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Creative Outposts and Tourism: On the Edge of Sustainable Development?

Authors: Patrick Brouder*, Vancouver Island University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Rural Geography, Canada
Keywords: Creative, Development, Fernie, Tourism.
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

A ‘creative outpost’ is a rural peripheral community which faces a challenging socio-economic environment but which meets its challenges by deploying endogenous creative capital resulting in a palpable shift towards a more sustainable socio-economic environment. Such a shift is led by a measurable increase in local innovation and ultimately acts as a community coping strategy (Brouder, 2012). Creative outposts are further characterised by their geographical distance from the core and often from other rural peripheral communities. This ‘island-like’ status opens the possibility for (and the challenge of!) increased local interaction and cooperation. Creative outposts can overcome their distance deficits by acting as local centres and banding together following a similar approach to their traditional past roles as market towns or trading posts.

Tourism is one form of development which has proven to be resilient in a rural setting (Brouder & Fullerton, 2015). In Canada's Rocky Mountains there is one community which is a clear example of a creative outpost. Fernie, a village of approximately 5000 residents in the south-east of British Columbia, has a thriving arts and culture scene which is supported by a vibrant visitor economy.

Brouder, P. (2012). Creative outposts: Tourism's place in rural innovation. Tourism Planning & Development, 9(4), 383-396.
Brouder, P., & Fullerton, C. (2015). Exploring heterogeneous tourism development paths: Cascade effect or co-evolution in Niagara?. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 15(1-2), 152-166.
Brouder, P. (2019). Fernie: Local sustainable development and tourism. CEDARS report 2019:1.

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