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Leisure and COVID-19

Learn more about the work developed by our faculty in the field of Leisure in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, in conjunction with VIU’s World Leisure Centre of Excellence, is pleased to share the work that has been done by our faculty in the field of Leisure in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published articles

Tourism Geographies

Patrick Brouder (2020) Reset redux: possible evolutionary pathways towards the transformation of tourism in a COVID-19 world, Tourism Geographies, 22:3, 484-490, DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2020.1760928

With international arrivals surpassing 1.5 billion for the first time in 2019, the long-term evolution of tourism demonstrates prolific path dependence with a decade of growth since the global financial crisis. This latest period of unfettered international tourism development has come to an abrupt end as the impact of COVID-19 has brought the sector to a near standstill. As the world grapples with the realities of the global pandemic there is an opportunity to rethink exactly what tourism will look like for the decades ahead. Key concepts in evolutionary economic geography, especially path dependence/creation and institutional inertia/innovation, show variations in pathways for travel and tourism in a COVID-19 world. A path that leads to transformation in tourism can be realized if sufficient institutional innovation occurs on both the demand and supply side of tourism that can foster the emergence of new paths. COVID-19 presents a once in a generation opportunity where the institutional pump is primed for transformation. Whether that leads to a radical transformation of the tourism sector remains to be seen, but the imprint it will leave on both the demand and supply of tourism will have long-term, incremental impacts for years to come and ultimately move us closer towards the transformation of tourism.

Learn more about Tourism Geographies

World Leisure Journal

Suzanne de la Barre, Garret Stone, Janet McKeown and Joanne Schroeder (2020) Thinking about leisure during a global pandemic, World Leisure Journal, DOI: 10.1080/16078055.2020.1825264

The COVID-19 pandemic arrested the world in a dramatic manner as of March 2020. As countries placed themselves under lockdown to avoid the worst-case scenarios expected from the novel virus, we witnessed economies shut down, and residents of the smallest communities to the largest cities ‘shelter in place’ as they could. Very quickly, a smorgasbord of disparities and privileges were highlighted and discussions, at local and global levels, began in earnest. This moment is significant in terms of providing us with insights borne of this unique opportunity to better understand diverse aspects of life on this planet, not least our knowledge of climate change and demographic vulnerabilities, but also about the state of leisure. The following Observation Paper presents a few leisure-related insights gained during the spring and summer of 2020 in Canada.

Learn more about the World Leisure Journal

Research Project

Leisure as a Mechanism for Coping with Stress Related to Public Health Interventions due to COVID-19. Research Project Conducted by Dr. Aggie Weighill

Vancouver Island University has approved funding for research projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of them is investigating how physically distanced leisure activities have helped us cope with the stresses of the health crisis. Dr. Aggie Weighill, a VIU Recreation and Tourism Professor, was featured on CBC All Points West and spoke about this study. Listen to Dr. Aggie Weighill's full interview

In February 2021, Dr. Weighill participated in the VIU SCRA Lunch and Learn and presented the preliminary research results that explore the impact of Covid restrictions on leisure behaviour as well as the importance of leisure activities on wellbeing. This session is available View session

Also, Dr. Weighill is conducting a series of interviews exploring the theme of leisure in times of a pandemic:

  • Interview with Abby Fortune – Manager of Recreation and Tourism for the District of Ucluelet, BC: In this video, Abby reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacted on operations with Ucluelet's recreation program and the community in general. The interview is available Listen to the interview with Abby Fortune

  • Interview with Garry Paterson – Coordinator for Arenas for the City of Nanaimo, BC: Gary is a graduate of VIU and the Coordinator of Arenas for the City of Nanaimo. He shared his experience during the COVID 19 pandemic, what he has learned, and what he is hopeful for. The interview with Garry is available Listen to the interview with Garry Paterson.

Please keep following our work as there is more to come. Stay safe! 

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