Tourism Research

In 2023, Patrick joined the Department of Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.

British Columbia (BC) has developed a reputation as a national leader of tourism innovation as BC's rural and remote communities have increasingly turned to tourism as an economic diversification and regional resilience strategy. This presents a unique opportunity for linking tourism and rural sustainability in BC.

Patrick leads a long-term research program which engages with a broad group of tourism stakeholders from across rural British Columbia to co-create sustainable tourism development. The research aids policy and planning for a diverse BC rural tourism ecosystem and supports resilient rural communities.

Patrick's research focuses on three interrelated aspects of tourism across western Canada:

- Indigenous tourism (as a form of endogenous economic development in partner communities),

- creative economies (tourism's role in 'creative outposts' in rural and remote places), and

- tourism evolution (long-term processes of change in the tourism sector).

The research co-creates a broad selection of cases from across rural British Columbia to gain a deeper understanding of how these communities have capitalized on the attractiveness of place to establish a more resilient local economy. In collaboration with a network of research colleagues across the province research is being developed with local community partners, governance groups, and students to co-create a state of the art knowledge environment for sustainable tourism development in BC. The knowledge outcomes are mobilized across Thompson Rivers University's regional, national and global networks.

Research Projects

There is a growing interest in 'Creative Tourism' - activities that occur at the nexus of creative economies and tourism. Our research looks at small towns in BC, such as Ashcroft (pictured) and Lytton to see how they unify arts, culture, and tourism for sustainable local development.

Working with Indigenous Tourism BC we help infuse innovation in community-led tourism developments and by sharing leading examples and best practices across communities we also help illustrate innovation in BC's growing and important Indigenous tourism sector.

Patrick has been a long-term collaborator with tourism scholars on understanding change in tourism ecosystems over time. He is currently co-editing a special issue of Tourism Geographies (with Piotr Niewiadomski) on 'Sustainability Transitions and Tourism'.

Research Assistants

RACHEL Henderson

Degree: MA in Sustainable Leisure Management

Interests: Sustainable Rural Development, Creative Tourism, Nature-Based Tourism, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Bio: Throughout my life, I have lived and worked within several tourism-related environments across Manitoba and Alberta. With my research background in Geography, I have always been interested in place identities of rural/remote regions, and sustainable practices for place-based development. In order to broaden my understanding of sustainable tourism practices, I moved to BC to study at Vancouver Island University, where I am happy to be conducting research that combines my curiosities of arts/culture, with my interest in sustainable rural tourism.

ELEANOR Glendale

Major: Bachelor of Tourism Management

Interests: Sustainable Eco-tourism, Cultural Integrated Tourism, Protected Areas and Animals, all in my traditional territory.

Bio: I am from the Da’naxda’xw/Awaetlala First Nation, which means I am from Knight Inlet and grew up on reserve on Harbledown Island.

I love my family’s traditional ways and want to integrate that into my tourism business that I will have in my homelands. I love my culture and the area, and would like to work, live and protect it so I can pass that onto the next generation.