of qualitative and quantitative approaches, therefore two different research paradigms. Each paradigm requires different skills for the researcher to avoid and/or minimize bias during data collection and analysis, which are hard to find in the same researcher. The use of mixed methodologies may alleviate some of the difficulties as triangulation techniques, involving the reconciliation of quantitative and qualitative data sources, are intrinsic to the mixed model study. 98 CHAPTER 5 Analysis and Discussion of Results This chapter analyzes and discusses the results of the interviews and residents' survey. The first section examines the issues raised in the interviews. The second section focuses in the perception of Tofino residents. In this section, both quantitative and qualitative data are presented. 5.1. Issues in Ecotourism Development The rate of growth of ecotourism in the Clayoquot Sound region is presently the greatest challenge faced by the local tourism industry. "I think we are realizing now, and its taken few years to get to this place because there has been such a battle to protect what it's here, so the tourists keep having a reason to come here...we have been so involved in that in the last 25 years that we now came to recognize that there are limits to everything, there are limits to logging, fishing, there has to be limits to the number of people" (interview 4). Lacking adequate infrastructure, regulation, planning and adequate management to deal with an average of a 700,000 to a million people annually, Tofino and the whole region have already experienced the first detrimental impacts of unplanned tourism. No single issue raised during the interviews can be identified as constraining the development of a sustainable destination. Instead, there are several interrelated factors influencing this 99 outcome. Moreover, as many of the issues pertain to both the local and regional levels, it is not always possible to separate them. The first issue presented in this section concerns the impacts of ecotourism. The impacts of ecotourism on First Nations communities are presented in the next section. Next I discuss: Constraints to Sustainable Tourism - The Local Level and The Regional Level. The understanding of these constraints is fundamental for moving towards more sustainable forms of tourism development in the region. 5.1.1. The Impacts of Ecotourism Ecotourism in the area has generated impacts that are not always negative. It has created financial wealth in the community. My objective however, is not to present all the impacts resulting from the activity, but to present those that were considered issues in ecotourism development. a) Social and Economic Impacts The social/economic impacts of tourism are among the most critical impacts felt by the community. The great number of tourists in the little town, especially during summer months, puts enormous strain on the precarious town's infrastructure, increases the cost of living and puts huge demands for 'tourism space' on the community. Spatially, it has been very difficult for people who have lived there all their lives to enjoy the summer months. In fact, many residents leave during summer months and vacation somewhere else because the town becomes so crowded. 100 Tourism impacts the town's infrastructure, particularly the sewage/ water system, parking, and most significantly, housing. Tofino does not have any proper sewage treatment. Water, in the summer months, becomes a restricted item. The discomfort experienced by residents during that time is then enhanced by a huge competition for parking spaces, particularly in the center of the village where residents depend on parking as part of their everyday lives. Tourism becomes the 'necessary evil', as many of the residents acknowledge its economic benefits while resenting the great number of people in town. In the summer months, some level of resident's irritation with tourism is unavoidable. The shortage of cheap housing constitutes one of the most challenging situations. Likewise in many other destinations, where land and housing prices rise as a result of tourism development, Tofino's housing market has become extremely high priced. A house can be typically worth a quarter of a million dollars, which is high for rural British Columbia. Renting is the only feasible option for many of the people who live there. In summer however, housing becomes a serious issue with the well-known 'summer shuffle' phenomenon. When the season begins, many of the year-round residents are literally dispossessed of their rented houses in order to make room for the seasonal market, 'the tourist daily rental'. Landlords have, during the summer months, the opportunity to transform their places into bed & breakfasts, or to rent their rooms, apartments or houses to tourists on a daily basis. For many of the landlords who do not have jobs in the community, this represents the only economic opportunity that allows them to live in the community. For some, this is the only means that house owners find to pay the expensive local taxes. This scenario is made worse by the 101 increasing percentage of people from out of town who own a second house in Tofino and ask for their 'holiday houses' for the summer months and by the great influx of people who come to work in the tourism season. The result is a great number of 'homeless' people (residents and seasonal workers) having to camp illegally in the town's surroundings. With no water and facilities, illegal campers have to put up not only with physical discomfort but also with risks of heavy fines or tents confiscated by the police. The lives of many families and seasonal workers are impacted, as well as the community as a whole. There have been places built in the community, such as the town house development and some condominiums, affordable to local people, mostly from the tourism industry. But the supply has not met the demand. There has been some interest by local developers in building cooperative housing and some discussion with the local government. However, since Tofino is a very small town and an ecotourist destination, many do not welcome the idea of apartments or high-density housing. Until alternatives are in place the problem remains. The suggestion of having larger tourism operators providing housing for their staff has been made in the community. Some have voluntarily done this. However, at this point, this is not a requirement. Increases in property values have an effect, which is already feared by some residents; the Whistlerization' of Tofino. As explained by a resident and government employee (interview n.l), "Lots of people are moving out. It's getting more of a 'Whistler kind of village' here all the time". As local people are not able to afford local properties, and as more wealthy people purchase holiday homes, the danger of Tofino becoming an artificial community, with the middle class and working class pushed to the periphery, is a possibility. 102 Tourists are consumers of space. The tremendous amount of tourist-related development in Tofino - holiday houses, shops, large resorts, and parking areas - confirms this. The loss of space dedicated to the community for social events, recreation purposes, and other community affairs can profoundly impact the lives of local people. The accessibility of space for such purposes is fundamental to bind the people in a community, by giving them the 'sense of belonging'. The loss of community space also contributes to the negative perception of tourism in the area. When these changes affect the lifestyles of residents and the tolerance for tourism is considerably reduced, the hospitality necessary to provide the visitor with a sense of being welcome is no longer in place. If tourism is to be a long-term successful investment, the social carrying capacity of destinations must be considered and assessed throughout development. The physical carrying capacity of Tofino needs to be examined. The facilities (car-parking spaces, bed spaces in accommodation, etc.,) available in town, and the town's infrastructure, are not sufficient to provide the current number of tourists with a quality stay. When their experience is impaired, tourists tend to look for better options. In a competitive world where destinations are striving to offer 'more' for 'less' and tourists are more knowledgeable then ever, maintaining the quality of the visitor experience is essential. b) Environmental Impacts Ecotourism in the region has been always a backbone for conservation. In view of that, many of the environmental impacts associated with tourism development have been positive. 103 Nevertheless, the detrimental environmental effects of rapid and unplanned tourism are already in place. Such impacts, although not critical at the moment, constitute a source of concern as they can trigger changes in the local ecology and destruction of the natural resources of the area. Sport fishing has impacted fish conservation by putting more pressure on wild stocks that had already been depleted by the fishing industry. A main component of the ecotourism industry, until about four to five years ago, sports fishing has been also impacted with the reduction of local stocks. As an alternative, the people involved in this activity have been targeting different species. They are also doing 'catch and release', which apparently works better for some species than others. While these strategies seem to maintain the industry, they have not necessarily addressed the pressure exerted on the remaining fish stocks. Marine pollution has been a cause of a concern in the area. With no appropriate sewage treatment in place, the effluent that passes through the town during summer goes straight out into the ocean. Some people have noticed a "bad smell" during certain periods, which could be a result of eutrofication of the organic matter in the ocean. However one long-term resident and tourism operator (interview n.7) explains that the smell is not a recent event and probably has a natural cause. Nevertheless, this problem, along with pollution caused by oil that leaks from boats (the majority of which are recreational boats) deserves closer examination. Both impacts have already raised a lot of resentment among some members of the Tla-o-qui-aht Band on Meares Island, across the bay from Tofino. As one of the band members explained: 104 "I would like, one day in the future be able to eat our clams again or go swimming in the ocean. I figure if keeps going on like this, it won't be able to happen " (interview 10). Not critical at this point, but a growing source of concern is the impact caused by kayakers who camp on pristine beaches leaving behind garbage and, in some circumstances cause wildlife disturbance. While the kayaking industry has been keen in preventing such impacts by promoting regular meetings to talk about how to camp on beaches, where to put refuse, and also by developing 'no trace guidelines' for the kayaking industry, independent kayakers do represent a problem. With no one to enforce compliance their behavior is entirely a matter of understanding the consequences of their own acts. Concern about the harassment of whales as a result of whale watching was also identified during the interviews. The whale watching industry has been very pro-active in addressing the problem. One of the approaches used by the industry was the development of its own guidelines with the park and the DFO (Department of Fisheries and Ocean) about ten or twelve years ago. These guidelines were developed using the existing fisheries regulations for whale watching in Johnson Strait. Another very effective approach has been through financial contributions and information provided to whale research or related institutions. One of the companies, for example, collects $2.00 per person and divides it equally between West Coast Whale Research Foundation, Strawberry Isle Research and Rory's Wildbird Rehabilitation Centre in Tofino, contributing about a $36,000/annually for marine research. According to the owner, most of the companies follow the guidelines and do get together in either formal (such as the whale watch organization in southern Vancouver Island and Washington) or in ad hoc meetings such as they do in Tofino. While the harassment of whales by whale watching boats 105 remains an issue, at this point, according to a well-known local whale researcher, there is no clear evidence of any negative impact on gray whales in the area. What is likely to be the biggest problem gray whales might face, he explains, is anything potentially affecting food supply, which may include fisheries and pollution, a problem that is already recognized, as noted earlier. A key issue in tourism destinations and even more relevant in ecotourist destinations is the notion of biological carrying capacity. The types of tourism products that Tofino and the whole region 'sell' are basically the 'wilderness experience', 'wildlife viewing', and 'landscape viewing'. Any changes imposed on the flora and fauna as a result of pollution or other physical disturbances, can severely affect the quality of the tourism product and, consequently, the quality of the visitor experience and the quality of life of local communities. Animals have their level of tolerance to tourism in the same way that ecosystems have their acceptable level of disturbance before the balance is altered. Finding these levels of tolerance is not a straightforward task and requires continuous monitoring and adaptive management and planning of tourism activities as well as regulations to support these actions. Nevertheless these are tasks that cannot be avoided in a sustainable tourism industry. 