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 is a national leader of tourism innovation (e.g., BC has over a quarter of all ‘Canadian Signature Experiences’ (a group of over 200 tourism activities highlighted by Destination Canada). The vast majority of these innovations in BC are found in rural places. This presents a unique opportunity for linking tourism and rural sustainability as well as highlighting 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.

TAYA Hatch (she/her)

Major: Bachelor of Tourism Management and Minor in Marketing

Interests: Sustainable Tourism, Marketing/ Social Media/ Digital Media, Cruise Tourism

Bio: I was born and raised on Vancouver Island and have always been immersed in the natural beauty of the island. Growing up on the Island has made me appreciate tourism and realize the importance it has for communities, including the economic impact. I hope to continue working on sustainable tourism development to ensure that the natural beauty continues to be protected.

MICHELLE Palmer (she/her)

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.

VANESSA Moraes (she/her)

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 Students

RACHEL Henderson

Creative Economies research


Degree: MA Environmental Education and Communication, BA Geography (Environmental specialty)

Interests: Environmental Management, Circular Economy and Waste Reduction, Arts and Culture Planning, Accessibility, Sustainable Tourism, Natural History

Bio: I grew up in Port Coquitlam, just outside Vancouver. I've always had a strong interest in the natural environment, especially wetlands and coastal ecosystems. I completed a BA in Geography with an Environmental specialty, as well as a Liberal Arts Certificate at SFU and an MA in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads. For the past 16 years, I’ve worked in Environmental Management, first with the Vancouver Airport Authority and then with TELUS Communications.

CRISTIN Collishaw

BC Parks Marine Protected Areas research