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The Intangible Impacts of Tourism: The Battle Harbour National Historic District as a Tourism Anchor

Lead Researcher and Department
Dr. Mark C.J. Stoddart, Sociology

Collaborators and Students
Dr. Howard Ramos, Sociology & Social Anthropology, Dahousie University; Gordon Slade, Chair and Managing Director, Battle Harbour Historic Trust Inc. (non-academic partner); Mandy Applin, Working Volunteer and Former MBA Intern, Battle Harbour Historic Trust Inc. (non-academic partner)

Funding Resources
Harris Centre, Applied Research Fund

The development of tourism oriented around the cultural and natural heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador has been a key response to the profound economic and demographic challenges that have transformed coastal communities since the 1992 cod moratorium. At its best, tourism brings flows of visitors and income into coastal communities, helping to create a more diversified provincial economy.

Besides the economic impacts of tourism, there are also significant intangible impacts on local communities. Cultural benefits of tourism may include an enriched sense of community identity and pride, an enhanced sense of connection with local environments, and increased social capital from engaging with visitors and developing new skills. These intangible benefits can contribute to community sustainability and resilience.

This project will focus on the Battle Harbour National Historic District as a case study to examine the cultural and social impacts of tourism on surrounding communities, which include the towns of Mary`s Harbour, Lodge Bay, and St. Lewis. This project focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of regional development. It also examines changing ways of living with and making a living from coastal environments. As such, the project bridges two core Harris Centre research areas: Regional Development and Environment. The project will produce applied research findings that are immediately relevant to Battle Harbour and its surrounding communities. More broadly, it will increase our understanding of how the cultural and social dimensions of the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador contribute to community sustainability and resilience.

This project is now complete, and the final report is available at:

April 2013-March 2014

tourism; historic sites; Labrador; community resilience; sustainability

Battle Harbour

Industry Sectors
Historic and heritage sites (Arts, entertainment and recreation — Heritage institutions)
Tourism (Public administration — Local, municipal and regional public administration — Other local, municipal and regional public administration)
Arts, entertainment and recreation

Thematic Categories
Arts, Culture & Heritage
Community Development
Environment and Conservation
Newfoundland Studies

Sociology, Faculty of Arts (STJ)