Thoughts from Tourism Professionals During a Global Crisis

We are a group of full-time consultants, advisors and mentors. Some of us are small business entrepreneurs (just like you). Others work in multi-national companies with wide reach and networks. Some are number crunchers. Others are creative types. Some are dreamers and big picture thinkers. Others take a more practical approach. Some have been on the front line as tourism operators and managers. Others are planners. 

What we all share is a passion about the business of tourism. We came together to help you to think beyond the immediate, answer questions and to share our knowledge. 

It’s time to be proactive, not reactive. We can help.

Why Rhubarb?  We think Rhubarb symbolizes strength, resiliency, as well as both the tart and sweet that make up the tourism industry.  Plus it's down right delicious.

So join us along this journey as we hash out what is happening in Canada's Tourism industry during this time of maximum uncertainty.






BC Hughes

Chris is meticulous about the details that make great destinations and businesses. Signage and wayfinding, parking, customer service, washrooms, interior design, even the flow factor on your signature trails, are all things that can determine your tourism fate.  By looking at your business or destination through a small lens can be scary, but it’s the key to making people happy, and spend money…lots of it.

Chris is President at BC Hughes Destination Development & Marketing located in Shallow Lake, Ontario (located right between the two really big deep ones).  Their skilled team specializes in developing innovative tourism experiences and creative marketing strategies across the country. Their mandate is simple: Develop a kick-ass visitor experience, and your customers will sell it for you.



CBRE Tourism & Leisure Group

Rebecca Godfrey, MBA, CMC is a Director and co-practice lead with CBRE Tourism & Leisure Group in Canada, based in Toronto. She has 15 years of consulting experience in the tourism and hospitality industries, specializing in: strategic business plans for tourism-based organizations and operations, market and financial feasibility studies, needs assessments, economic impact studies, and organizational assessments. She also has experience working in both restaurants and the hotel industry. Projects that illustrate her expertise on a professional and personal level include a business plan for the EdgeWalk attraction at the CN Tower, and the working with Zita Cobb on a study to support the Fogo Island Inn and overall tourism development on Fogo Island, on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. She also plays drums and piano, and loves to cook and spend time her two dogs.


GSM Project

Adventurous, curious and fiercely loyal.

Amanda has worked in the visitor experience industry for twenty-eight years, helping cultural institutions, themed entertainment attractions and foundations build people centred organizations, and ambitious projects.  Her career started in operating and managing Museum and Science Centre projects in Canada, Scotland, United States of America and South Africa. From the front lines of attractions, she has moved behind the visitor experience scene to consult and provide exhibition design sales and marketing services for some of Canada’s best-known design firms. 




Fran Hohol is a Senior Director and practice co-lead with CBRE’s Tourism & Leisure Group, which is part of CBRE Hotels and Valuation Advisory Services.   After completing her MA in Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University with a focus on tourism development, Fran joined PKF Consulting Canada in 1985, moving to CBRE Hotels Group in 2015 following CBRE’s acquisition of PKF.  Fran has amassed a deep pool of expertise built from 35 years of consulting experience in both the private and public sectors of Canada’s tourism and hospitality industries. 

Fran’s experience includes market and financial feasibility studies, needs assessments, tourism investment opportunity assessments, economic impact studies and strategic planning for tourism-based organizations.  Fran is also responsible for CBRE’s extensive national database on the accommodation sector, including Trends and Research Reports. 


The Tourism Company

Jill Vandal MBA, is Managing Partner of the Tourism Company, a boutique management consulting firm based in Ontario. She brings a deep inventory of expertise gained through more than 30 years mentoring, educating and working with tourism operators, communities and organizations big and small, rural and urban, public and private across Canada and beyond. Her experience includes writing business plans, facilitating the development of strategic plans, identifying new markets to pursue, kick-starting the design and delivery of engaging visitor experiences, creating ‘to do’ lists to improve quality at all stages of the visitor experience and authoring a number of ‘how to’ manuals for the industry. Coupled with her time as an operational manager, her eclectic know-how will buoy yours in this new reality.

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The Travel Corporation

Shannon is fascinated by what makes a place, and a good idea, work. With more than 15 years of experience as a tourism consultant, focused on destination development, she’s now the Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer for The Travel Corporation, a family of global travel brands. Shannon leads the overall direction on sustainability within the organization, in addition to overseeing the TreadRight Foundation, the group’s not-for-profit foundation dedicated to Making Travel Matter.

Having worked at multiple levels of tourism development and delivery system, she maintains that her most treasured gig was as a guide. She holds an MSc in Tourism and Environmental Management, where she focused on integrating the principals of sustainability into tourism businesses. Currently based in Toronto, Newfoundland will always be home.

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