TTRA Canada 2018 Conference

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  • Publication
    Visitor Learning: In the Polar Bear Capital of the World
    (2018-05-28) Bueddefeld, Jill; Van Winkle, Christine; Benbow, Mary
    This paper will discuss the visitor experience, design, and measurement when comparing in-situ and ex-situ nature-based tourism case studies. Particularly, this presentation will address the methods used to learn more about the social dynamics that help facilitate visitor learning and how to plan for particular types of visitor experiences. This research will also discuss the effect of place, authenticity and the importance of sustainable and responsible tourism in experiential visitor learning. Tourism to ecologically sensitive areas, such as the Canadian Arctic, is often regarded as a way for people to learn about environmental issues such as climate change, as well as connect with and care about remote polar communities, the northern environment and the people that live there (Ballantyne & Packer, 2005; Falk, Ballantyne, Packer, & Benckendorff, 2012). However, travel to in-situ destinations that are remote or ecologically sensitive is frequently critiqued as exacerbating environmental problems due to the large carbon footprint created in travelling to these locations (Dawson, Stewart, Lemelin, & Scott, 2010; Gossling, 2013). The terms in-situ and ex-situ simply mean on-site and not on-site, respectively. These terms are often used when discussing conservation, as ex-situ sites (such as zoos) and are often argued to be important places for in-situ (such as a conservation area or park) species conservation. In the case of nature-based tourism, there remains the question of the impact of visiting an in-situ destination versus an ex-situ site. As there is little empirical evidence to inform what the differences may exist between these two experiences in relation to environmental education and learning, visitor experience, and impact on the communities. Research is needed to understand these phenomena and inform best practices for both in-situ and ex-situ nature-based tourism experiences. This paper will focus on practical lessons learned from my dissertation research. It will address what kinds of learning were found in the in-situ and ex-situ case studies, and will provide insight into how polar tourism destinations can plan effective visitor experiences that achieve communities’ desired learning outcomes.
  • Publication
    Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Atlantic Canada: Is Cruise Passenger Spending exaggerated?
    (2018-09-25) Van Blarcom, Brian; Kayahan, Burc; Ross, Klein
    ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CRUISE TOURISM IN ATLANTIC CANADA IS CRUISE PASSENGER SPENDING EXAGGERATED? Introduction Cruise tourism is of increasing importance in Atlantic Canada. Average annual growth during the 1990-2015 period in Halifax was 9.24% (Transport Canada, 2016). Total cruise ship visitors to Halifax has grown tenfold over the last two decades, from approximately 24,000 in 1990 to 238,217 in 2015 (Transport Canada, 2016). The number of cruise ship visitors to Newfoundland & Labrador increased from 10,000 in 2000 to 50,000 in 2015. The growth of cruise tourism in the last decades is accompanied by the expected growth of benefits for the hosting ports. On the surface, it is reasonable to expect the cruise tourism to generate economic benefits emanating from spending by various parties (passengers, cruise lines, tour providers, etc.). However, there is growing evidence that studies supported or done by the cruise industry (e.g., Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA)/Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)) which serve as the foundation for assessing the economic benefits of cruise tourism, may be exaggerated. Literature While the cruise industry reported economic impacts are significant, there are deficiencies in such self-reported/commissioned statistics by cruise associations such as BREA and CLIA (Larsen et. Al., 2013; Falkenhaug, 2012; Scarfe, 2011; Klein 2011; Brida and Zappata, 2011). Economic impact estimates reported by the cruise lines suffer from a variety of theoretical and empirical problems. Benefits, computed in the form of tourism spending by passengers, are commonly calculated by taking the average expenditure times the number of passengers. Ports are quick to claim that each cruise passenger spends more than $100 during a port call and then simply deduces that a cruise with 4000 passengers and 2000 crew generates revenue of $6 million (Brida and Zapata, 2010). However, as Stavanger (2012) demonstrates, 20-40% of the passengers do not leave the ship during a stop-over. Using average expenditure values from other studies (ports) is arbitrary, since expenses and their effects will differ depending upon: 1) Type of port function (turn around/port of call), which will impact length of stay, 2) Market segment in terms of ship type, passenger type and nationality, all of which can vary depending upon the time of year, and 3) Attractions/products/services offered in a specific area ( Klein 2011 and Torbianelli 2012). To the extent a data collection strategy of surveying cruise ship passengers and crew fails to account for these factors, the results will be biased and the economic impact results inaccurate. Method This study draws on data collected during the 2016 cruise season in the four major ports in Atlantic Canada (i.e., Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and St. John’s, Newfoundland). Data was subsequently gathered in 2017, however for purposes here we draw mainly on the data for the Port of Halifax in 2016. The Halifax data includes cruise ship passengers visiting the port of Halifax between April 30th and October 28th. A total of 2,205 surveys were collected from 100 (75%) of the 133 cruise ships that visited the port. Passengers were randomly surveyed at the port area beginning 2 hours after the ship’s arrival and continuing until 1 hour before the ship’s departure. The 23 cruise lines visiting the port were divided for purposes of analysis into four groups; the Halifax Port Authority concurred with the categories. The largest number of passengers (42.5%) are brought by mass market