Alison Gill

Professor Emeritus

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  • BA, Geography, Hull University
  • MA, Geography, University of Alberta
  • PhD, Geography, University of Manitoba


Dr. Gill is a social geographer who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Geography and the School of Resource and Environmental Management. She specializes in tourism with a focus on community development and planning issues in tourism environments. This has evolved from an earlier research interest in the planning and design of new single-industry resources communities. Dr. Gill’s research has for many years focused on issues of growth and change associated with tourism in mountain resort communities. She has received SSHRC research funding to examine such issues as growth management, corporate-community relationships and amenity migration. Institutional arrangements and the politics of place are important theoretical constructs underpinning much of her work and she is currently working on the topic of changing resort governance. She has co-organized two international conferences on the topic of mountain resort planning and development and published extensively on these topics. Dr. Gill also has research interests in coastal areas and as a Board member of the Ocean Management Research Network (OMRN) represents the interests of coastal and marine tourism in this multi-disciplinary group.

Dr. Gill has recently served as the President of the Canadian Association of Geographers. She serves on the editorial boards of “Tourism Geographies”, “Journal of Travel Research”, “Annals”, “Association of American Geographers” and the “Journal of Architectural and Planning Research”. She has recently been elected as a Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and serves on the Society’s Board of Governors.

Examples of recent publications include:

  • Gill, A.M. & Williams, P.W. (2014) Mindful deviation in creating a governance path towards sustainability in resort destinations. Tourism Geographies 16(4): 546-562.
  • Gill, A.M. (2012) Past-president's address: Travelling down the road to postdisciplinarity? Reflections of a tourism geographer. The Canadian Geographer 56(1): 3-17
  • Gill, A. M. & Williams, P. W. (2011) Rethinking resort growth: Understanding evolving governance strategies in Whistler, British Columbia. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 19(4&5): 629-648
  • Gill, A.M., Williams, P.W., and Thompson, S. (2010) Perceived water conservation attitudes and behaviours in second-home island settings. Tourism and Hospitality Research 10(2): 141-151
  • Welk, E. and Gill, A. (2009) “Coastal resort planning: the case of Tofino”. In R. Dowling and C. Pforr (eds) Coastal Tourism Development - Planning and Management Issues. New York: Cognizant Communications.
  • Gill, A.M. (2008). “Tourism and Recreation”, (contributing author to Ch. 8 “British Columbia”). In Lemmen, D.S., Warren, F.J., Lacroix, J., and Bush, E. (eds). From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate. Ottawa: Government of Canada, pp 350-351.
  • Gill, A.M. and Williams, P.W. (2008) “From ‘guiding fiction’ to action: applying ‘The Natural Step’ to sustainability planning in the resort of Whistler, British Columbia”. In S.F. McCool and R.N. Moissey (eds) Tourism, Recreation and Sustainability: Linking Culture and Environment (2nd edit). Wallingford, UK: CABI, pp. 121-130.
  • Gill, A. M. and Welk, E. (2007) Natural heritage as place identity: Tofino, Canada, a coastal resort on the periphery. In S Agarwal and G. Shaw (eds) Coastal Tourism Resorts: A Global Perspective, Clevedon, UK: Channel View
  • Gill, A. M. (2007) “The politics of bed units: the case of Whistler, British Columbia”. In T. Coles and A. Church (eds) Tourism, Politics and Place, London: Routledge pp. 125-159.
  • Clark, T., Gill, A. and Hartmann, R. (eds) (2006) Mountain Resort Planning and Development in an Era of Globalization,Elmsford, NY: Cognizant Communication, 348 p.
  • Williams, P. and Gill, A.M. (2006) A research agenda for tourism amenity migration destinations. Tourism Recreation Research, 31(1): 92-98.
  • Gill, A., Kriwoken L., Dobson, S. and Fallon, L. (2006) The challenges of integrating tourism into Canadian and Australian coastal zone management. Dalhousie Law Journal, 26(1): 85-147.
  • Gill, A.M. (2004). Tourism communities and growth management. In A.A. Lew, C.M. Hall and A/M. Williams (eds). A Companion to Tourism, Oxford: Blackwell, pp 569-583.
  • Williams, P.W., Gill, A..M., and Chura, N. 2004. Branding mountain destinations: the battle for “placefulness” Tourism Review 59(1): 6-15.
  • Gill. A.M. 2004. Tourism communities and growth management. In A.A. Lew, C.M. Hall and A.M. Williams (eds), A Companion to Tourism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp569-583.
  • Williams, P. and Gill A.M. 2004, Addressing destination carrying capacity challenges through growth management. Chapter 10 in W. Theobald (ed) Global Tourism. Boston: Butterworth Heinemann.
  • Yamamoto, D. and A.M. Gill. 2002. Issues of globalization and reflexivity in the Japanese tourism production system: The case of Whistler, British Columbia. The Professional Geographer, 54: 83-93.
  • Gill, Alison. 2000. From Growth Machine to Growth Management: the Dynamics of Resort Development in Whistler, British Columbia. Environment and Planning A, 32: 1083-1103.
  • Gill, Alison and Maureen Reed. 1997. Tourism, recreational and amenity values in land allocation: An analysis of institutional arrangements in the postproductivist era. Environment and Planning A, 29: 2019-2040.
  • Gill, Alison. 1996. Rooms with a View: Informal Settings for Public Dialogue. Society and Natural Resources, 9: 633-643.
  • Gill, Alison. 1996. Competition and the resort community: Towards an understanding of residents’ needs. In P. E. Murphy (ed.) Quality Management in Urban Tourism, Toronto: Wiley, 55-65.
  • Gill, Alison and Maureen Reed. 1996. The reimaging of a Canadian resource town: Postproductivism in a North American context. Applied Geographic Studies, 1(2): 129-147.
  • Gill, Alison and Peter Williams. 1994. Managing Growth in Mountain Tourism Communities. Tourism Management, 15(3): 212-220.
Dr. Gill teaches Community Tourism Planning and Development (REM 652).


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.