Tourism Research

In 2018 Patrick was hired by Vancouver Island University as the British Columbia Regional Innovation Chair for Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development.

British Columbia has developed a reputation as a national leader of tourism innovation as rural and remote communities in BC have increasingly turned to tourism. This presents a unique opportunity for linking tourism and rural sustainability and also highlights that innovation is a hallmark or rural BC.

Dr. Brouder 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-making for a diverse BC rural tourism ecosystem, ultimately enabling resilient rural communities.

The program has three central objectives:

1. assist regional partners in developing tourism for sustainable rural development;

2. engage in capacity building with the future leaders of BC tourism, and;

3. create a long-term alliance of BC rural tourism researchers for the benefit of BC communities.

The research program is developing 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 tourism and sustainable rural development in BC. The knowledge outcomes are mobilized across the BCRIC’s local, provincial, national and global networks.

Primary 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 Fernie 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.

Parks & Protected Areas

At VIU we are passionate about outdoor recreation and tourism - especially in BC's beautiful parks and protected areas. Our research includes work with communities in National Park Reserves and Marine Protected Areas on the Pacific coast.

BC Regional Innovation Chair - Research Assistants

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.

KATIE Erickson

Major: Diploma in Tourism Management

Interests: Sustainable Eco-tourism, Adventure tourism, Outdoor Education, Eco-therapy, Nature photography.

Bio: I am from Powell River, a small town on the Sunshine Coast of BC. I have always had a strong connection with Nature and a passion for outdoor adventure. Living in Powell River gave me many tourism opportunities such as working at The Powell River Outdoor Learning Centre for over four years.

I love the Sunshine Coast and hope to one day start an Eco-adventure tourism business that supports sustainable practices and brings awareness to the environment and rural communities to ensure the conservation and protection of cultural heritage and nature.


Major: Bachelor of Tourism Management and Minor in Marketing

Interests: Sustainable Tourism, Destination Marketing, Rural Tourism

Bio: Growing up I have always had a passion for travel and the curiosity to learn about different cultures. Living on Vancouver island I have been exposed to the positive impacts of tourism, but also shown the importance of conducting tourism in a sustainable way to protect communities and the surrounding environments. Moving forward in my career in tourism I would like to focus on sustainable development of tourism initiatives in rural communities.


Degree: MSc Geography (Environmental Planning)

Interests: Sustainable Tourism, Ecotourism incl. Birding Tourism and Marine Wildlife Watching, Blue Economy and Conservation

Bio: I come from a coastal community in southern Brazil, where I grew up with a strong connection to nature. After working in environmental studies for over 10 years, I moved to Vancouver Island to study tourism and explore ways in which sustainable tourism can contribute to local development and environmental conservation. My work as a research assistant has given me significant experience in the field, and I will pursue a Ph.D. to deepen my knowledge of sustainable tourism.

Department of Recreation and Tourism - Graduate 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.

Adjei Kusi FYNN

Degree: MA in Sustainable Leisure Management

Interests: Sustainable Tourism, Transformative Tourism, Volunteer Tourism, Community Development, Tourism in Rural Areas.

Bio: I am from Bibiani, a rural gold mining town in Ghana known for attracting different nationals, including Canadians. I have always been interested in sustainable development or inclusive growth in emerging, rural economies.

I have 11 years of working in the volunteer tourism sector in Ghana. To broaden my skills and knowledge in sustainable and transformational tourism, I enrolled in the MA in Sustainable Leisure Management at Vancouver Island University.

I hope to contribute to sustainable tourism in rural and destination communities.