Stories from the Field: Using the Canvas in Tourism Strategy Development

Advert for Stories from the Field Speaker Series #06 - Bannikin - Using the Canvas for Tourism Strategy Development

Flourishing Business Community
Speakers Series: Stories from the Field #06

Using the Canvas in Tourism Strategy Development with Trevor Jonas Benson and Lisa Hrabluk

Date: Tuesday October 10
Time: 15h00 UTC – 08h00 PST, 11h00 EDT, 16h00 BST, 17h00 CET, 01h00 JST (+1 day)
Duration: 1 hour
Registration: Required via Eventbrite at

For our sixth monthly flourishing business community speaker series: stories from the field, the community is delighted to welcome Trevor Jonas Benson from Bannikin – Beyond Travel and Tourism, Ottawa, Canada and Lisa Hrabluk from the Rural Upper Bay of Fundy Partnership (RUFP)  tourism organization, New Brunswick, Canada. 

Trevor is the President & CEO of Bannikin, a consulting company focused on enabling tourism organizations and businesses to perform at their best for a better future.  Lisa represents a client-partner of Bannikin.  She is the strategic advisor to the team that is launching a tourism organization for the rural Bay of Fundy.  For more details about Lisa and Trevor see below.

Bannikin is a proudly Canadian consultancy working within and beyond travel and tourism. They co-create value with a breadth and diversity of client-partners, ranging from small businesses and municipalities to national associations and organizations. They work across disciplines, and people and place are at the centre of everything that they do. Research and strategy, strategic communications, speaking and facilitation are some of the things that they  specialize in; they pride themselves  on responding to the needs of others with innovative solutions. In their words, “if it’s interesting, we’re interested!”

Recently Bannikin concluded a major project using the Flourishing Business Canvas and the associated method for the canvas’s effective use, the Flourishing Enterprise Strategy Development Method (FESDM) .  This pan-Canadian project helped 18 tourism businesses and 3 tourism organizations develop their strategies by backcasting from their vision of 2045 informed by the best available science, the break-even goals of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark.   Further details of the project are provided below.

As part of this project Bannikin led the Rural Upper Bay of Fundy Partnership tourism organization through the steps of the FESDM.  Lisa advised the co-leads of the Partnership throughout this process.  

The Rural Upper Bay of Fundy Partnership is a community-led regional development process for the region. It is bringing people together to develop a plan that reflects the area’s unique community assets and opportunities: business operators, non-profit organizations, residents, and local municipal officials.

Trevor and some of his team at Bannikin have been using the Flourishing Business Canvas in tourism since 2021.  In their talk Trevor and Lisa will explore their experience applying the Canvas and the Flourishing Enterprise Strategy Design Method for the development of tourism strategies.  They will discuss:

  • What are the strategic challenges facing tourism businesses and organizations?
  • What was the experience applying the Flourishing Enterprise Strategy Design Method with the Flourishing Business Canvas?
  • How is this different from other strategy development processes – what are its advantages and challenges?
  • How did clients find staying far in the future, 2045, and what role did the Future-Fit Business Benchmark play?
  • How did Bannikin train their staff to use the method and Canvas?
  • How did clients react to both the method and the Canvas – what did they find exciting and demanding?
  • What results did the business and organization achieve?
  • What does Bannikin hope to gain from participating in the Flourishing Business Community?
  • What can Bannikin offer to the community?

At the end of their talk Trevor and Lisa will take questions from members of the community.

After the event a video of the talk plus any slides will be shared in the “Speaker Series” space of the Flourishing Business Community. Please join other flourishing business leaders and become a full member to access.

About Bannikin’s Tourism Strategy Development Project 

Bannikin team members  have had  the opportunity to use the canvas to respond to unique challenges in the travel and tourism space for several years now, ranging from the development of a social enterprise model for Discover Saskatoon and program evolution planning for Visit Scotland to strategic planning with Tourism Burlington and destination stewardship strategy with Tourism Simcoe County. 

Based on this experience, and in collaboration with Antony Upward, Bannikin was engaged by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) to pilot the use of the Flourishing Enterprise Strategy Design Method (FESDM) in the Canadian tourism industry. This project challenged us to combine the use of the canvas with FESDM’s A-B-C-D backcasting against principles method of applying the science-based Future-Fit Business Benchmark in strategic exploration processes with tourism organizations and workshops with tourism businesses. 

For the pilot, they  designed and developed flourishing business strategy reference models, methods, and related materials, all unique to the Canadian tourism industry. As part of the process, they worked with three tourism organizations, including Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association in British Columbia, Upper Regional Fundy Partnership in New Brunswick, and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. On the workshop side, they  collaborated with Discover Saskatoon, Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, on the delivery of flourishing strategy workshops for two types of tourism business: accommodation providers and food operators. 

Learnings and outcomes from the pilot, which was part of a Sustainable Tourism Program powered by TIAC, are informing the development of a collaboration between Bannikin and TIAC to support the Canadian tourism industry with planning for their flourishing.   

About Lisa Hrabluk

Lisa Hrabluk is an award-winning writer, strategist and increasingly impatient Canadian who knows that to be good, sometimes you gotta get wicked. She’s spent the past three decades researching and reporting on the conflicts and connections between community values and massive technological, economic, social and environmental change. If it’s complicated, contentious or controversial, Lisa’s been there, behind the barricades, in front of boardroom tables, and huddled in the bullpen with leaders in Canada and the U.S. across industry, government and non-profits who have big missions to achieve and small windows of opportunity to get it right.

She is the founder of Wicked Ideas Media, a learning and strategy company for leaders on a mission. Her vision is to advance a new model of change that speeds our transition to a more just and sustainable world by moving from resistance to resolution in record time. Lisa has set a wicked goal for herself and her clients: to shift hearts, minds and money so the cumulative effect of our work is $1 billion redirected towards addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by 2030.

Lisa’s work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Time, the Halifax Herald, and the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal. She is a frequent guest on national radio and television; is the author of New Brunswick Underwater, about the impact of climate change on the St. John River; and is a leader in the North American BCorp movement, for-profit companies that meet the highest standards for social and environmental impact. She is currently a weekly commentator with CBC Radio’s Information Morning in Saint John.

About Trevor Jonas Benson

Trevor is a social-minded systems thinker, progressive project manager, and entrepreneurial extrovert.

Since 2006, he has been supporting the realization of flourishing tourism businesses, organizations, and destinations in Canada and abroad. He is passionate about collaborating with others to create meaningful change in the way that travellers experience place, and he enjoys nothing more than working with the people that bring them to life.

As President & CEO of Bannikin, Trevor oversees all aspects of the company’s operations, growth, and development. Having managed countless projects over the past 15 years, he remains heavily involved in the development of opportunities for Bannikin and the delivery of its professional services, including scoping and managing highly participatory and asset-based tourism research, strategy, and development projects at the local, regional, and national levels. He has a particular interest in the role that strategy and innovation management can play in preparing tourism stakeholders to navigate through challenging times on their journeys toward inspiring visions.

Trevor has a background in Law and Human Rights and Sustainable Local Food. In 2019, he co-founded World Women Tourism, a Singapore-based social purpose business pursuing a vision where women tourism professionals are connected to each other, growing together, and flourishing within the industry. Trevor sits on the Advisory Council of the Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Research at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University. He is also part of the Program Advisory Committee for the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts at Centennial College, where he developed the curriculum for North America’s first postgraduate certificate in Food Tourism studies at Centennial College and taught Global Tourism Development & Social Justice for several years.

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