A VIU researcher will explore the impact of tourism development and how it relates to community resilience in rural areas across B.C.

Dr. Patrick Brouder has been named the new British Columbia Regional Innovation Chair for Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development and says
when we think innovation and new exciting developments we often think of big cities, but when it comes to tourism the rural communities are the leaders.

He says he’s still getting his feet wet in the new position but communities are welcome to touch base with him.

“At this stage I am still recruiting and looking out across the province. I am very happy to hear from anyone. I am travelling around the province quite a bit and happy to visit with people and try to see what challenges they are facing and give them some examples of ways forward from other places. And, if they want us to come and visit with them I am happy to do that.”

In this endowed research chair position, Brouder will focus on three related areas of innovation in tourism across the province, those being Indigenous tourism, creative tourism and the evolution of tourism labour markets and entrepreneurship.

Brouder says out of Destination Canada’s 205 Canadian Signature Experiences, 53 are in BC.

Of the 53, most are in rural communities.

He says there’s lots of knowledge of what will happen financially when a community puts in an attraction but what is not known is what are the impacts to the community and that’s what he will be investigating.

Brouder can be contacted via email at Patrick.Brouder@viu.ca