5.1.2. Ecotourism and First Nations With the highest unemployment rates in the province, First Nations communities have been trying to explore new economic opportunities. Since ecotourism activities occur in traditional First Nation territory, tourism presents a viable option for these communities. Moreover, there is a growing demand for a west coast First Nation experience. As explained by interviewer n.4: 106 "Tourists are not satisfied in just going to the gallery and seeing what is produced by First Nations. They want to see them producing, they want to understand the culture behind them ". Despite the great potential and the existence of successful First Nations businesses in Tofino (see chapter 3), First Nations communities have not been able to take full advantage of this market. The Treaty process seems to slow down their entry to the market, as it has taken a great deal of energy and the time of First Nations communities. However, strong competition with non-Aboriginal businesses, as they dominate the tourism market, combined with the lack of experience in tourism and racial tensions seem to be the major factors inhibiting their role in tourism. As explained by a representative of Ministry of Small Business Tourism and Culture (MSBTC): "The First Nations really need to be able to work with other business people for joint venturing, to understand how businesses work, what the tourists needs are. There isn't that opportunity just because of the problems they are having such as, the fact that tourism is happening in traditional First Nation territories, a lot of the operators are going to sacred sites, taking things from the grave. When First Nations go to talk to these operators they usually do not get a very positive reception from most of them. And another side of that is that the competition is so fierce out there that nobody really wants to work with each other. The First Nations have a really hard time breaking into the market, because they really need to partner with someone that it is a bit established. What we are finding in the whale watching, for example, is that a lot of the new operators in the region will hire First Nations for the first year to guide and find out the good spots out from the First Nations guides and then, they won't hire them again. They will put other people" (interview n. 6). The lack of understanding that First Nations have of the cultural impacts of Aboriginal Tourism in their communities also seems to inhibit their participation in tourism. Despite this, their interest in the market persists. At least one study regarding tourism opportunities in the 107 region has been prepared for them (see the report "Clayoquot Sound/Central Region Tourism Opportunities Study - A Process Towards Tourism Development"). Another obstacle seems to be the lack of start-up capital for First Nations communities, as most of the money on First Nations reserves is being used to address social problems and for social management. There is a perception that even the Ma-mook Development Corporation, which was established specifically to assist with businesses, has not been too successful in the area. Finally, and a very significant factor inhibiting the whole process, is the fact that First Nations communities in Clayoquot Sound, with few exceptions, are not receiving the economic benefits from non-Aboriginal tourism which happens in their traditional territories. Some geographical areas have been also impacted. As explained by interviewer n.4: "Hot Springs Cove (the Hesquiaht Band), more than any place in the sound is receiving a tremendous impact. Ecological impact and they are trying to start to see an economic impact. There is a lodge there for a couple of years which has seen some revenue, but for the most part it is still non-First Nations tourism operators that are taken people to that location and bringing them out, keeping the money here in Tofino. One of their proposals is that operators be charged an access fee, to utilize things that are in their territory. Two dollars from every ticket would go back to First Nations just for utilizing their lands. There is a lot of resistance on that in the community of Tofino but there are some models there that would make it seem practical. Like now the whale watching companies voluntarily give a portion of their ticket price to Strawberry Island to help whale research there. Unfortunately, it's a lot of waiting and seeing and that's not being pro-active ". 108 This problem needs to be resolved as it could otherwise enhance tensions already in place with serious implications for non-Aboriginal tourism when treaty negotiations are concluded. It appears that a good proportion of the tourism sector in Tofino shares this concern and is willing to work and solve this issue, but no one seems to know how to build this relationship. According to interviewer n.l 1, it is fundamental that non-Aboriginals be pro-active. "We have to acknowledge the 200 years of absolute oppression and understand why they don't want to take part. They don't have great experience! Some people may think that it's their problem. But in fact, we have the responsibility to help them since we created the problems. We made a hell of confrontations! And nobody will benefit from this confrontation. As soon as we recognize that, we can take one step forward. So to change that foundation we have to start from square one, and not wait for them to be ready to join us. Are we ready to include them, operate with them? We won't move until we are together. So a lot of education has to happen around just that. We have to educate the dominant population, so they can first recognize their responsibility in that and then we can head on and take responsibility." 5.1.3. Constraints to Sustainable Tourism - The Local Level The most significant constraints to sustainable tourism, raised in the interviews, are strong factions in the community of Tofino, the lack of a common vision for tourism development, the lack of government commitment to tourism development, and organizational constraints within the tourism business sector. a) The Strong Community Faction The change from a resource based to a service based economy has created several factions in the community. This could be attributed to the fact that originally Tofino was a fishing village, holding traditional resource base values. When ecotourism started, the people who came to 109 develop business in the industry were from the outside. There was reluctance with the new comers and with the new influx of tourists. When the ecotourism industry began to articulate and make complaints about some of the other traditional industries in the area, the loyalty of the local people from those traditional economies lay with the old industries. Part of the community aligned themselves with the logging industry. This is still true, where there is still a lot of controversy between those resource based values and environmental values. This controversy is clearly seen by the existence of two business organizations dealing with tourism. The Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (TCC), mainly comprised of small entrepreneurs, such as ecotourism operators, B&B, local businesses, etc, represents conservation interests. The other, the Tofino Business Association (TBA), comprised of resource base industries, hotels, resources and other local business, represents the interests of those industries and big businesses. As stated by interviewer n. 5: "The faction is such that these associations do not even talk to each other, they are so busy fighting with each other that they are both often engaged in businesses of mutual interest". Unfortunately, this conflict is one of the big barriers to tourism planning both at the local and regional levels. b) The Lack of a Common Vision for Ecotourism Development Tofino has not yet created a common vision for ecotourism. This is a constraint for the implementation of sustainable tourism where the industry must be planned and managed to fulfill the social, ecological, cultural and environmental goals of the community. The creation 110 of a common vision is one of the pre-requisites in tourism development to meet these goals. Although many in the industry understand this need, creating a common vision in Tofino has encountered constraints, as explained by interviewee n. 4: "There are so many different opinions about where tourism is going and where it should go. The visions range from those who think that tourism has only reach half of its potential right now, that we can grow another 50%. There are other people that feel that tourism had already surpassed, gone beyond what the area can manage and should be scaled back. And then there are other people that think: let's just get how many we can, while we can and just like logging and fishing, one day it may go away. Let's get all the money now; what's coming now, let's just be thankful for that. It's often called the 'gold rush mentality'. So, it's very difficult to have a visioning process. That process also costs money, to have meetings, to have people to record the meetings, to have people to analyze the data that we collect". Strong differences of opinion in the community and the lack of money seem to play a major role in constraining the development of a common vision. A representative of MSBTC (interview n.6) however believes that money is not really the major constraint, but the strong divisions in the community. As he explains: "There is money available through the province to establish the process to develop a community vision. Tofino could pay for half of the expenses. The Central Region Board (CRB) is a potential catalyst for this process. I think the leadership has to come from the community. The communities that are successful, the champion communities, are the ones that have the vision and do the ground work themselves. It never works if the provincial or the federal government steps in. Government has a part of that, providing funding for different things, changing regulations, paying for facilitators to go to the communities and help them to come together. Tofino is a really challenging one because its got a very strong conservation interest and also the other interests. The two groups do not meet together and lots of games are played because they just don't want to meet." 111 In Tofino, tourism leadership has been basically from the private sector and recently, a non-profit organization - the West Coast Tourism Association - has been involved. Even the tourism leadership in the private sector has been weakened by strong differences in the sector, represented by the two businesses associations. The involvement of the local and regional governments in the development of the industry as a whole has been also affected by these strong values, which extent throughout the region. For an industry that requires special organization and leadership, this is the least desired scenario in implementing a sustainable tourist destination. c) The Lack of Government Commitment The gap in the community of Tofino seems clearly to be reflected in the local government and in its role in tourism development. As an indication of the level of commitment to the major economic generator in town, there is no government tourism sector or anybody to perform this role. This shows both the lack of support provided to the tourism industry and the lack of integration that tourism development has with other economic activities. The only municipal department that could be related to tourism is the Parks and Recreation Department. Although the department has been working in providing public washrooms, green spaces, and trails to the community, which will directly benefit tourism, their work has been oriented to residents needs, and not with the overall development of tourism. Most of the tourism initiatives have been taken by the Tofino Chamber of Commerce and the Tofino Business Association. Promotion, marketing and tourism planning seem not to be accepted as the role of local government. As explained by a politically involved, long-term resident and tourism entrepreneur: "There has been a total change now in how many people in the last