Course description

How your community can capitalize on its arts, heritage, culinary and natural history attractions

For the past decade, the growth of cultural tourism has challenged cities and regions to capitalize on their cultural and heritage assets. Once regarded as a niche market, cultural tourism has emerged as a major market segment and a significant motivator for travel.

This course explores how to make the most of the fast-growing and lucrative market for cultural tourism. Whether you work for a destination marketing organization or economic development agency—or manage or market a museum, gallery, festival, heritage site or other cultural experience—this course offers development strategies and marketing tools that will help you to succeed. Special emphasis is placed on the theory and practice of place-based cultural tourism in the context of destination planning. Download the course outline here.

For information on accommodations in Victoria click here.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the rise of cultural tourism as a market segment.
  • Think critically about what cultural tourism is, and what it is not.
  • Identify key factors that make cultural tourism experiences exportable.
  • Appreciate the role of place in conceiving a cultural tourism initiative.
  • Weigh the advantages of a place-based approach to cultural tourism vs. attractions-based approaches.
  • Understand key principles in site interpretation and place interpretation.
  • Understand key principles of cultural tourism marketing.
  • Consider issues of cultural authenticity, integrity and preservation.
  • Build community support for cultural tourism initiatives.
  • Plan a cultural tourism initiative.

Prerequisites

Note: though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course.

Please contact the Program Coordinator, Tusa Shea, directly at crmcoord@uvic.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

Instructor

Steven Thorne has worked in Canada’s cultural sector for 40 years as a cultural educator, manager and consultant. For the past decade, he has specialized in planning and developing cultural tourism destinations. Steven’s clients have included Tourism BC, Tourism Prince Edward Island, Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Parks Canada, and Canadian cities, towns, and institutions from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. Recent projects include Whistler's Cultural Tourism Development Strategy—designed to help North America's pre-eminent ski destination diversify its tourism offering—and strategies for Huntsville/Lake of Bays, Ontario and BC's Columbia Valley.

Steven helps cities, towns and regions to realize their potential for cultural tourism by using his holistic, “place-based” planning approach. The approach weaves together heritage, arts, culinary, agritourism and natural history experiences to form a “cultural tapestry” that reveals a destination’s unique cultural terroir and sense of place.

Steven is a Senior Associate with Washington-based Sustainable Travel International. He also works in association with Edinburgh-based TEAM Tourism Consulting and Toronto-based TCI Management Consultants. He earned a Master's degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo, specializing in cultural development. He is a frequent speaker at tourism arts, heritage and economic development conferences in Canada and the USA.

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