Faculty Research

Department of Tourism and Environment

Faculty Research


Faculty members in the Department of Tourism and Environment are active in many exciting fields of pure and applied research, policy development, planning, and practice.

Individual faculty pages will provide you with in-depth overviews of our research activities.

Below are a few of our current research initiatives and projects.

Challenges of Green Tourism on Kyushu Island, Japan

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Redefining social-ecological systems

Uncertainty, complexity and conflict characterize contemporary environmental and natural resource challenges. Meeting these challenges requires strategies which are fundamentally different than the ‘command and control’ approaches stressed in the 20th century. This search for innovation involves re-casting sustainability as an evolutionary process rather than an end point, considering social and ecological systems together (a social-ecological system), and finding new strategies to address human decisions and actions.

Writing the book on ecotourism

Dave Fennell's research deals with ecotourism, tourism ethics, nature-based tourism, and ecotourism policy and planning. Dave has made it a major career goal to consolidate this knowledge into comprehensive volumes which have now become the standard references in the field.

Benchmark works include Ecotourism (2010 - now in its 3rd edition); Codes of Ethics in Tourism- Practice, Theory, Synthesis (2007), Ecotourism Policy and Planning (2003); Ecotourism Program Planning (2002), Tourism Ethics (Aspects of Tourism)(2006), and numerous other co-authored or edited volumes.

Digital Discoveries and Electronic Explorations

Imagine being able to find your way to natural and cultural heritage destinations on the fly, get detailed turn-by-turn directions on road, trail or foot to guide you to them, and have high-quality multimedia interpretive information about everything from historic landmarks to interesting ecosystems delivered to you, automatically, in the field.

Digital technologies are providing us with more and more ways to promote alternative tourism destinations, encourage more sustainable modes of tourism, and develop a dynamic, community-focussed database of interpretive information about heritage features.

Dave Brown's work explores the use of web-based tools and portable digital technologies to provide information about individual points of interest, hiking and cycling trails, landscape features, accommodations and other tourism businesses, low-impact tourism activities, and alternative transportation options to reduce auto dependence.

Using these tools, visitors can obtain comprehensive information about points of interest on the fly, and construct custom trip itineraries which include location information, digital maps, detailed turn-by-turn directions, GPS coordinates, and both written and audio-based overviews of the selected destinations. Interpretive podcasts can provide custom interpretation using portable digital players, cell and smart phones, and other devices.

Wiki databases and community interactivity allow resource users to annotate, edit, and generate new content, and visitors are able to post reviews of destinations and features. Users can also submit their own thematic tours, for other visitors to use or modify for their own purposes. Everything is being developed to allow integration with locational multimedia technologies, where GPS coordinates automatically trigger directional and interpretive information on portable digital devices.

Interview with David T. Brown on digital tourism and heritage resource mapping from Greg Baeker on Vimeo.

Management for Sustainable Tourism
Danuta de GROSBOIS

Danuta's research program is in the area of sustainable tourism management with special focus on operations management, product development, quality and performance management.

Climate Change Adaptation
Brad May

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Destination: Conservation - Ontario Road Ecology Group
John Middleton

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