From Iceland to P.E.I., symposium to explore rural tourism, place and identity

Published on May 16, 2017

Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, director of the Tourism Research Centre, Akureyri, Iceland.

©Submitted photo

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Rural tourism will be the subject of a public symposium on Wednesday, May 24 in Charlottetown.

“Tourism, Place and Identity: Rural Tourism in Iceland and Prince Edward Island’’ will take place from 7-9 p.m. in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, room 242 of UPEI’s Don and Marion McDougall Hall. All are welcome.

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of tourists visiting Iceland. Tourism density in this island nation now rivals that of P.E.I. The nature of the tourism industry is broadly similar in both islands—generally seasonal, with a heavy stress on cultural and environmental resources.

Also, in both islands there has been a concerted effort by policymakers to utilize tourism as a community-development tool for rural areas. This has met with mixed success and has raised a whole new set of issues. There is benefit for both islands to share experiences, insights and possible solutions.

The symposium will feature Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, director of the Icelandic Research Centre at the University of Akureyri in northern Iceland. From 2011 to 2014, she worked on a study, “The Entangled Web: Tourism, Place and Identity,” exploring how three small Icelandic communities have embraced the ever-increasing role of tourism.

She will be joined by a panel of tourism authorities and practitioners.

For more information, call 902-894-2881 or iis@upei.ca.