Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management Program

The Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management Program (www.unbc.ca/ortm/) is within the College of Science and Management and has five faculty members.

Over the past four years, Pat Maher has established a diverse program of research on tourism in the polar regions. He recently worked with Parks Canada to study management issues associated with cruise ships in the national parks of Nunavut. The resulting technical report, Cruise Tourism in Auyuittuq, Sirmilik, and Quttinirpaaq National Parks, was published in 2008. Maher and colleagues from Vancouver Island University, Thompson Rivers University, and the College of the Rockies were recently funded by the Canadian Rural Secretariat to develop strategies that foster innovation in sustainable tourism in northern British Columbia.

Maher is also part of a three-year project called Climate Change and Tourism Change in Northern Communities: A Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and will involve fieldwork in Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut from 2009 to 2012.

Maher helped found two research networks focused on tourism. The University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Northern Tourism addresses knowledge gaps about northern tourism through comparative, circumpolar research that builds baseline data and profiles. The International Polar Tourism Research Network generates, shares, and disseminates knowledge, resources, and perspectives on polar tourism and supports the development of international collaboration and cooperative relationships between members.

Maher was recently involved in co-editing two books—Polar Tourism: Human, Environmental, and Governance Dimensions and Cruise Tourism in the Polar Regions: Promoting Environmental and Social Sustainability—both scheduled to be published in 2010.