ten years are making their living as tourism based. And yet, from a political point of view, we still haven't made the change at the council level that says, money is there, our money is in tourism, we need to know as much as possible of this industry, we need to be promoting it, or controlling it, or dealing with it. All of these things they should be doing, they should be thinking about it, everything connected. And yet, what they are still doing is acting like ostriches, with their heads in the sand, pretending it is not something that needs to deal with at all. All they need to deal with is making sure that the water comes and the sewage goes and the sidewalks are paved. These are the standard municipal concerns " (interview n.2). The lack of local government commitment with tourism development is clearly a reflection of local values, which are laid in the old power structure. It also reflects the values at the regional level that are essentially laid in the same power structure. Being a small community, Tofino has been always under the auspices of Port Alberni, a forestry-based district with obvious different priorities. Tourism has never been a priority in the region despite increasing revenues generated by the activity in Tofino and throughout the whole region. Tofino is no longer associated with the Port Alberni Economic Development Commission and has had a little bit of money that was used to hire a local planner. That planner however, seems not to be able to address the entire town's planning needs, as expressed by a politically involved resident and tourism entrepreneur (interview n.8): "That's a planner just for the district and that's really around a development planning. There isn't anybody or any organization focused on community development, social development issues. The Central Region Board (CRB) has been asked by the provincial government to oversee economic development in the 113 area, but it does not have the resources to do that... One of the things that has occurred to me during my work with the CRB, and First Nations communities and lot of local communities, most of the initiatives around planning or different kinds of initiatives that we are trying to get going, require leadership. I think what would work is if we have designated staff people that could do some of the work that needs to be done around community development and social development in the area. " The lack of integration of tourism into town planning is not a surprising situation. Because a great deal of tourism involves the private sector, local planners often perceive tourism outside of their roles. Besides, the training and education of planners have not included tourism as a curriculum topic (Gunn, 1994). This seems to be another important factor contributing to the lack of local government commitment toward tourism development. Nevertheless, as concluded by Dredge and Moore (1992 in Gunn, 1994:261), "town planners have not only great opportunity but responsibilities to incorporate vision, guidelines, and specific plans for tourism into their traditional local roles". In Tofino, this need is even greater due to the impact the activity has in town and the fact that tourism has never been planned. Important however, is the recognition that planning for sustainable tourism requires the participation of a variety of actors and interests for the successful implementation of plans and policies. In this context, the development of partnerships between all sectors - government, private sector, and NGOs - is considered essential. Despite present constraints, the community of Tofino, since November 2000, has been committed to review its Official Community Plan (OCP), which takes place every 10 years. The OCP review might be a great exercise to integrate tourism in the town's planning as it 114 promises to address at least some key issues in tourism development. As explained by elected council member (interview n. 3): "The biggest thing right now is to come up with an Official Community Plan which takes a long-term vision. ...There is also housing, but tourism both in terms of actual buildings and in terms of the value of the properties is by far, the biggest sector of development of Tofino. Most development that goes in is tourist related, shops or new resorts or B&Bs, that's by far the biggest chunk of development in Tofino. So the OCP deals a lot with tourism. " Even with the efforts of the local community and local council, there is still a perception that tourism development involves issues that local planning will not be able to address. This is expressed by (interview n.8): "They have a difficult task because they have very little resources and there is a huge planning job that needs to be done. And they are most concerned about planning for the District of Tofino only whereas I think the planning needs to happen on a wider scale. So they are planning for the sewage, water, those kinds of things parking, but there is the whole area. So there are a lot broader issues than just the municipal government. " Such a perception is well substantiated by Gunn (1994) when he states: "If tourism development is to reach toward improved social, economic, and environmental goals, the destination zone is as important to plan as the site unit". Tofino itself is not the destination. It is impossible to separate Tofino from the rest of the region. The whole Clayoquot Sound area including the First Nations communities, along with Barkley Sound and Ucluelet, as part of the Pacific Rim, is the destination (interview n.8). Since planning for a destination zone requires the involvement of many jurisdictions, cooperation on a wider scale is necessary. In this 115 context, the development of a tourism strategy for the region and possibly surrounding areas requires the active involvement of senior governments as well as the municipalities. d) Organizational Constraints within the Local Tourism Business Sector The powerful role of the private sector in tourism management at the destination level has been stressed in chapter 2, as well as its powerful role in promoting sustainability. Chapter 2 also addressed the need for tourism destination marketing with an emphasis on promoting the destination, rather than individual elements. For these reasons, cooperation within the private sector is essential, especially among tourism businesses. This will allow for the development of strategic alliances among businesses and will also facilitate the development of synergetic partnerships with the public sector and non-governmental organizations that are fundamental in managing tourism towards sustainability. Despite the strong need for cooperation, the fragmented nature of the tourism product, allied with the preponderance of small businesses at the destination level do not facilitate cooperation (Scott, et al, 2001). This is clearly seen in Tofino where a large part of the tourism business sector is comprised of small businesses. The quotes below describe the difficulties experienced in the sector. "The classic problem with tourism in general and with ecotourism businesses in particular in Tofino, is that they are run by small units, they are individuals who are spending 95% of their time trying to keep the bank off their back, being only able to organize at a very small level and put a certain amount of time into it. And there always has been the problem out here" (interview n.l) and, "It is difficult on the local level to keep things in place especially when you have these four/five months every single year that stops the process " (interview 4). 1 1 6 Cooperation among many tourist businesses and other businesses does exist in Tofino. The emphasis here, however, is on strong cooperation within the tourism business sector as a whole, and among the private sector. This would allow the industry to work with a common front to market and manage the tourism product collectively. Clearly from the quotes above, cooperation is limited by time and money constraints. There are two other factors affecting cooperation in Tofino. A representative of MSBTC for example, points to the lack of expertise in the sector as a major barrier against cooperation. The fact that a lot of tourism entrepreneurs are either ex-loggers, ex-fish workers or people with no experience in tourism, results in a general lack of knowledge of the industry needs and, ultimately, the lack of understanding of the need for cooperative management within the sector to improve the quality of the tourism product. If the industry wants to succeed, it has to be constantly adjusting its products according to rapid changes in customer requirements and expectations. Middleton and Hawkins (1998), for example, points out that tourist information, which lies in the hands of the private sector, is one of the most powerful tools in tourism management and a key element in influencing demand in a sustainable way. As he explains, "Customer and product knowledge is the basis of modern competition for market share for all forms of commercial enterprise (p. 109). Therefore, detailed knowledge of who are the tourists and what kind of products are in demand is essential in shaping the tourism product to benefit not only the accommodation, food and tour-operation sectors, but all retail businesses and other direct or indirect beneficiaries of tourism. Tourist information, however, must be standardized, collected in a regular basis and shared by as many tourism businesses (and non-tourism businesses). 117 In Tofino, until very recently, 'tourist origins' was basically the only tourist information gathered by the Chamber through its Infocentre. Presently, there is an attempt to collect more complex information, such as number of times visiting the place, reasons for coming, trying to determine people's knowledge of the area before they arrive, awareness of the biosphere, etc. However, only 4% of the traveling public uses the information center, according to an estimation done by the province. Lately, the national park has been collecting similar information and some tourism businesses have been collecting their own information, but there is a lack of a detailed tourist database for marketing purposes. Having a detailed tourist database would also allow for a greater diversification in the sector as the requirement and expectations of tourists could be fulfilled with the creation of specific activities and services. This would help to decrease competition in the same type of business, contributing to the sustainability of the tourism industry. Cooperative marketing, which is contrary to what currently happens in Tofino where individual enterprises market their own product, could also lead to enhancement in productivity and profits. As suggested by interview n.8: "I think if we work together we can market it better, and we can promote longer stays, of people doing more things across all of the communities which will benefit everybody rather than having a lot of people coming for one or two nights, just to whale watch or just to kayak for a day or something like that. Or they come to a kayaking trip and they stay here one night and then they kayak for a couple of days and then they leave. And they don't get to see the rest of the area, go into the park or explore and see the cultural aspects of the area. So if first of all, we have a more regional approach and we all work together at least on the marketing and on the organization on how we disseminate our information. And how we great and meet and provide for tourists. " 118 Cooperation among tour-operators is also essential in addressing carrying capacity issues at destinations. Despite the undeniable role of the government sector in the process of establishing the capacity thresholds, the role of tour-operators is immense as they are able to closely monitor the impacts of tourism and the efficacy of control mechanisms. As explained by a representative of MTSBC: "Carrying capacity is very adaptive. The operators have a key stake in this as well as the communities in figuring out where the boundaries are, and those boundaries will shift, and as these boundaries shift, they need to be responsive to market as well. Because people will be doing different things in five years, some of the things that we are seen now I never would have thought we would be doing five years ago. There is a demand side to this whole capacity equation, which means, it has to be fairly flexible" (interview n.6). Cooperation in the sector can also foster the dissemination of sustainable practices. Such practices can act not only as a market tool, as growing number of tourists are becoming more environmentally conscious in their choices, but also can improve the quality of the tourism product. Destinations that strive to maintain high quality of their products, including the implementation of environmental management systems in hotels, restaurants, and other tourist sites for more efficient use of energy, waste management and re-use and recycling policies, could have advantages over other destinations. In reality, this contributes to the reduction of operational costs, which can also offer competitive advantages. There is no evidence of 'green operations' in Tofino, which is a contradiction in a destination that essentially 'sells' the pristine environment to ecotourists. 