Nicole Vaugeois holds a BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development at Vancouver Island University. In this role she works with Aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities to build capacity and knowledge about tourism in order to develop it in a sustainable manner.
Presentation Title: The Potential Role of Participatory Rural Appraisal Methods in Aboriginal Tourism Development
Aboriginal communities are seeking knowledge about tourism development to enable its successful introduction and management. Participatory rural appraisals (PRA) methods can be used to generate answers to community questions with input from residents. PRA is one in a family of participatory approaches to research that emerged in response to limitations of the effectiveness of traditional research approaches in gathering data and facilitating social change. It has been a widely used research approach in the context of the developing world for needs, planning and capacity building yet it has limited application on the North American context. This presentation will provide observations on the application of the PRA technique within British Columbia to support aboriginal tourism development based on its application in four rural communities. The paper identifies a number of positive outcomes including enhanced dialogue about tourism, shared learning, trust building and learning.