Photo contributed Jan. 27/16- Brian White

RRU helps shape province-wide tourism strategies

Real world work could see real world results in local industries

The Tourism Industry Association of B.C. and Royal Roads University are about to establish a partnership that could help revolutionize the province’s tourism industry.

The association announced last week the establishment of a new memorandum of understanding with the local school, to work with mid-career grad students on research that will help form and develop a number of initiatives within the industry.

“This is the top (tourism) organization in the province. It’s a big deal for us,” said Brian White, director of RRU’s school of tourism and hospitality management. “This is really important for Royal Roads.”

While White couldn’t release the specifics of the agreement, since it hasn’t officially been signed yet, he had no doubt the projects within it would be moving forward. He already has students interested in the work.

“We try to use the MOUs as an organizing framework,” he said. “We identify all the things the other party wants to know about and put it into a document.” That document then provides guidelines for students working on those specific projects.

Among the projects listed in the memorandum are: developing communication strategies within the “power of tourism story initiative,” shaping a provincewide tourism crisis plan, and conducting in-depth research on topics such as pipeline expansion and climate change and their potential implications on the province’s tourism industry.

“Tourism is a really critical piece in making B.C. successful in the service-based industries,” White said. “It’s one of the strongest economical forces in the (local) area.”

He noted the importance these projects will have locally if Greater Victoria experiences a crisis situation. “If we get a really big earthquake, (the research) will be a critical factor.”

He pointed to such examples as the tsunami in Thailand, the California wildfires and more recently, the sightseeing boat tragedy in Tofino.

“Very rarely have those societies been prepared to deal with the communication afterwards,” White said.

MOUs such as this one give organizations access to research projects they may not normally have the budget to take on on their own, he added.

Students in the grad program also have to complete a number of applied projects and White said this will have them “doing something useful and relevant in the real world.”

RRU grad students possess a wealth of knowledge, he said – the majority are in their 30s, 40s and 50s – and many have held high positions in a number of industries.

He added that the majority of the students aren’t from the local area, which adds another dimension to their perspective.

“They tend to be good researchers, they’re quite capable. I’m looking forward to it. It will be quite a useful project.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Victoria plumbing company dedicates van for grocery delivery

The Super Plumber uses van to pick up groceries for those in need during COVID-19 pandemic

Digitization of Peninsula News Review by Sidney Museum and Archives preserves historical legacy

Searchable database will ease research and preserve integrity of records

Food safety a good practice amid COVID-19 concerns

BC Centre for Disease Control offers useful food safe information for households

Fictionalized accounts of pandemics offer glimpses into our COVID-19 present

Contagion might capture the contemporary mood, but pandemics have a long tradition in fiction

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Most Read