119 Finally, negotiations among tourism businesses would be facilitated if the sector were organized on a basis of strong cooperation. As an example, an attempt to collect a 2% hotel tax (to use in tourism improvements or tourism related infrastructure) which half a dozen of communities in the province have been collecting and for which others have applied, failed in Tofino as not all the operators agreed on the idea. The project did not achieve consensus as it was presented as an initiative to sole fund a regional visitor information center and not with what Tofino could do with the money (interview n. 4). The fact is that Tofino has not yet applied for this tax, which means a loss of 2 million dollars/year to invest in tourism improvements or tourism related infrastructure. 5.1.4. Constraints to Sustainable Tourism - The Regional Level The constraints at the regional level pose the biggest challenges in the development of sustainable tourism in the region while inhibiting the development of a sustainable industry at the local level where support of senior government is essential. The most significant constraints at the regional level raised during the interviews are the lack of regulation in Clayoquot Sound, the hegemony of the Ministry of Forests (MF), treaty negotiations and constraints within the region's participatory planning structure. a) The Lack of Regulation The majority of tourism in the region, which essentially assumes a form of ecotourism, takes place in parks (5% of the land-base), crown land (90%) or in the marine area. With the exception of the provincial parks, which have a mandate in conservation and recreation, regulations in the marine and land base areas are aimed at other development concerns, not 120 tourism. The land base has been only managed for forestry interests. Even though a new framework for forest planning had been established in the region in 1995, with the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel and had integrated some tourism values, the new regulations still relate to forestry management and do not address tourism development. The result is an area with tourism resources partially protected from forestry, but lacking any mechanisms to control tourist and tour-operator activities, especially in the marine area. A representative of the Provincial Ministry of Forests explains the current scenario: "There are no constraints on tourism and recreation there right now. There is no planning for tourism. As many people who want to go there can go there, as many operators who wish to operate can operate there, people are applying for leases to be able to set up tour-operations, which can affect the integrity of the area. Plus, there is also the need to have opportunities for local people, for non-commercial recreation, for First Nations recreation, none of that is managed. So you have boats all over the place, you have beaches where there is fecal contamination, you have people chasing whales all over the place, and you have people loosing that different sense of recreation opportunities. So I see the lack of any kind of management, coordination and recreation tourism now being the greater threat" (interview n.5). This situation seems to worry a lot of Tofino tour-operators, as they are very aware of the threat ecotourism is likely to face if environmental and psychological carrying capacities of sites are exceeded. As put by interviewee number 2: "There is an ecological concern that an excess of tourism can have a negative impact on the environment. At the same time there is a concern to find out tourism carrying capacity since ecotourists have less tolerance to a great number of tourists in the same environment than other kind of tourists have. There is an understanding that the ecotourism industry could be destroyed if there are too many people out doing the same thing". 121 There is no control of tour-operators' activities in the area, or any mechanism to restrict their numbers. The only current control is exercised by BC Parks for businesses that require camping in BC Parks in Clayoquot Sound, such as most kayak companies. However, as explained by a representative of MSBTC, the real challenge is not to manage the operators, as this is fairly easy to do, but to manage the public, especially in BC, where the public has the idea that if there is public land they should be able to go there any time. Setting limits in Crown land promises to be one of the greatest challenges in the region. There is a consensus that the development of a regional tourism strategy is critical to both regulate tourism activities in the region and to control tourism growth. The implementation of the strategy would also regulate other activities that compete for the same resources in the area. The lack of regulation in the marine area, for example, brings some uneasiness to resource industries like fish farming which have been not only under heavy attacks by environmentalists, but which also operate against some conservation principles encouraged by the ecotourism industry. Among them is the killing of sea lions that feed on farmed fish, environmental pollution and fish escapes which represent a threat to wild salmon. In addition, the noisy power feeders of fish farms and their smell and infrastructure are not attractive to the great majority of tourists. Although there has been no explicit confrontation between these industries, this has been one of the roots of animosity between the two businesses associations and a strong reason for calls for a tourism strategy in the region. Both associations have sent many letters and had many meetings with the provincial government, asking tourism to lead, rather than forestry, showing the need to create a broader vision for Clayoquot Sound; a broad tourism plan that integrates everything! 122 Beyond that, there is a tremendous need to stretch the tourism market throughout the whole region. While a strategy would allow the economic and social benefits of tourism to spread to other communities, including the First Nations communities, it might decrease pressure in areas like Tofino. Finally, many infrastructure needs and investment incentives for tourism development required in Tofino and throughout the region depend on the support of senior levels of government. A quote from interviewee number 8 expresses the need for this support. "What all of us here need, in terms of government support is FIXING OUR ROAD! There is all kinds of infrastructure and things, so helping us in getting our sewage thing worked out, and there is all these issues of divestiture by the federal government of the docks and the airport and all that, and giving them over to these small districts to look after who have no resources... If more of our tax dollars, from the revenue that we generate, can be put back into developing the area, it would be wonderful!" One of the big problems faced by tourism destinations and already experienced by Tofino are their tax base systems. According to representative of MSBTC, a visitor in Tofino costs $57.00/day. This is what each visitor should be paying to the town to maintain and enhance the town's infrastructure and to pay for services provided to tourists. However, since that money is not attributed to the tax base, most of the taxes are paid to the province, not to the local community. Therefore, although tourists are spending money in Tofino, the money is going into the businesses and to the provincial government and does not come back in the form of tax base to the local community. Because the community tax base is based on the number of 123 residents, a property tax is all the community is able to get. This is one of the tourism issues that a regional tourism strategy would be able to address properly. The need for a regional tourism strategy is indisputable. The recognition comes not only from the tourism business sector but also from the provincial government that has been receptive to this need and acknowledges their stewardship role of the resources. A representative of MF for example acknowledges that they have a role in that, although they are not responsible for commercial tourism activities, they should be looking for where those activities occur so they do not degrade the opportunities for non-commercial recreation, which is their mandate. A representative of MSBTC agrees with the need for carrying capacity studies to determine tourism growth limits and their responsibility in doing the study. He explains that despite the lack of adequate financial and human resources to perform the huge role of the ministry in the province, recent approval of a million dollars will allow the industry to address some of its crucial needs (information provided in July, 2000). As explained by him: "Carrying capacity is a problem we are facing all over the province. That's the area we are talking about moving in, and we talk about in terms of growth, growth strategies, another term for carrying capacity. We are about to get a million dollars unfrozen from the treasure board to develop a broad tourism strategy for the province. We will set some provincial goals, then we got 8 tourism regions, then we '11 look at defining what products are in which region and where the growth opportunity is and then we '11 start to develop plans. This will be done with the participation of the communities. This year we'll do the broad umbrella plan, which is what we are trying to achieve in the province -sustainable tourism. What is that look like? How do we define that? We need to go through that process broadly. And then we '11 start to look at the regions and, Tofino is probably an area that in the next couple of years we '11 go and start doing some hard work on " (interview n.6). 124 Despite this potential, the development of a regional tourism strategy for Clayoquot Sound is constrained as discussed below. b) The Hegemony of the Ministry of Forests Because logging provides so much of the revenue for the province, forestry interests dominate any planning process in BC. The Land-Use Plan on Vancouver Island is the best proof of this statement. A quote from interviewee number 2 illustrates this state of affairs: "In all of the government processes that we had been involved in out here, the Ministry of Forests has ruled the processes. And it is the Ministry of Forests which dictates how much money get spent on what studies and if there is anything to do with tourism, only what they want to study is people's perception about how much Clayoquot logging they can stand to look at. " So even with tourism booming all around BC, specifically ecotourism and adventure tourism, with an annual growth between 4 and 8%, producing 113,000 direct jobs, plus the revolving services, and having a competitive GDP (forestry-$5.2 billions/annually) (tourism-$4.2 billions / annually), the Ministry of Small Business Tourism and Culture "is low in the cabinet" and has not yet gained the support it deserves. One can compare their staff of 75, with the staff of 4,500 of the Ministry of Forests (interview n.6). There are obvious reasons for this. The BC government is one of the biggest groups that profits from large-scale industrial logging, given that in the current system it collects $20.00 stumpage fee per cubic meter of timber. So despite the fact that tourism has been generating revenue and more jobs than large-scale forestry, it does not provide the provincial government 125 with the same 'benefits' that large-scale forestry does. Although many NGOs and local communities have already asked for a restructuring of the forest tenure system, and suggested more sustainable practices in the province, these would not produce the same short-term 'benefits' to the government. There are two main problems. First is that the province is not taking a broader prospective on economic development and community sustainability, which sustainable tourism and community-ecosystem-forestry have the potential to promote. Secondly, all the process and planning mechanisms in the province, including the Central Region Board (CRB) - a local resource board for the region - are tied to the interests of the MF. c) Treaty Negotiations The fact that the Clayoquot Sound region is under treaty negotiations seems to be another factor that constraints the development of a regional tourism strategy. There is a perception that First Nations have been so absorbed in the treaty process that despite the demand for Aboriginal tourism, they cannot move beyond other interests until land claims are resolved. Uncertainty about the outcomes of the treaty process seems to affect non-First Nations communities as well, which possibly contributes to a general inertia towards any action related to this matter. As explained by interviewee number 4: "There is a lot of uncertainty about that, everybody is waiting to see, and non-First Nations are waiting to see as well, how that's going to translate. I think there is going to be some land issues, some land and area access issues, is very difficult... We are all in the position where we have to wait". 126 As the new BC government has put all treaties to a public referendum, the conclusion of treaties may take longer than expected and be a deterrent in the development of a strategy. d) Constraints within the Region s Participatory Planning Structure The development of a regional tourism strategy will require active participation of First Nations communities and non-First Nations communities in the region as suggested by a representative of MSBTC. The region has a local resources board for local communities to participate in planning processes, the Central Region Board (CRB). That board has a number of responsibilities for reviewing and making recommendations for resource management, providing initiatives in the local communities. Beside the role of the CRB in undertaking public review for the watershed plans in the region, government would like to see the CRB leading the tourism planning process. As explained by representative of MF: "One of the priorities that the Interagency Management Committee (MSBTC, MF, ME) have identified and is transferring over to the CRB is that they would like to see some sort of marine planning, as the land part of things is reasonably well addressed. But the marine and tourism inshore use has not been planned and that's something that has been identified as a priority, it needs to be addressed. One of the things this government would like to see the CRB working on is working with the people and trying to pool together to plan for these different resources values on the marine area in particular, marine planning, particularly recreation, shellfish, aquaculture. It will be up to the CRB to come up with strategies and proposals and how they intend to address that. So this is an emerging priority that the CRB should try to address. I will hope that it will be coordinated by the CRB on which the mayor and one of the aldermen of Tofino are on the board. They will take the lead role. My hope is that will be the major focus of the CRB over the next couple of year" (interview n.5). 127 Despite the above and the fact that many in Tofino also believe that the CRB has helped and can help create the dialogue to get the common agreements, it seems that there has been a lot of frustration with the board as reflected by the comment made by interviewee number 4: "There is lot of potential. Unfortunately the CRB, since it has begun, without exception, has not made an approval on anything but where to cut logs. And they have been in existence for half of a decade. That's disappointing for a lot of people because there is lot offaith in a local body that complies of government, First Nations and of local decision-makers that can actually make some very far sweeping decisions that affect a lot of different things. ...So the planning committee kind of fell apart as they were getting angry about the fact they weren't been given the permission to look at other issues. So now is becoming a technical committee, which is kind of going to be the same thing. Locally the CRB is beginning to lose its credibility, the support of the community. There has never been a great public access in the CRB except through the people that are in the board itself." Given this constraint, it is difficult to foresee whether the CRB would be able to efficiently coordinate this marine planning and be a catalyst for all the negotiations that a regional tourism strategy would require. Nevertheless, the success of the strategy will be linked to the ability of local communities to communicate among themselves at a satisfactory level and the ability of each community to develop strong leadership, which is tied to finding common ground. Concerted efforts, cooperation and alliances would help the communities of Clayoquot Sound to gradually build the capacity necessary to overcome the barriers that prevent the development of a successful strategy in the region and any other development process. 5.2. The Community's Perception of Ecotourism Development The responses presented in this section are from residents of Tofino. The first part of this section consists of the analysis. A general profile of respondents is initially presented along 128 with the overall perception of respondents towards ecotourism and the vision for ecotourism development created by respondents. Following is the discussion, which I divided into seven topics that best articulate survey results. They are: the concept of ecotourism in Tofino, the town's infrastructure, the state of the industry, the role of ecotourism in Tofino, the planning and management of ecotourism, a community vision for ecotourism, community participation in ecotourism planning/management, and ecotourism and First Nations. 5.2.1. Analysis a) General Profile of Respondents Of the 117 respondents, about 83% live in the community year round, 12% live in the community about 9 months/year and about 5% live there only on the summer months. Of the total respondents, about 62% have had a residence in Tofino for over six years, 40% are aged between 25-44 years old and 30% between 45-64 years old. The sample is made up of 51% female and 49% male respondents, with about 61% of them being married or having a partner. About 48% of respondents reported to have 1 to 2 people living in the house, while 32% have three to four. Of all of respondents, 58% hold at least a vocational/technical/college diploma while 28% have an ENGO (environmental non-governmental organization) membership. Almost all of the respondents (95%) are either employed or self-employed, and the remaining (5%) are students working in the summer months. Household income reported by respondents is presented in Table 2. 129 Table 2: Total household income before taxes. Income (Can $ 1,000) Percentage Less than 15 14 15-34.9 23 35 -54.9 13 55 -74.9 12 75 -99.9 11 100- 129.9 5 More than 130 2 Non-response 20 Total 100 The majority of respondents (73%) work in the tourism private sector, however, of the remaining 27%, about 74% have businesses that benefit indirectly from tourism. Table 3 presents the distribution of respondents from the tourism private sector according to the type of operation. Table 3: Types of operation. Operation Percentage Tour-operator 22 Accommodation operator 38 Food operator 19 Tourism shops 17 Tourism attractions 4 Total 100 N= 86 (total of respondents from the tourism private sector) Some respondents may have chosen more than one category when their businesses cover more than one operation 130 b) Overall Perception Towards Ecotourism in Tofino The perception of the state of development of ecotourism varies. About 34% of respondents believe that the industry is underdeveloped while 26% believe the industry is heavily developed, (19%) fully developed, and (13%) over developed. Based on the qualitative data provided in this question, those who believe, that the industry is under-developed focus more on the organizational/managerial level of ecotourism. They perceive that ecotourism in Tofino is unorganized, unregulated, with no community vision, government standards, guidelines, planning, adequate infrastructure and having no mechanism to control or monitor impacts. Nevertheless, they believe that there is room for growth, especially if all the above are taken into account. On the other hand, respondents in other categories are concerned with the actual number of tourists, as well as the fact that infrastructure cannot support the large number of tourists. Many believe that the marine ecosystem has been heavily exploited and is threatened in contrast with the land ecosystem. They feel that any more development has the potential to negatively affect the environment, the community and the industry itself. When asked about how much tourism growth they would like to see in ten years, about 50% of respondents answered they do not wish any more growth, while about 30% would like to see 50%) growth, and another 8% want more than a 100% growth. Many who do not wish more growth, however, stated that growth might be possible if diversification in the sector occurs along with the implementation of adequate infrastructure and proper planning, management, and monitoring to support the activity. 131 About 38% of respondents are satisfied with the role of tourism in the community while about 45% express mixed feelings (Table 4). Except for those who are completely dissatisfied, the respondents comment that tourism has a positive impact on the local economy. Nevertheless, those with mixed feelings or who are dissatisfied with tourism focus on the series of negative impacts triggered by the activity. In addition, those who are dissatisfied stated that the industry has been operating in a 'self-serving mode', meaning that the economic benefits from tourism have not been accrued to the community as a whole. Table 4. Satisfaction with the role of tourism Degree of Satisfaction Percentage Completely satisfied 7 Mostly satisfied 32 Mixed 45 Mostly dissatisfied 8 Completely dissatisfied 3 No opinion 3 No Response 2 Total 100 Respondents consider environmental conservation of Clayoquot Sound and job increase as the two most important positive impacts of ecotourism, followed by the economic opportunities for First Nations Aboriginal tourism and creation of the Biosphere Reserve (Table 5). 132 Table 5. Positive impacts of ecotourism. Impacts Percentage* Environmental conservation of Clayoquot Sound 57 Job increase 56 Economic opportunities for First Nations - Aboriginal Tourism 31 Creation of the Biosphere Reserve 30 Community awareness 20 Self-regulatory initiatives - guidelines for whale-watching tour-operators 19 Community pride 9 Interregional understanding 4 •Percentage is calculated from each 'impact' for which responses were YES and exclude all cases where there was no response. The three most serious negative impact of the industry (Table 6) are identified as the lack of housing during summer, problems with sewage and water infrastructure and increases in costs of living. Table 6. Negative impacts of ecotourism (in percentage). Negative Impacts Very / Extremely Serious Not / Somewhat Serious Lack of housing (summer only) 81 19 Problems with sewage and water infrastructure 72 28 Increase in costs of living 60 40 Lack of housing (year round) 54 46 Inappropriate tourist behavior in wilderness 45 55 Harassment of wildlife 44 56 Too many tourists in town 33 67 Inappropriate tourist behavior in town 32 68 Too many tourists in wilderness 32 68 Degradation of aboriginal sacred sites 27 73 Loss of community privacy 23 77 133 When asked i f ecotourism is being managed properly about 62% of the respondents believe it is not. Comments in this question however indicate that most businesses operators in Tofino have either attempted to manage or have managed the activity in a proper way, but the lack of tourism planning both at local and regional levels, does not allow for coordination of these efforts and an overall strategy for managing the industry. It is interesting to note that respondents in the tourism private sector are less judgmental about the industry's performance. About 58% in the sector in contrast with about 81% in the non-tourism sector believe that ecotourism is not being managed properly. Following the same pattern, more respondents in the tourism sector (19%) believe that the industry is managed properly in contrast with only (3%>) in the non-tourism sector. Respondents were also asked to choose what they perceive to be the three most serious constraints for the development of a local ecotourism plan (Table 7). Lack of a common vision for ecotourism development in Tofino, lack of integration between local government and private sector and lack of community involvement in local issues are among the most serious constraints. In this question, the category other was also offered for respondents to present their own perception of the most serious constraints. The most cited were: the lack of involvement with First Nations, the lack of concern with the environment and the excess of politics in town. 134 Table 7. Constraints for the development of a local ecotourism plan. Constraints Percentage* Lack of a 'common vision' for ecotourism development in Tofino Lack of integration between local government and private sector Lack of community involvement in local issues Lack of a local tourism 'committee' to deal with ecotourism development Lack of a regional tourism strategy Lack of organization of the tourism sector 59 30 27 27 27 14 •Percentage of respondents is calculated from each 'constraint' for which responses were YES and exclude all cases where there was no response. When asked to express their opinion about who should be responsible for the planning and management of ecotourism (Table 8), about 55% of respondents believe that ecotourism should be planned and managed by a 'committee' composed by community members, government and tourism sector. Among all respondents, five percent would like that First Nations participate in this planning/management body (assessed in the category other). Table 8. Responsibility for the planning/management of ecotourism Preferred Body Percentage Local government 3 Tourism sector 4 Both local government and tourism sector 16 A 'committee' of community members, government and tourism sector 55 Respondents were asked to evaluate the support the community .provides to ensure that ecotourism remains a vibrant part of the economy. About 38% of respondents evaluated it as good and 5% excellent, while about 31% evaluated it as fair and 14% as poor. Other 20 3 100 No opinion Total 135 Respondents were also asked to evaluate the level of participation residents have in local government decisions. About 45% of respondents evaluated this as poor while about 24% evaluated this as fair. The qualitative data gathered in this question shows that respondents who chose the categories poor and fair, have similar views concerning residents' participation in local government decisions. These are: a) government decisions are most of the times made without public input; b) council inclined to represent businesses interests more than community interests; c) lack of information about meetings or decisions; d) community apathy - decline in participation / lack of pro-active participation; e) participatory process has not allowed efficient community participation ("counterproductive in addressing and resolving real issues"; "need to develop processes oriented to this community). Contrasting with the view above, 20% of all respondents that rated the level of community participation in local government decisions as good and excellent believe that: a) residents are generally very active in local government decisions; b) the T B A (the Tofino Business Association) and the Chamber (the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce) are also very active in issues and in decision-making process; c) lots of input are allowed in government decisions; d) present council more inclined to represent community interests. Respondents were asked to indicate the three more important infrastructures to improve ecotourism development (Table 9). These are biking trails, hiking trails and campgrounds. 136 Table 9. Infrastructure to improve ecotourism development. Infrastructure Percentage Biking trails Hiking trails Campgrounds Municipal parks ENGOs (environmental non- governmental organization) Restaurants Retail business Tour-operators Art galleries B&B (bed and breakfast) Hotels 47 39 37 21 18 14 8 7 6 4 3 *Percentage is calculated from each 'infrastructure' for which responses were YES and exclude all cases where there was no response Respondents in this question had the opportunity to make suggestions of the infrastructure needs to improve ecotourism development in Tofino. The most cited were: affordable housing for seasonal workers and residents, parking, water and sewage treatment, public washrooms, and public transportation. The last question of perceptions towards ecotourism refers to the important things for the industry (Table 10). The most important things according to respondents are a local tourism action plan, a community vision for ecotourism, and dialogue between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people and communication among the local communities of the Clayoquot Sound Region. In this question, respondents had also opportunity to make suggestions of the important things for ecotourism development. The most cited were education (awareness of wildlife and the local environment) and enforcement to protect such resources. 137 Table 10. Important things for ecotourism development Important Things Very / Extremely (I*) Not / Somewhat (I*) A local tourism action plan A 'community vision' for ecotourism Dialogue between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people Communication among the local communities of Clayoquot Sound Region (First Nation communities, Tofino and Ucluelet) Partnerships with provincial government Integration between ecotourism and other areas of development An ecotourism 'association' to support ecotourism development at local and regional levels Conflict between tourism activities and other economic activities A municipal 'ecotourism sector' 75 74 75 75 50 47 41 61 65 25 25 50 53 59 25 26 39 35 * (I) = Important c) Creating a Vision for Ecotourism Development A number of questions attempted to examine a community vision for ecotourism development. The vision assessed in this study, however, does not represent the vision of the community of Tofino but the vision of survey respondents. It also does not include all the social, cultural, economic and political aspects of a vision. Nevertheless, it includes thirteen important concepts of a type of ecotourism that incorporates the principles of sustainable development. The Likert Scale questions, measure on a five-point agree/disagree scale, the respondents' support for ecotourism development that contributes to the long-term sustainability of the environment, the community and the industry itself. Responses have been aggregated to indicate percentages of those who "generally agreed" or "generally disagreed" and are presented in Table 11. 138 Table 11. Vision for ecotourism development (in percentage). Statement Agree No Opinion Disagree No Response Local tourism planning should be highly integrated with other 80 10 5 5 areas of development such as land-use planning, infrastructure development, education, recreation, social/economic development There is a strong need to enhance communication among the 80 10 5 5 communities of the Clayoquot Sound Region (the First Nations, Tofino and Ucluelet) in order to facilitate the development of an all-encompassing ecotourism strategy for Clayoquot Sound In order to maintain the qualities of ecotourism, strong emphasis 79 6 6 9 should be given to planning and monitoring the activities according to sustainable development goals A pro-active community participates actively in planning for 74 12 4 8 ecotourism development as well as in monitoring the activities on an ongoing basis. Mechanisms should be created and implemented by the local community to allow for this process The development of guidelines (best environmental practices) for tour-operators, accommodation & food operators and retail 74 13 5 8 business can reduce negative impacts while enhancing the quality of the ecotourism product Revenue from ecotourism captured by the local and 67 15 9 9 provincial government could be used in the town's infrastructure and in social programs/activities Eco-tourist education can increase respect for both the local 67 13 13 8 environment and culture and a visitor's willingness to donate money to support sustainable development projects in the community There is an increasing need for the development of partnerships 66 20 8 6 between First Nation communities and other communities since the traveling public has expressed a keen interest in Aboriginal cultural experiences. Eco-operators (accommodation & food operators, 66 12 15 7 tour-operators), retail business and local NGOs should contribute to tourist education Ecotourism (unlike conventional tourism) should strive 66 9 18 7 to be low impact and small scale A local ecotourism association is a valuable way to improve 63 20 9 8 the quality of ecotourism in Tofino 139 Statement Agree No Opinion Disagree No Response A pro-active community plays a decisive role in environmental 63 13 16 8 conservation and in improving social conditions for its residents. Local businesses that benefit directly or indirectly from ecotourism should contribute to the funding of projects, programs and activities in the community There is a strong need that the local community works with the 56 17 21 7 local and provincial government to develop mechanisms to capture more revenue from ecotourism 5.2.2. Discussion a) The Concept of Ecotourism in Tofino The concept of ecotourism in Tofino was assessed with the open-ended question (n.l3) in the third section of the survey, where about 50% of respondents made comments about ecotourism development. Overall, ecotourism in Tofino is perceived to be tourism activities that are nature oriented and do not threaten wildlife or jeopardize ecological processes. Some respondents also believe that ecotourism can help to educate the visitor and can contribute to social equity. For respondents who have seen changes in animal behaviour (i.e. whales, bears, wolves, etc.) due to ecotourism development and have been accompanying the constant increase in the number of speed boats and airplanes in Clayoquot Sound, any tourism activity in the area can be called ecotourism. For others, ecotourism does not exist in Tofino simply by the fact that the town does not have sewage treatment and the quality of the marine water has been already compromised, therefore tourism that impacts nature is not ecotourism. Yet, for many of the residents, ecotourism is what keeps the area flourishing. Although there is always an opinion that ecotourism activities should be more ecologically sustainable. 140 Many of the respondents believe that more emphasis should be given to activities that do not use fossil fuel such as kayaking, hiking, biking, walking, etc., so the destination can maintain its original appeal. Respondents also recognize that some ecotourism activities are close to saturation capacity (i.e. whale watching) and that diversification in the sector is needed. There is a perception that there is lots of room left for other ecotourism activities such as bird watching, back country hiking, scientific guided tours, wilderness walk, etc. The development of eco-resorts is also suggested, as well as indoor activities when raining, especially for kids. The overall perception is that even if respondents had slightly different interpretations of the concept of ecotourism, there is a consensus that ecotourism in Tofino is not being developed the way it should. However, the activity has contributed to job increases and the environmental conservation of Clayoquot Sound, which are considered the two most significant positive impacts of ecotourism (Table 5). b) The Town s Infrastructure It is unanimously the perception of respondents that Tofino lacks infrastructure to deal appropriately with the present number of tourists in town. This was seen not only in the quantitative data (Table 6), where the lack of housing in the summer months and problems with sewage and water infrastructure are considered the two most serious impacts of tourism but the survey was replete with comments of this nature. There is a perception that the lack of adequate infrastructure in town speaks for the great part of the negative impacts in the area and residents are very aware that the health of the industry very much depends on addressing this problem. 