Subjectivity in Tourism and Place: A Cultural Planning Approach in Yellowknife, NT
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Communities that have previously relied on primary industries are increasingly turning towards tourism as a form of economic development as their past economic opportunities become obsolete. Yet, as tourism growth can occur quickly with little to no policies or procedures in place, it can result in a vulnerable state as it will remain unstructured, unchecked, and disorganized. In order for tourism to be the most effective for small-sized communities, it is important to approach tourism planning from a community-based, inclusive approach. The integration of various stakeholders in a community-led governance approach will allow for effective development strategies that not only benefit both tourists and locals but also contributes to the overall place-making within the community. This research focuses on international tourism, cultural heritage, and place-making in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Yellowknife has experienced a large growth in international tourists looking to experience the Aurora Borealis, whereas the cultural heritage within the community is a secondary experience, it is relatively underexposed and underrepresented. By considering the city’s cultural heritage sites as a means to further develop a sense of place, this research will examine the subjective interactions locals and tourists experience within the City of Yellowknife. Semi-structured interviews were used as the primary method of data collection to examine the differences in how locals perceive the city, what the tourists’ expectations of the city are and whether these expectations are being met. The researcher will conduct participant observations to supplement the interviews, by partaking in tours operated by local tour operators. Current document review and basic statistical data was analyzed to establish a contextual base for the research. This research will create a planning and management framework for a tourism growth strategy in Yellowknife. The end goal will be to encourage Yellowknife to undertake a tourism development strategy that is focused on the local community’s involvement in place-making initiatives that will in turn contribute to place-branding. This cultural planning approach to community building will strengthen the locals’ involvement in tourism progression and in turn will assist in building resilience for a rapidly changing economy.
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Ashley Rudkevitch (2017). Subjectivity in Tourism and Place: A Cultural Planning Approach in Yellowknife, NT. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12015