Industry-Leading Trio Joins Bannikin
Responsible tourism development and integrated communications firm Bannikin Travel & Tourism, best known for its focus on adventure-based tourism, is expanding its expertise to include food and culture. Bannikin sees adventure, food, and culture-based tourism as holding the most potential for positively impactful tourism that best celebrates a destination’s authentic sense of place.
To help realize this vision, Bannikin has welcomed three new members to its dynamic team. A social-minded systems thinker, industry leader, and entrepreneurial extrovert, Trevor Jonas Benson, joins as CEO. Cultural connector, multilingual researcher, and outcome-driven manager, Camilo Montoya-Guevara, joins as Manager, Strategy & Development. Experienced strategist with expertise in agritourism, wine tourism, and urban regional planning, Caroline Morrow, takes on the role of Tourism Development Specialist.
This important development will expand Bannikin’s expertise in community-based and participatory tourism development and drive both innovation and impact in the industry. It will build upon Bannikin’s solid foundation and ensure the company has the right team in place to realize its full potential.
Over the past 15 years and through myriad projects, incoming CEO Benson has been supporting the development of sustainable businesses and flourishing destinations in Canada and abroad since 2006.
“Bannikin has successfully established an international reputation of delivering exemplary service in the tourism sector,” says Benson. “With all the disruptions that the pandemic has brought, I am convinced that we are welcoming the advent of an era of more conscious and meaningful travel and more responsible and impactful tourism development. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be taking over the helm of Bannikin at such a critical time for the company and our industry, and I look forward to working with a team of like-minded individuals to create positive change in the areas of Adventure, Food, and Culture.”
Having worked on over 30 tourism strategy and development projects in Canada and internationally, Montoya-Guevara notes that tourism holds massive potential for supporting better understanding among peoples, climate action and sustainable development, appreciation and respect for different cultures, and learnings about ourselves.
“These areas of opportunity for tourism development are only a few reasons, among a long list, for which I am so fortunate and excited to join the team at Bannikin! I am thrilled to be able to add my voice, experience, and perspective to an organization that has been successfully striving for and making headway in developing and supporting better tourism,” says Montoya-Guevara. “I’m confident in what Bannikin stands for and look forward to working with great teammates and our clients, partners, and communities from all over the world to make tourism a space of dialogue, learning, and discovery.”
Morrow’s experience includes national strategy planning, product development, and visitor experience design, and she has a strong interest in connections between land management, food systems, tourism, and healthy ecosystems. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s, exploring wine tourism as a tool for rural community development in Europe.
“Tourism intersects with so many of the topics that I am passionate about – from urban and rural planning to biodiversity conservation to food and drink heritage,” says Morrow. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues at Bannikin to leverage these connections towards developing sustainable tourism initiatives with real and meaningful benefits for our clients, their stakeholders, and their communities.”
Bannikin co-founder Jillian Dickens has adopted the position of President, supporting the transition in new leadership and growth of Bannikin.
“I am proud to be a part of a company that continues to attract great people with remarkable depths of talent, experience and integrity,” says Dickens. “As the industry rebounds, there is significant opportunity to affect positive change, and the team we have assembled is designed to do just that. Expect more big news to come!”
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