141 c) The State of the Industry Ecotourism in Tofino seems to have the dual characteristic of being at the same time under developed, and somewhere between fully and heavily developed. This is because the reasons why respondents chose one category do not contradict the reasons respondents chose others. Actually, they just emphasize this dual characteristic. The industry is under developed as it is unplanned, unregulated, has no community vision, no standards and guidelines for the whole industry, no integrated management, no adequate infrastructure and no mechanism to control or monitor impacts but seems to have room for growth i f all the above is considered. At the same time, the industry seems to be somewhere between fully and heavily developed as the negative impacts of the industry have already affected the life of residents and the community as a whole. In this case, growth should be constrained until adequate planning and management are in place. This seems to be corroborated when respondents were asked how much tourism growth they would like to see in 10 years. About 50% of respondents do not wish more growth while about 38% envisioned growth of the industry. It seems that before any growth is envisioned, planning and management of the industry should be the priority. d) The Role of Ecotourism in Tofino It is agreed that Tofino is not a 'dead town' because of ecotourism. The development of ecotourism has improved the quality of life of many residents, benefited youth with entry-level jobs, and allowed people to live permanently in the town. There is also a perception that in general, ecotourism operators are committed to protecting the present ambiance, the ecology, and the outdoor activities, and that the industry is sensitive and hesitant to further growth and development, especially on a large scale. This may explain the perception of about 38% of respondents that are satisfied with the role of the industry (Table 4). There is a negative perception however, that the industry is operating in a 'gold rush' mentality, and having 'every man for himself attitude. Besides, many respondents complained that "although ecotourism brings money, it takes away the peace of mind and the environment as well as it raises the. cost of living", which are considered the third biggest negative impact of the industry (Table 6). In addition, there is a feeling that "tourism does not leave much room for the community" and that "not nearly enough of the money being made with ecotourism is benefiting the village". The fact that the majority of respondents (56%) have either mixed feelings (45%) or are dissatisfied (11%) with the role of tourism in Tofino (Table 4) should raise serious concerns among the tourism sector. Applying the "Irridex model" in Tofino, which identifies four basic attitudes held by residents towards tourists, Tofino would be facing the stage of annoyance - where residents have misgivings with the industry, with chances to be moving towards the stage of antagonism - where irritations are openly expressed and tourists seen as the cause of all problems. As the stage of antagonism is reached, it results in deterioration of the destination's reputation and the industry is then doomed to failure. Despite these perceptions, the support given by the community to ensure that ecotourism remains a vibrant part of the economy is seen as great (excellent (5%), good (38%) and fair (31%)). This should be the greatest incentive for the tourism industry to organize and direct energy towards the planning and adequate management of tourism, as even with Tofino 143 apparently experiencing the stage of annoyance, it seems that a great part of the community is still very supportive of the industry. e) The Planning and Management of Ecotourism Respondents are sensitive to the fact that ecotourism in Tofino has occurred spontaneously, with no parameters or general guidelines for its development, with no plan in place and without integrated management of the industry. As the comments suggest, managerial actions have been mostly done by the local chamber of commerce, the local business association and some tour-operators, with no government involvement. Aware of the state of affairs, respondents pointed to the lack of integration between local government and private sector as the second most serious constraint for the development of a local ecotourism plan (Table 7). A local tourism action plan was also recognized as the first most important thing for ecotourism development (Table 10). As Gunn (1994:4) observes, "The need for [tourism] planning may not be as blatantly conspicuous as other development concerns, but nevertheless it is real". It seems that already facing the 'reality', about 62% of respondents perceive that the industry is not being managed properly, probably as an effect of a lack of planning. This perception is very significant and should inspire some action, as perceptions of residents are more influential than may be seen to be the case and unless adequate planning and management are in place, the chances of the industry being successful in the long-term are severely reduced. f) A Community Vision for Ecotourism There is a consensus that Tofino needs to create a community vision for ecotourism development. This is seen by the choice of respondents who considered the lack of a common 144 vision the biggest constraint for the development of a local ecotourism plan (Table 7) and also a community vision for ecotourism as the second most important thing for ecotourism development in Tofino (Table 10). Not only from the result above but respondents in general, as gathered in the comments, both that see more the benefits of ecotourism or more its detrimental impacts, criticize the industry by not having a community vision. Despite the lack of a community vision for ecotourism at the moment, the respondents' vision for ecotourism assessed in the survey (Table 11) shows that there is a great support for a form of ecotourism that incorporates the principles of sustainable development, as the average of support in the 13 questions was about 69%. The concepts that gained more support (at least 74%) of support) all of them relate to planning. Among them are the local, and regional planning of ecotourism according to sustainable goals; planning with active community participation; strong communication among communities to facilitate planning; planning being highly integrated with other areas of development and finally the development of guidelines for tour-operators, accommodation and food operators aiming the reduction of negative impacts and enhancement of the quality of the product. These findings corroborate the strong need for participatory tourism planning both at the local and regional levels already stressed in other parts of the survey. What they also give is emphasizes on a planning process which is not only highly integrated with other areas of development but backed up with regular monitoring, so planning can be constantly evaluated for its efficiency in attaining sustainable goals. 145 g) Community Participation in Ecotourism Planning/Management A desire for active participation in the planning/management of ecotourism is seen in Table 8 where more than half of the respondents (55%) believe that the responsibility for the planning/management of ecotourism should be in the hands of a committee made of community members, government and tourism sector. The need for more community involvement in the town's affairs is also seen in Table 7, where the lack of community involvement in local issues is consider the third most serious constraint for the development of a local ecotourism plan for Tofino. The fact that about 45% of the respondents evaluated as poor the level of participation in local government decisions in contrast with 44% of respondents who evaluated as fair (24%), good (16%) and excellent (4%) this participation, is another evidence that more involvement in the decision-making processes of things that affect the life of residents is strongly desired, at least by half of respondents. The issue of community participation in decision-making in Tofino deserves close scrutiny since active community involvement is a requirement in sustainable tourism as residents are a fundamental part of the tourism product. An examination of the qualitative data in this question shows a combination of facts in a vicious circle, leading to the existing situation. There has been apathy by the community probably because people do not feel motivated to give input since there is a belief that local government does not address their interests. At the same time the present participatory process seems not to be facilitating dialogue among community members, especially because of strong views of Tofino residents. There is a perception that "input may not be possible due to too much controversy in the meetings", even though people participate actively in discussions and try to provide this input. There is a consensus however 146 that the "present council seems to have more open ears" and the "relationships between the new council and residents are improving". This may result in more participation and eventually in an evaluation of the effectiveness of the present participatory structure. h) Ecotourism and First Nations Survey respondents perceive that ecotourism development in Tofino has unveiled a very significant tourism potential in the area: the market of Aboriginal Tourism. This is observed in Table 5 where economic opportunities for First Nations - Aboriginal Tourism, is considered the third most significant positive impact of ecotourism. The main reasons for that are the fact that most ecotourism happens in traditional First Nation Territory allied with a growing demand for Aboriginal cultural experiences in the area. There are some constraints however, that emerge from the comments in this survey that might be important to mention, in order that First Nation communities be able to take these opportunities. There is a perception that "First Nation communities are alienated from the tourism industry", despite the opportunity of Aboriginal Tourism in the area. Some respondents believe that "discrimination against Aboriginal people leads to communication problems between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people", and this would represent a serious constraint for their entry in the market. This problem is acknowledged in Table 10, where the dialogue between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people and communication among the local communities of Clayoquot Sound (which the majority are First Nations) are considered the third most important thing for ecotourism development. Five percent of the total respondents 147 also believe that First Nations should be part of the planning/ management body for ecotourism (data gathered in the category other, in Table 8). There is also a perception that "poor understanding of First Nation issues will continue to suppress any future growth in the area". A direct involvement with the TLA_OQUI_AHT is also perceived to be very important because the proximity of Meares Island with Tofino. The development of a cooperative relationship amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities seems to be essential for the long-term sustainability of the ecotourism industry. And yet, it could represent an important step towards the development of a sustainable livelihood in the region. 148 CHAPTER 6 Conclusions and Recommendations The aim of this study was to understand how the community perceives several issues regarding the development of ecotourism, in order to explore the potential for the destination to move towards a long-term sustainability. This study has shown that residents of Tofino are very aware of the complex issues related to ecotourism development and the problems that affect Tofino and the Clayoquot Sound region. Not only are they aware of the issues but also, they are interested in participating actively in the development of ecotourism. This local capacity is an important resource available to the community and should be used to enhance the potential of the destination. Another important aspect revealed in this study is that residents associated with the tourism industry (employees and owners) have the same concerns towards the impacts of ecotourism in the region. This result is extremely relevant, contrary to what it might be believed, that those with vested interest in the industry would be less concerned with the negative impacts of tourism. Moreover, it reveals that overall Tofino residents understand the need for sustainable tourism. The mixed research design approach employed in this study (quantitative and qualitative) has been a valuable exploratory tool for, while showing hard evidence of the main issues in ecotourism development, it also allowed for the understanding of these issues from the perspectives of the ones involved in such development. This research therefore, although focusing on the issues constraining the development of sustainable tourism, offers an opportunity for this development, since, as long as problems remain unrecognized, no solutions 149 can be sought. In that lies the power of this study. Knowing that residents are an important component of a tourist destination, their opinions constitute a powerful tool, to be used by planners and managers of this industry, to control the quality of the destination. This study however, is not only focused on constraints. It also seeks opportunities for the development of sustainable tourism, which in this case, are many. The fact that the community of Tofino has the ownership of the industry is already a key component of destination's sustainability. Residents therefore, while beneficiaries of tourism, can also influence the course of tourism in the destination. Moreover, money leakage, which is a great constraint ,to sustainable tourism, is not likely to occur. The fact that the tourism leadership in Tofino lies in the hands of the private sector could be also interpreted as strength, as this sector, potentially, can play a major role in sustainable tourism. In practice, the development of self-regulatory guidelines in the whale-watching and kayaking industries in Tofino have shown that this is viable. It is important to note, however, that chances that the private sector alone foster tourist destination sustainability, are few, and the public sector must play its role in sustainable tourism, and assume its leadership role in the industry. Moreover, in developing sustainable tourism, the need for