UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Examination of the British Columbia Community Tourism Action Program Mitchell, Esther Lenore


This thesis examines and evaluates the British Columbia Community Tourism Action Program (CTAP), a provincial program that aims to help communities broaden their economic bases by developing tourism. Specifically, it questions how isolated single-industry towns implement the British Columbia CTAP, and how they evaluate it, using the examples of Golden and Ucluelet, both of which have been using the program since 1991. The thesis does not base its conclusions on financial data, but on the communities' responses to a questionnaire about the CTAP, on meetings with each community's tourism action committee, and on a comparison of theories of tourism planning with the actual workings of the British Columbia CTAP. After establishing why single-industry towns may have a special need to diversify their economies, the thesis traces the evolution of the British Columbia CTAP from two other programs: its predecessor—British Columbia Tourism Development Strategy— and the Alberta Community Tourism Action Program. Following this history is a brief description of why tourism planning is necessary, including some of the environmental, economic and social effects of tourism, and then a review of the literature concerning tourism planning. A detailed study of the Golden and Ucluelet plans, several evaluations of the program, and recommendations for future research complete the thesis. Since the town representatives responses to the British Columbia CTAP have been favourable and since the program matches several of the most important theoretical requirements of tourism planning, the thesis concludes with qualified approval of the program. Reservations about the program's effectiveness include concerns about how well all the residents of a town are represented, how the program is evaluated, and how the program deals with sustainability issues. The final recommendations section sketches in how these problems might be addressed and also suggests some supplements to the CTAP.

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