Peter Williams

Professor Emeritus


  • BA, Geography, University of Ottawa
  • MA, Geography, University of Waterloo
  • Ph.D. Tourism and Outdoor Recreation, Utah State
  • MCIP (Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners) and RPP (Registered Professional Planner)


Dr. Peter Williams (MCIP) is a professional planner and geographer whose work focuses on policy, planning, and management issues related to tourism development. His particular interest is in strategies that lead to more sustainable uses of natural and cultural resources. He and his research team in REM’s Centre for Tourism Policy and Research are currently involved in projects: monitoring the social and environmental impacts of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games; exploring climate change adaption strategies in mountain tourism regions; assessing the effects of ‘residential tourists’ on rural communities; identifying effective strategies for social capital development in nature based tourism regions; and measuring the eco-efficiency of alternative sustainability strategies in resort destinations. Dr. Williams and several of his graduates have been formally recognized by professional organizations for the leading edge quality of their research at SFU. Some relatively recent publications with graduate students he has mentored include:

  • Ness, J. and P.W. Williams (2008). “Dialogue management factors: A 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games case.” Journal of Travel and Tourism Education, 8 (2&3) , 193-221.
  • Williams, P.W. and I.F. Ponsford (2008). “Confronting tourism’s environmental paradox: Transitioning for sustainable tourism,” Futures, 39(1). (on-line)
  • Williams, P.W., M. Peters, and A. Stegemann. (2008). Transformations in mountain tourism community landscapes: Amenity driven change” In C. Kronenberg, C., S. Muller, M. Peters, B. Pikkemaat and K. Weirmair (eds.). Change Management in Tourism (pp. 185-204). Berlin: Eric Schmidt Verlag
  • Williams, P.W., A. Gill and I. Ponsford (2007). “Corporate social responsibility at tourism destinations: Toward a ‘social licence to operate’.” Tourism Review International: An Interdiciplinary Journal: 11(2), 133-144.
  • Kelly, J. and P. W. Williams (2007). “Modelling tourism destination energy consumption and green house gas emissions: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada,” Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15(1), 67-90.
  • Paridean M., P. Williams, and T.L. Gunton (2006/07). “Evaluating protected area selection: Theory and practice in the British Columbia protected areas strategy.” Environments, 24(3), 77-96.
  • Williams, P.W., A.M. Gill, N.Chura. 2004. “Branding mountain destinations: The battle for “placefuflness,” Tourism Review, 59(1): 6-15.
  • Williams, P.W., K. Lack, and K. Smith. 2004. Cultivating Agritourism: Tools and Techniques for Building Success. Ottawa: Canadian Farm Business Management Council.
  • Williams, P.W. and G. Hunter (2002). “Assessing stakeholder perspectives on heli-skiing’s socio-economic impacts in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains: Applying a tourism impact scale,” Tourism Recreation Research, 27(3), 67-82.
  • Williams, P. W. and C. Richter (2002). “Developing and supporting European tour operator distribution channels for aboriginal tourism development”, Journal of Travel Research, 40(4), 404-415.
  • Williams, P.W. and P. Fidgeon. 2000. Addressing participation constraint: A case study of potential skiers, Tourism Management, 21, 379-393.
  • Williams, P.W. and I. Budke (Eds.) 1999. On Route to Sustainability: Best Practices In Canadian Tourism. Ottawa: Government of Canada.

Dr. Williams is former President of the Canadian and International chapters of the Travel and Tourism Research Association, organizations dedicated to encouraging excellence in tourism research. He is also a member of the prestigious International Academy For the Study of Tourism, and the Chair of the provincially appointed British Columbia Tourism Research Advisory Council. As a professional researcher, he is a recipient of the prestigious Travel and Tourism Research Association’s “Life Time Achievement Award” – bestowed for his significant contributions to the tourism industry. He serves on the editorial review boards of several journals including the Journal of Travel Research, and Canadian Geographic Magazine.