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Current research

A photo of the Toronto skyline during the day with Lake Ontario in the foreground

BIAs and Tourism Development

Researchers at the Institute continue to conduct studies on the visitor economy and Main Street neighbourhoods. Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are associations that represent their communities, tasked with beautification and promotion of the local neighbourhood. Part of many BIAs' activities includes attracting and welcoming visitors from outside their community to shop, stroll, and raise the profile of the local area. However, very little research has been conducted on organizations like BIAs, and their role and opportunity to influence and manage the visitor economy to meet their goals and encourage local economic and cultural vitality. The studies below summarize research conducted in this broad area.

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Northern WE in Tourism

Northern WE 

Northern Women Entrepreneurs in Tourism is a collaborative research project with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and the Diversity Institute funded by the Government of Canada through the Future Skills Centre. Taking place in the Northernmost reaches of Canada, the Northern WE in Tourism project unites Indigenous women entrepreneurs from the Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, the Yukon, and Northern Quebec in a study to identify common pathways to entrepreneurship.  This research will identify best practices and explore the paths women traveled to launch and grow their business and explore the accessibility of resources, the efficiencies and deficiencies of existing training, supports, and services. Co-creating recommendations with the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs, in hopes of rectifying barriers and challenges. This research highlights concepts such as Indigenous self determination, economic reconciliation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems.