What’s with the Name? Glad You Asked!
No, the Tourism Cafe is not a coffee shop!
Rather we are a place for conversations that matter and all began in the small town of Rocky Harbour Newfoundland.
Tucked in beautiful Gros Morne National Park, the founding partners Nancy Arsenault and Todd Lucier, and our experiential travel training partner Celes Davar, were teaching the Edge of the Wedge Experiential Travel Training program for the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism.
In 2010, Nancy Arsenault and Todd Lucier responded to the growing demand for experiential tourism training, sustainable tourism, and destination development by launching the Tourism Cafe Canada. Shortly after, Paul Arsenault became a third partner, then Lesley Anderson joined our team in 2016.
Based on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, with a satellite retreat training centre at Northern Edge Algonquin in South River Ontario, our core team is small, but our reach and network is big!
Different by design, we work with a dynamic group of well respected collaborating partners, each an owner/operator of her or his own business and works in the greater tourism industry. Diverse in skills and perspectives, our key collaborating partners are entrepreneurial by nature, practical, passionate and proven.
Together we bring a combination of real-world experience, insights, wisdom, personable and passionate; it’s a formidable mix in a world where its quite easy to hang out a shingle as companies downsize and the world of free-lance contractors expands.
At the time, all three owned and worked for different companies, but people on the courses they co-taught wanted to stay connected to learn from the team that lived in BC, Manitoba and Ontario.
In 2010, with demand for experiential travel growing, Todd and Nancy decided to shift the blog into a company and Tourism Café Canada Ltd. was born. Celes was our first ‘collaborating partner’ that formed the foundation of our business model which incorporates tourism operators to add their on-the-ground perspective to the operational expertise Nancy, Lesley and Todd have from their tourism backgrounds. We also collaborate with a range of consultants and formal educators who bring the right expertise to the table for specific projects.
From that day on, we never looked back!
Our Vision for Sustainability
At the Tourism Cafe, we are guided by the People, Planet and Profits framework (as illustrated in the graph) by the Australian firm, Green Innovation because it puts people first.
We believe that sustainability is not an option; it must be as foundational to your business as managing the visitor experience. We take a leadership role in educating (through our programs and services), generating, sharing and applying the knowledge that will motivate businesses and destinations to take personal actions and contribute to positive change.
At the Tourism Cafe:
The principles of sustainability and responsible travel must be woven into the fabric of everything we do and teach
Demonstrating leadership as responsible stewards of the environment in the communities where we develop and deliver training is imperative
Ensuring that our in-community training draws on local resources, people, and businesses, thus demonstrating the principles of decision making, engagement and selection of collaborating partners in everything we do
Striving to continually minimize the negative environmental impact of our operations and learn from our actions is essential
Delivering healthy financial results for us, and our partners are required to ensure a sustainable future for our company