A critical analysis of Ontario’s resource-based tourism policy




Bennett, Nathan
Lemelin, Raynard

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Journal of Rural and Community Development


Conflicts between resource-based industries and resource-based tourism are commonplace, complex, and long lived. The Resource-Based Tourism Policy (Government of Ontario, 1997) was one of a number of documents produced by the Government of Ontario in response to such conflicts in Northern Ontario, Canada. Yet in the 13 years since the policy was produced, there has been no research to examine either the impact or effectiveness of this document in achieving its stated goal: “to promote and encourage the development of the Ontario resource-based tourism industry in both an ecologically and economically sustainable manner” (Government of Ontario, 1997, p. 1). This article reviews the context within which the policy operates, summarizes the policy document, and questions both the impact and effectiveness of the Resource-Based Tourism Policy based on five critiques: (a) the level of transparency, collaboration, and representation in the policy’s development; (b) the unity of the policy direction and actions; (c) the incorporation of science into proposed policy solutions; (d) the adaptability of the policy to changing industry and contextual trends; and (e) the completeness of the policy’s implementation. In conclusion, we suggest that it is time to revisit, reexamine, adapt, and update this policy document in consideration of current trends in the industry and contextual factors.



policy critique, resource-based tourism, Ontario, resource conflict


Bennett, N., & Lemelin, H. (2010). A Critical Analysis of Ontario’s “Resource-Based Tourism Policy”. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 5(1/2), 21-35.