Who We Are

BAN-NI-KIN (noun)

1. Slang. Small tin cup.
2. Niche travel and tourism group enhancing the business of small operators, emerging destinations and hotel properties.

Small cup. Big ideas.

Bannikin Travel & Tourism ltd. has been in operation since 2010 and has built a reputation as a leading travel trade development, branding and storytelling, media relations and destination development consultancy specializing in experiential tourism and regenerative travel.

We are a small but mighty team with DMO, tour operator and destination clients spanning the globe. Our clients know that we are here as a solution to their unique challenges, like limited resources – time, money, sales networks, etc. – by providing tourism-specific, highly-specialized and well-researched support. The way we see it; our team is your team.

Bannikin was built on a love for travel and a great respect for destinations and entrepreneurs providing immersive, experience-driven travel experiences around the world. We work with destinations and travel companies at every stage of the tourism life cycle, from development, through to implementation, delivery to market and market management.

Our highly adaptable team also now offers consulting to DMOs on Covid-19 recovery measures that will help elevate local destinations and develop domestic tourism plans essential to the country’s short- and long-term economic resiliency.

  • Jillian DickensJillian DickensCEO

    Jillian Dickens


    Bachelor of Journalism, Langara College, Vancouver

    Jillian Dickens brings more than 14 years’ experience in story-telling, product design and stakeholder engagement for sustainably focused destinations and tour operators to Bannikin. A newspaper reporter by trade, Jillian got her start in tourism at the Canadian Arctic DMO Nunavut Tourism, designing and implementing the destination’s marketing and media relations strategies.

    As CEO of Bannikin, Jillian plays a vital role in supporting all departments and team members. She brings her wealth of experience in destination development, media relations, trade development and content creation, resulting in well-rounded oversight and leadership. She has built her business with intention, to work with small suppliers whose values, ethos and operations align with those of Bannikin; regenerative tourism development, transformative travel and overall, good people, are all part of the equation.

    Want to get in touch with Jillian? Email: jillian@bannikin.com

  • Zach VanasseZach VanasseMANAGER, CREATIVE & BRANDING

    Zach VanasseZach Vanasse Twitter


    Bachelor of Arts, Professional Writing & Translation, Université de Sherbrooke

    Zach Vanasse is a branding and creative content specialist with a decade’s worth of experience in the travel industry. He leads the branding and storytelling department, spearheading content creation and branding strategy. He also works to connect travel organizations with sustainability leaders around the world and has worked to develop sustainability programs and initiatives for travel companies.

    Before joining Bannikin, he served as an editor with PAX News and PAX Magazine where he worked with industry leaders and innovators, gaining insider’s appreciation for the inner workings of the travel industry. As a journalist, he developed personal relationships with many of the travel industry’s thought leaders, directors and influencers. In his role as editor, he collaborated with a variety of industry organizations ranging from tourism boards to tour operators.

    He is a founding board member of PropelTO and served as a founding board member and president of the Young Travel Professionals – Toronto chapter.

    Want to get in touch with Zach? Email: zach@bannikin.com


    Ally CarlsonAlly Carlson LinkedIn


    Public Relations Advanced Diploma with Honours, Durham College

    Ally is a seasoned communications and marketing professional with close to a decade of experience overseeing strategic integrated campaigns for her clients.

    Ally’s travel and tourism clients have included Tahiti Tourism, Visit Palm Beach, Barbados Tourism and Visit California. While with Visit California, she managed all elements of PR and Travel Trade, from press trips and media relations to crisis communications, travel trade trainings and large-scale marketing partnerships. One of her biggest achievements, and the thing she most looked forward to each year, was executing a PR and Trade sales mission comprising of 40 California partners, with 20 events in four provinces in five days.

    Ally’s strong relationships with media and travel trade have resulted in top tier coverage with Elle Canada, Cityline, and Globe and Mail; as well as successful long-running campaigns with Air Canada, WestJet, Flight Centre and more.

    Ally is passionate about tourism and dedicated to working closely with the industry in its COVID-19 recovery efforts to safely get people travelling and put destinations, tour operators and accommodations back on the map.

    Want to get in touch with Ally? Email: ally@bannikin.com

  • Rachelle MaynardRachelle MaynardDESIGN & VIDEO

    Rachelle Maynard


    Brain Station - User Interface Design 2018

    Sheridan College:
    - Editorial Illustration 1999-2001
    - Graphic Design 1998-1999
    - Art Fundamentals 1997-1998

    Rachelle has 20 years of experience in the creative field; and during this time she has worked on some incredible projects. She started as a freelance illustrator, garnering such clients as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Globe & Mail. She has continued to evolve, working as a graphic designer, art director, and video producer. Rachelle works in collaboration with our clients, producing a wide variety of products such as documentaries, video, web design, print, and digital design. She plans and directs all assigned video productions, with the sensitivity to act as a client liaison. Rachelle strives for excellence and never compromises the quality of her work, even on tight deadlines. She also happens to know every Dairy Queen location in Toronto.


    Natasha Martin


    Concordia University - BA Honors in African History
    Master of Tourism Administration - George Washington University

    Natasha is a senior marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the adventure tourism sector. She has worked for destinations, associations and tourism companies around the world from Greenland to Namibia, to help create inspiration at each stage of the customer journey – and ensure that tourism development supports environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation and enhances the lives of local residents.

    Natasha managed Bannikin’s Hong Kong office for two years before a family move took her to Cambodia. She now supports Bannikin on an ad-hoc basis on destination development projects.

    She is also an AdventureEDU educator, and frequently lectures on the topic of social media for tourism. She has delivered marketing workshops in Namibia, Myanmar, Peru, Ethiopia and Uganda on tourism marketing.

    Want to get in touch with Natasha? Email: natasha@bannikin.com