partnerships between the private and public sectors can never be over stressed. Strengths of the community also lie in their recognition of the need to enhance the relationship with First Nation communities. There is absolute understanding of this need, and hopefully this can create a favorable environment for communication and development of partnerships. Both 150 communities have great potential in ecotourism, which development can foster environmental conservation, and community/economic development. Economic diversity in the community, which Tofino has, is also an important component of destination sustainability, as it provides the best edge against major drops in the economy, which is exacerbated with tourism, as travel markets are more unstable then local markets. Nevertheless, it is essential that other industries do not jeopardize the quality of the destination and also move towards sound development. This study acknowledges that in order that destinations can foster sustainable tourism, some conditions are necessary. The need for tourist destination planning is indisputable, and both Tofino and Clayoquot Sound must move towards this direction. Because, in both local and regional levels, there are a number of factors constraining the planning of tourism, the community should focus on finding the opportunities for this planning. The establishment of a special tourism council, comprising representatives of government (both levels), both tourist associations, First Nations, non-profit organizations, residents, commercial associations, local planners and developers, among others, might be necessary. This council would also play an important role in the management of tourism. Such structure might facilitate the development of partnerships, which are vital for the industry. Both local and regional government need to be more committed with tourism development and assume their leadership role in this industry, addressing issues of regulation and adequate 151 infrastructure at both levels. At both levels the development of a growth strategy will facilitate sustainable tourism in the destination. It would be also relevant to introduce an environmental management system in businesses operations, to' foster cleaner production at the destination. Cleaner production should not be restricted to tourism operations such as accommodation, food and tour-operators, but it should extend to all business and industries at the destination. The introduction of ecolabels, as an example, to indicate the environmental standards of an operation, product or service is also an important approach serving not only as a means of fostering environmental quality but also, as a marketing tool. This study has stressed the importance of sustainable tourist destinations and has given some important concepts and practices to move the destination in this direction. 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In your opinion, ecotourism in Tofino is currently ? a) Under-developed b) Heavily- developed c) Fully- developed d) Over- developed e) Don't know Why? (in a sentence or two explain your response) 2. In the next ten years, how much tourism growth would you like to see in Tofino? a) No more growth (1,000,000 tourists/year) b) 50% growth (1,500,000 tourists/year) c) 100% growth (2,000,000 tourists/year) d) More than 100% growth (more than 2,000,000 tourists/year) e) No opinion 3. In your opinion, is ecotourism being managed properly? a) Yes b) No c) Don't know 161 4. Who should be responsible for the local planning/management of Ecotourism? Please check the one you believe should play the most important role. a) Local government b) Tourism sector c) Both local government and the tourism sector d) A 'committee' of community members, government and tourism sector e) Other (please specify): f) No opinion 5. In general, are you satisfied with the role that the tourism industry plays in your community? a) Completely satisfied b) Mostly satisfied c) Mixed d) Mostly dissatisfied e) Completely dissatisfied f) No opinion Why? (in a sentence or two explain your response) 6. How would you evaluate the support your community as a whole provides to ensure ecotourism remains a vibrant part of the economy? a) Excellent b) Good c) Fair d) Poor e) Don't know 162 7. How would you evaluate the level of participation that the general public (residents of Tofino) have in local government decisions? a) Excellent b) Good c) Fair d) Poor e) Don't know Why? (in a sentence or two explain your response) 8. In your opinion, what are the most serious constraints for the development of a local ecotourism plan for Tofino? Please choose up to three. a) Lack of organization of the tourism sector b) Lack of a local tourism 'committee' to deal with ecotourism development c) Lack of a 'common vision' for ecotourism development in Tofino d) Lack of integration between local government and private sector e) Lack of community involvement in local issues f) Lack of a regional tourism strategy g) Other (please specify) h) No opinion 1 6 3 9. In your opinion, what are the most significant positive impacts of ecotourism development in Tofino? Please, choose up to three. a) Environmental conservation of Clayoquot Sound b) Community awareness c) Interregional understanding d) Community pride e) Job increase f) Creation of the Biosphere Reserve g) Self-regulatory initiatives - guidelines for whale-watching tour-operators h) Economic opportunities for First Nations - Aboriginal Tourism i) Other(s) j) No opinion 10. In order to have better infrastructure for ecotourism development in Tofino there is a need for more: Please, choose the 3 more important. _ a) Art galleries c) Biking trails e) Environmental Non-Governamental Organizations g) Hiking trails i) Restaurants j) Retail business (please specify) k) Tour-operators (please specify) 1) Other(s) _ b) B & B (bed & breakfast) d) Campgrounds f) Hotels h) Municipal parks _m) No opinion 164 11. The following is a list of potentially negative impacts caused by ecotourism development, which might be affecting Tofino. Please, rate them according to their importance. Check only one box per impact (row). Not Serious Somewhat Serious Very Serious Extremely Serious a) Lack of housing (year round) b) Lack of housing (summer only) c) Problems with sewage and water infrastructure d) Increase in costs of living e) Too many tourists in town f) Inappropriate tourist behavior in town (noise, garbage, etc.) g) Too many tourists in wilderness h) Inappropriate tourist behavior in wilderness (noise, garbage, etc) i) Harassment of wildlife j) Degradation of aboriginal sacred sites k) Loss of community privacy 1) Other (please specify) 165 12. The following is a list of things important to ecotourism development. Please, indicate how important you feel these things are to ecotourism development in your community. a) A local tourism action plan b) An ecotourism 'association' to support ecotourism development at the local and regional levels c) Integration between ecotourism and other areas of development d) A municipal 'ecotourism sector' e) A 'community vision' for ecotourism f) Partnerships with provincial governments (financial & technical support) g) Conflict between tourism activities and other economic activities h) Communication among the local communities of Clayoqout Sound Region (the First Nation communities, Tofino and Ucluelet) i) Dialogue between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginals j) Other (please specify) Not Somewhat Important Very Extremely Important Important Important 166 SECTION 2 These questions concern your vision for ecotourism development in Tofino. Please, circle the number that best reflects how you feel about each statement. 1. Ecotourism in Tofino, (unlike conventional tourism) should strive to be low impact and small scale. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 2. In order to maintain the qualities of ecotourism in Tofino, strong emphasis should be given to planning and monitoring the activities according to sustainable development goals. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 3. Eco-tourist education in Tofino can increase respect for both the local environment and culture and a visitor's willingness to donate money to support sustainable development projects in the community. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 4. Eco-operators (accommodation & food operators, tour-operators), retail business and local NGOs in Tofino should contribute to tourist education 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 5. The development of guidelines (best environmental practices) for tour-operators, accommodation & food operators, and retail business in Tofino, can reduce negative impacts while enhancing the quality of the ecotourism product. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 167 6. A local ecotourism association is a valuable way to improve the quality of ecotourism in Tofino. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 7. There is a strong need that the local community works with the local and provincial government to develop mechanisms to capture more revenue from ecotourism.. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 8. This revenue could be used in the town's infrastructure and in social programs/activities 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 9. A pro-active community plays a decisive role in environmental conservation and in improving social conditions for its residents. Local businesses in Tofino that benefit directly or indirectly from ecotourism should contribute to the funding of projects, programs and activities in the community. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 10. A pro-active community participates actively in planning for ecotourism development as well as in monitoring the activities on an ongoing basis. Mechanisms should be created and implemented by the local community to allow for this process. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 168 11. Local tourism planning in Tofino should be highly integrated with other areas of development such as land-use planning, infrastructure development, social development, education, recreation, economic development, etc. 1 2 3 4 _ 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 12. There is a strong need to enhance communication among the local communities of the Clayoquot Sound Region (the First Nations, Tofino and Ucluelet) in order to facilitate the development of an all encompassing ecotourism strategy for Clayoquot Sound. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 13. There is an increasing need for the development of partnerships between First Nation communities and other communities since the traveling public has expressed a keen interest in Aboriginal cultural experiences. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Moderately No opinion Moderately Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree S E C T I O N 3 The following questions relate to your background. These questions are purely for research and statistical purposes. All answers are strictly confidential. 1. I live in Tofino: a) all year round b) summer only c) other: 2. How long have you lived in Tofino? a) Less than 1 year d) 6-10 years b) 1-2 years e) More than 10 years c) 3-5 years 169 3. Where did you live as a teenager. Please give then name of city(ies), town(s) or municipality(ies)? 4. What year were you born? 5. Gender? a) Male b) Female 6. What is your educational background? a) some high school b) graduate high school c) vocational/technical/college diploma d) university degree e) post graduate degree 7. What is your main occupation? {If you are a homemaker or a student please state this. If you are retired, or unemployed please state this and list your former occupation). 8. a) What industry or sector do you work in? .. (e.g., ecotourism, government, education, etc.) b) If you work in the ecotourism industry, please choose the option that best describes the type of operation you work in: a) Tour-operator {please specify) b) Accommodation operator {please specify) c) Food operator {please specify) d) Shops - tourism oriented {please specify) e) Others {please specify) 170 9. Are you a member of any environmental non-governmental organization? a) Yes b) No 10. Is your spouse or partner working? a) Yes, what does he/she do? b) No c) No spouse / partner 11. How many people live in your household, including yourself? 12. What was your total household income before taxes last year (choose one)! a) Less than $ 15,000 e) $ 75,000 - 99,999 b) $ 15,000 - S 34,999 f) $ 100,00 - 129,999 c) $ 35,000 - $ 54,999 g) $ 130,00 - 159,999 d) $ 55,000 - $ 74,999 h) more than $ 160,000 13. Do you have any other comment to make about ecotourism development in Tofino? This is the end of the questionnaire. Thank you very much for your kind assistance and cooperation! 171 


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