UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The projection of tourism : a case study of British Columbia Stallard, Graham Victor


Tourism has grown as a part of the process of settlement. The tourist has filled the role of observer, promotional agent, investor, settler and customer. The settlement process in turn generates new tourism. The tourist seeks change from the familiar, a rest, a sport, or many seek new experiences, new cities and new lands. The proportion of the population who participate in tourism, their wealth, time, and the modes of transportation have grown considerably. The implications of tourism are felt throughout the range of responsibility for land use planning. The role tourism has played, could play and should play has received little attention. The potential of tourism must be identified, projected, planned for and implemented in future development planning. Tourism is basically a movement of people. Our concept of studying people has rested heavily on a census of resident population, and considerable data has been accumulated. However little is known about movements of people in general, and tourist movements in particular. Projection of tourist movements into the future is therefore difficult. This study examines the hypothesis that "current sources of data are sufficient to estimate the numbers and origin of tourists entering an area, and that it would be possible to project such data objectively." The Province of British Columbia was selected as a case study. We know very little of the quantities and characteristics of tourists in British Columbia. Tourists entering the Province by automobile in the summer months have been examined in a single survey. There is a need to know more about tourists travelling at other times of year, by other means of transportation, travelling within the Province, and of changes over time. While we have overall estimates of tourism they lack detail and refinement. Planning agencies have paid little attention to tourism as yet. There has been only one study of tourism by a planning agency. Where it has been considered, the objective has been to preserve an environment and to locate tourist facilities convenient for tourists and to minimize the intrusion into the community. Changes in the quantities and characteristics of tourism appear to be inevitable. However the degree of change is not easy to determine. Population growth, increasing leisure time, growing personal income, and increased mobility appear to be the factors most likely to shape future patterns of tourism. A. twenty per cent reduction in working time appears to be feasible by the end of the century. This increased leisure time could result in a three-fold increase in annual vacations. Combined with a two-fold increase in population, this could lead to a six-fold growth in tourism. However, it-is doubtful whether all the increase in leisure time would be devoted to tourist activities. All methods available for projecting future tourist volumes have some value, but none are entirely satisfactory. A certain amount of "judgment" is required in any form of projection. As yet we have very little to act as a basis for such judgment. Existing data is minimal, and our analytical knowledge of many aspects of tourism is limited if not non-existent. However, we have estimates of total volumes of tourism in British Columbia from year to year. They provide a general picture of the importance of tourism within the study area. An examination of the future shows that tourism will grow, and may grow very considerably. Thus we can conclude that the hypothesis is valid at the broadest level. Improvements in data collection and our knowledge of the characteristics of tourism will permit refinement of projections of tourism, and consequently, will permit planning at a more detailed level.

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