Navigating Tourism Development in Emerging Destinations in Atlantic Canada: Local Benefits, Extra-local Challenges

Mark CJ Stoddart, Gary Catano, Howard Ramos


Over the past two decades, rural coastal communities in Atlantic Canada have turned to tourism as a means of economic diversification and revitalization. We examine how communities in relatively remote, emerging tourism destinations interpret the benefits and challenges of tourism development through studies of two sites in Newfoundland and Labrador: the Burin Peninsula and Battle Harbour. Tourism development is seen as having the potential to make positive contributions to the economic and social-cultural wellbeing of rural communities. At the same time, tourism stakeholders are aware of the challenges that their communities must navigate in order to connect these local places to broader networks of tourist travel. Furthermore, while the benefits of tourism are experienced locally, many of the challenges are extra-local and beyond the control of individual communities. For rural tourism regions, this highlights the need to develop multi-scalar approaches to tourism development and governance.

Keywords: tourism development; rural tourism; rural community wellbeing; Atlantic Canada; Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.