cruises. Close behind are passengers on Premium cruise lines (41%), the remainder is split almost evenly between Luxury cruise lines and European cruise lines. This study attempts to understand the disparity between passenger spending figures produced by cruise industry supported studies, [specifically a 2017 study (2016 data) completed by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA)) versus studies undertaken by other, often independent, researchers (specifically our study) for the same geographic (Atlantic Canada)) area. Average spending per person is compared between this study which uses a probability sampling method versus the BREA study issued in April 2017 that did not. A critical element in producing unbiased sample statistics is the degree to which the sample of respondents in the passenger spending survey correspond to the actual universe (all ship arrivals in the year) of cruise ship and cruise passenger visits. The risk of biased results is reduced if the collected sample is representative of the population. In the BREA study, Luxury and European cruise visitors constitute 16.8% of passengers landing in early Season, yet no respondents were drawn from this group. A further bias is introduced by Mass Market visitors making up 42.7% of the cruise passengers in early season yet they are 64.4% of the early season respondents to the BREA survey. In contrast, the data collected in this study is closely aligned with the proportions of cruise vessel visits. Because all cruise ships visiting in the early season were surveyed, the sample we drew was from the universe of cruise ships visiting Halifax and more closely aligns with actual cruise visitor numbers and proportions than those based on the ships sampled in the BREA study. Findings/Results From an economic perspective, the significance of having a biased sample across market segment is made relevant by the fact that passenger spending differed by market segment. Spending was significantly greater for Mass Market cruise visitors ($70.44) than visitors on Premium lines ($60.02), Luxury lines ($57.84) and European lines ($52.79). The effect of oversampling the cruise market category, where spending is highest, is to artificially increase the overall per passenger spending. The BREA’s sampling frame over-represents Mass Market cruise visitors by 50%. At the same time, this market segment spends per passenger 10% more than the population average; more than 15% greater than the Premium lines. There is a cumulative impact of these two conditions, which is likely to bias the derived average spending figure, which is then used as the basis for computing economic impact. The average spending per passenger in this study was $63.57; in the BREA study it was 31.5% higher at $83.84. The significance of this difference in per passenger spending can be illustrated for Halifax (Atlantic Canada’s largest port for cruise visits) which had 220,351 passenger visits in 2016. Using the BREA figure for average spending, total spending would be $18.4 million, using our estimate, total spending would be $14.0 million. The importance of potential factors that may influence the cruise passenger spending in a port are also investigated. More specifically, regression analysis was conducted to investigate the influence of potential explanatory variables on the cruise passenger spending in Halifax using our data from the 2016 cruise season. The dependent variable of the analysis is the per capita passenger spending in Halifax. Of particular interest is that passenger spending is dependent on demographic characteristics, cruise industry segment, precipitation/temperature and port order placement in cruise itinerary. Conclusion The research outlines the importance of using accepted methods of probability sampling. Results otherwise may be inaccurate and mislead per passenger spending. As shown, the sample of ships included in BREA’s study of passenger spending in Halifax overstated by 31.5% the amount spent. Our data suggests this is caused by oversampling mass market cruise passengers, who comparatively spend significantly more than all other cruise passengers visiting Halifax. The inflated number is then used in determining economic impact, which consequently is an overstatement. Finally, the regression analysis shows that passenger spending is influenced by socio-economic/demographic/weather/itinerary related variables. A cleared understanding of the variables driving visitors spending could allow ports to adopt strategies that can maximize the local economic benefits. The provision of benchmark data enables assessment of current and future policies related to cruise tourism. An economic perspective is important to the development and management of tourism resources and can play a key role in driving tourism initiatives that balance economic/social/cultural benefits and costs. References BREA. (2017). The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada A Survey-based Analysis of the Impacts of Passenger, Crew and Cruise Line Spending (Accessed July 10, 2017) Brida, J.G., and Zapata, S. (2011). Cruise Tourism: Economic, Socio-cultural and Environmental impacts. International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 1(3), 205-226. Falkenhaug, J. (2012). Where would we have been without cruise ships.? Retrieved from: Klein, R.A. (2011). Responsible Cruise Tourism: Issues of Cruise Tourism and Sustainability. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 18, 107–116. Larsen, S., Wolff, K. Marnburg, E. and Ogaard, T. (2013). Tourism Management Perspectives. 6, 142-148. Scarfe, B.L. (2011). Victoria as a Port-of-Call: The Costs and Benefits of Cruise Ship Visits. A report prepared for the James Bay Neighbourhood Association. Stavanger, Aftenblad (2012). Butikkene kan takke cruiseturistene for 3 millioner kroner. Retrived from Torbianelli, V. (2012). The local economic impact of cruises: From figures to the active policies of the European harbor cities. Scientific Journal of Maritime Research, 1, 139-150. Transport Canada Press Release, October 26, 2016). I
  • Publication
    The Influence of Tourism and Amenities on Place Attachment and Entrepreneurship in Remote Communities: A Case Study of Tofino, BC
    (2018-09-26) Kumar, Sreya; Vaugeois, Nicole L.
