Sustainable Tourism: A Hope or a Necessity? The Case of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada The purpose of this research was to examine different stakeholder perspectives of tourism in Tofino in order to determine impacts and challenges relating to tourism development and long-term sustainability. This paper seeks to explore the current situation and recommendations for the future development of Tofino through a multi-stakeholder process.
It builds upon previous research conducted by Welk (2006) and by Dodds & Basu (2008). The aim of this paper therefore is to examine stakeholder theory and resource dependence theory as it applies to a tourism destination with a key focus on water as it is a vital resource for successful tourism. Additionally the stage of life cycle of the tourism destination as well as the concept of Limits of Acceptable Change is discussed to provide context. 2. 1 Theories: Tools to Manage?
Many islands depend heavily on the natural resources of an area and it is these resources authors believe that sustainable tourism is the responsibilify of all stakeholders Stakeholders are defined as any individual or group who can affect the firms’ performance or who is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives (Freeman, 1984). is important to understand the views of stakeholders as they can motivate or impede sustainabilify in organizations. dentified motives and barriers to sustainabilify such as economic considerations, political power and salience, coordination between stakeholders, accountabilify of all stakeholders, lacks of will and integration between govemment bodies (Ioannides, 2001; Dodds, 2007a; 2007b). The life cycle model describes six stages of an evolutionary sequence that a tourist area passes through: exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation and rejuvenation or decline.
Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) attempts to assess stress in both the natural and social and economic environment and to define the maximum degree of change that is tolerable. Tourism Development in Tofino focused on marketing efforts rather than assessing resource or other livelihood issues. From a lifecycle analysis. rapid growth of tourism increased infrastructure in and around Tofino, this has often resulted in negative social and ecological impacts such as the lack of adequate inft-astructure to cope with garbage and sewage, isolation or lack of adequate community facilities and disruption to livelihoods due to the cost of living.
In addition, according to the provincial govemment, the region has been experiencing drier than normal conditions. lack of water Methodology interviews were held with 38 stakeholders. sampling approach, Findings Economy outside influences (e. g. competition, environment disaster such as a mudslide or road closure due to one road access). Capacity/Infrasfructure promoted without supporting the infrastructure needed for growth. Water, According to the District Treasurer, Sewage. Govemance Development ow tax base that greatly affects the income back for repairing infrastructure Communify Benefits Accessibility to tourist Second Homes accommodations and staff housing. that B&B and second homes are providing tourist accomniodation but not contributing taxes. First Nations Treafy Negotiations Don’t ignore indigenous people Conservation over the increase in garbage bears due to beach areas overflowing with garbage from high use. Effect for nature animals . Transport Labor skilled labor shortage and with the advent of tourism, many staff are unskilled.
Low pay. Media could affect its historically good image. Tofino’s Future educational initiative was seen by many respondents as innovative, however it should be noted that conservation of water and energy is standard practice year-round in most accommodations worldwide. Change is incremental: Water: response to water shortage rather than standard practice. Some efforts have been made during water shortage to educate the visitor and regular water monitoring. Waste: Recycling efforts are slowly growing although limited.
Energy: green building code. solar energy. Most boating operators have made efforts to reduce fuel consumption Local sourcing: nitiative and ‘green breakfast sidents are attending workshops on local food production and food securify. Public transport: Education: negative impacts of development as it has limited natural and social resources . critical stage of its lifecycle. very elements that attract tourists are dependent on its natural and build resources. Water shortages, sewage treatment, transport and housing.
The media has outlined a number of issues that has drawn a negative. This finding supports recent findings by Dodds and Basu (2008) in that there is no overarching plan for a different model of tourism and no strategies or specific promotion of sustainable tourism practices for visitors or businesses to follow which may help alleviate infrastructure and social pressures. planning and considerations for sustainability First, a cohesive and comprehensive plan, which includes planning for long-term development.
Secondly, there is the need to identify and defme Limits of Acceptable Change to govem for the long-term sustainabilify through a Master Plan. Third, Tourism Tofino as the key marketing and promotional agency, and one that represents many tourism business interests, should play a representative role for businesses in the govemance and development of tourism Fourth, there is a need to generate income for infrastmcture and livelihood requirements for the residents Fifth, there is a need to diversify indusfries to attract year round businesses and professionals.