A smooth lake with mountains rising up in the background.
Figure 1.0 Super, Natural British Columbia is one of the world’s top tourism destinations. Together, we’ll learn how the industry works.

Welcome! If you’re reading this, you’re likely interested in a career in BC’s tourism and hospitality industry. Perhaps you work in industry and want to enhance your skills. Or maybe you’re one of the hundreds of students world-wide who’ve been directed to this resource by an instructor. No matter your background, we’re happy to share this collaborative work that pulls together decades of industry experience and academic know-how.

An Introduction to the Industry

No textbook could cover, in depth, the tourism industry in BC and the global context for its development. This text is a stepping stone for further resources, and is written with a first year college and university audience in mind.

Created Through Collaboration

The book you’re reading was created through a collaborative process. It involved input from educators at multiple institutions, industry leaders, employers, and past graduates of BC’s tourism and hospitality management programs. The first iteration of the text was launched in 2015 by an organization called LinkBC; and in early 2020 a group of intrepid BC instructors rolled up their sleeves and edited the content to reflect the times.

In this 2nd edition, all chapters have been revised with updated statistics, revised content and references added providing a more relevant and up to date reading experience.  Several chapters such as Chapter 9 Customer Service, Chapter 10 Environmental Stewardship, and Chapter 12 Indigenous Tourism have been substantially rewritten as these areas have transformed considerably over the last several years. Internet links throughout have been reviewed and updated along with several modernized end-of-chapter exercises and case studies throughout the text. Lastly glossary terms have been hyperlinked.

Video: Introduction to 2nd Edition by Wendy Anderson, Hospitality Programs Coordinator and Instructor, Selkirk College

Video Transcript
Welcome to the Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality textbook. This textbook was originally put together in 2015 by a team of post-secondary educators led by Morgan Westcott, at that time with LinkBC. Last forward five years and it was realized that some edits needed to be done to update the information and keep it current. At the same time we started editing, the COVID pandemic hit the globe and Canada, and of course our beloved tourism industry came to a halt. Now tourism has gone through many shocks before, such as World War 2—well both World Wars—we had SARS, 9/11, and the 2008 economic crisis. After each of these shocks in the past, tourism has always rebounded stronger than ever. But as we edit this textbook, we really don’t know what the future will bring. So with that being said, most of the information that you will read is going to be pre-COVID. However, you will notice that many chapters make reference to COVID and its devastating impacts on the industry. You’ll read in Chapter 1 that our industry has several sectors and our text is divided into those sectors within our industry. The focus is on British Columbia and Canada, although we do make reference to some global content as well.
I’d like to just reach out and thank the 2020 editing team. It was a diverse group, as I said, from across BC’s post-secondary institutions. They included BCIT, Capilano University, College of the Rockies, North Island College, Royal Roads University, Selkirk College, and Vancouver Island University. I’d also like to should out to some industry professionals that helped us do the 2020 edits, including Go2HR and Heiltsuk First Nations. Enjoy reading your textbook, take the opportunity to dig deeper on some of the content. You will see some spotlights on sections of the text that you can click on external links. Please take the opportunity to do that. It will just make your understanding so much deeper. Enjoy your reading.
A word on COVID-19: No crisis in recent memory has affected the global tourism landscape, and BC’s industry, like the pandemic novel coronavirus outbreak. At the time of editing it is early summer 2020 and BC is just starting the Province’s “Restart Plan.” As we re-write this text, we’ve made an effort to address the impacts of COVID-19, while trying to ensure some longevity to the book. We understand the information presented might not apply to your situation, or may be out-of-date as you’re reading, and we appreciate your understanding. Be sure to check with industry associations and local government for the most up-to-date information on the pandemic and other operational guidelines.

Chapter Organization

Each chapter is organized thematically, and moves from a global, to a national, to a provincial context. Some chapters will be quite global in focus while others will concentrate primarily on British Columbia. Chapter content is based on available data and research, and input from collaborators.

Additional Resources

Each chapter features “Spotlight On” textboxes that highlight an organization, business, or other key component of the chapter’s theme. “Take a Closer Look” features encourage students to do further reading on particular subjects.

At the end of each chapter, key terms are presented in alphabetical order to help students gain confidence with terminology; these terms are summarized in a Glossary at the end of the textbook. These are followed by chapter exercises and a case study for in-depth exploration of the subject matter.

Thanks for reading!

Morgan Westcott, original lead author and member of the 2020 2nd Edition Update Team

Wendy Anderson, 2nd Edition Update Team Lead

Media Attributions


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Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC - 2nd Edition Copyright © 2015, 2020, 2021 by Morgan Westcott and Wendy Anderson, Eds is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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