    This study was undertaken to provide a better understanding new migrant entrepreneurs and what attracts them to rural and remote communities. Conducted as a case study in Tofino, the study was done using mixed methods including content analysis of place based promotional tools and semi-structured interviews with a sample of new migrant entrepreneurs who had moved to the community within the past 15 years . The study found that although there were no specific place promotion efforts directed at attracting entrepreneurs, businesses were often established as an indirect outcome of promotional efforts aimed at attracting tourists via destination marketing organizations. The entrepreneurs interviewed had not planned to establish a business from the outset; rather, the decision to start their business resulted due to the attractive capacity of the amenities in the community and the place attachment they developed which fueled their desire to remain in the community to experience the quality of life afforded by natural and cultural amenities. These findings provide valuable contributions to the literature as they expand and clarify the influential role of tourism promotion in economic development.
  • Publication
    Addressing the homogeneity dilemma by customizing tourism development supports for rural regions using the typology of tourism dependence
    (2018-09-26) Vaugeois, Nicole L.
    Despite the general tendency to generalize about rural areas, they are not homogenous. Programs to support development in rural areas often tend to assume homogeneity and as such, they are often created in a “one-size fits all” approach for application by communities. This paper advocates for more customized program supports that take into account the specific needs of destinations at all stages of development. The paper presents a typology of tourism dependence that classifies rural communities into three types differentiated on their level of engagement in tourism including tourism desperate, tourism active and tourism saturated communities. The typology was based on a decade of field research within British Columbia and builds on Smith and Krannich’s (1998) hypothesis of tourism dependence and Hunt and Stronza’s (2014) addition of early stages to Butler’s (1989) Tourism Area Lifecycle model. This typology includes a description of each type and proposes a set of supports to enable sustainable tourism development.
  • Publication
    Enhancing Visitors Experiences at Artisan Businesses: A Case Study of the Économusée® Business Model In British Columbia
    (2018-09-01) Predyk, John; Vaugeois, Nicole L.
    ÉCONOMUSÉE© is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 in Quebec, Canada which now includes over 70 Artisans from across Canada and Europe. The model promotes the preservation of traditional knowledge and local entrepreneurship by utilizing cultural tourism to showcase artisans and encourage the consumption of locally produced artisanal products. This study was completed in order to provide data on the growth and effectiveness of the ÉCONOMUSÉE program in British Columbia since it was first introduced in 2012. This paper highlights the results of the impact of the model on overall visitor experience. At this point in time, it appears that there are several positive indicators of success for the ÉCONOMUSÉE model. Visitors rated their experience at the sites very positively, particularly due to components of the model such as the boutiques and welcoming areas. Of the sites that were able to provide data on visitor levels, all saw an increase in visitation post- ÉCONOMUSÉE. Visitor experience was extremely positive and there was high repeat visitation levels at sites. This could be an indicator of potential for increased visitation, particularly due to the current reliance on word of mouth marketing. Although it is unclear to what extent visitors are viewing the education or interpretive elements as core to their experience, as the ÉCONOMUSÉE model becomes more familiar in the region, the recognition and value of the interpretive aspects of the business should increase. A little over half of visitors were from outside the region and stayed overnight, with most staying several nights, generating additional economic opportunity for accommodation providers in the region. The evidence provides justification for investment in the model and support for continuing to expand the model within British Columbia and across Canada.