Education Priorities

The Centre for Tourism Policy and Research focuses on developing and delivering graduate level academic courses and professional management development seminars and workshops. These emphasize ways of encouraging the use of sustainable resource and business management practices.

Graduate Tourism Education

Graduate tourism education is offered in the form of policy, planning and management courses, research projects and cooperative education programs. Using the School for Resource and Environmental Management's multidisciplinary courses in such subjects as public policy analysis, impact assessment, regional planning, and environmental law as a foundation, students enrich their management capabilities through course study and research in tourism. In particular they participate in core tourism courses, field trips, seminars, and research projects related to impact assessment, policy formulation, parks planning, community development, marketing, strategic planning, and business and resource management issues. A strong focus is placed on the development of policy, planning and management approaches which encourage environmentally appropriate and sustainable tourism. Upon graduation, tourism students receive a Master of Resource Management (MRM) degree with a concentration in tourism and recreation policy and management.

Professional Development Tourism Education

Professional development tourism education is provided through a wide range of short courses, seminars, and policy forums. As a distinct initiative, the Centre provides on a demand basis a set of short intensive tourism management refresher programs. The courses relate to the most recent strategic planning, marketing, human resource and finance issues impacting the industry. These can be scheduled in formats designed to accommodate the hectic agendas of tourism professionals.


The Centre for Tourism Policy and Research uses two strategic locations for its tourism activities. Graduate programs and research initiatives are at the University's Burnaby Mountain campus, a 400 metre high site providing a spectacular backdrop of mountains and coastline for resource based tourism studies. The Centre's professional development programs are delivered at the University's Harbour Centre campus, in the heart of the Greater Vancouver urban community. This location's proximity to government agencies, business organizations and tourism associations provides an ideal setting for addressing critical tourism management issues in a contemporary and professional learning environment.

Research Priorities

Using British Columbia's spectacular natural resource base and growing tourism industry as a laboratory, the Centre encourages basic and applied research relevant to critical tourism industry issues. Through its on-going cooperative partnerships with industry and government, graduate students receive hands-on research experience associated with the most current and fundamental of tourism and recreation management challenges. Recent tourism research issues addressed by the Centre's faculty, staff and students have included management, concerns such as market identification, event impact evaluation, community planning, carrying capacity management, coastal and alpine resource development, ecotourism, and ski industry demand assessment. Support for these initiatives is provided through access to current regional, national and international data sets, as well as up-to-date electronic and print documentation centres.

Academic, Professional and Financial Support

Academic and Professional Support

The Centre draws upon a talented core of academic and industry professionals to lead its activities. Full-time faculty include professors with tourism research specializations in strategic planning and marketing, community development, as well as outdoor recreation and protected areas management. They are complemented with a talented group of industry and government based tourism advisors and guest lecturers working in the fields of environmental design, human resource development, land-use planning, marketing and environmental impact assessment. In combination, these individuals provide an action-oriented team, suited to guiding students in the development of their careers in tourism and recreation resource management.

Financial Support

To encourage participation in the Centre's activities, potential graduate tourism students are encouraged to apply for work study grants, research stipends and scholarships which are provided on a competitive basis. The Centre also encourages, and in some cases financially supports, graduate student participation in a wide range of tourism industry seminars, conferences and workshops which it co-sponsors or participates in.