Sustainable Tourism: A Hope or a Necessity? The Case of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

  •  Rachel Dodds    


With many communities now dependent on tourism for their economic livelihood, long-term sustainability through a local, multi-stakeholder process is becoming key for destination management. Tofino, which was originally a remote, fishing village, has repositioned itself as an international tourism destination. Home to approximately 1,655 full-time residents, the town now attracts over 750,000 tourists per year. With the contentious Clayoquot Sound Land Use Decision in 1995 that aimed to disrupt the logging industry, this saw the beginning of a major increase in tourism demand in the area. Businesses developed focusing on adventure and ecotourism and restaurants, coffee shops, retail opportunities and accommodations are now plentiful. Although tourism has brought many benefits, challenges such as infrastructure, resource management, cost of living and social issues have now come to the forefront. The purpose of this research, therefore, was to assess different stakeholders in Tofino to understand impacts of tourism development in Tofino as well as to identify possible solutions for long-term sustainable development through a multi-stakeholder assessment. Research was conducted with 38 key stakeholders in the summer of 2009 to help the community understand key issues facing their future.

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