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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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

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.

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