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

  • Eduardo PedrazaEduardo PedrazaMANAGER, PARTNERSHIPS

    Eduardo Pedraza


    Master's Degree - Business Administration & Management, UPC Postgraduate School, EOI España
    Bachelor's Degree - Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Peruvian University of Applied Sciences

    With more than 15 years of experience leading marketing and commercial departments, Eduardo blends his background as a director of global tourism companies with his entrepreneurial success. Recently he has  focused on consulting with DMCs and an array of B2B & B2C adventure travel companies with an emphasis in the North American, Latin American & European source markets. He has collaborated with the Peru Tourism Board (Promperu) on a content marketing plan promoting the company to the Asian markets and was awarded the National Business Creativity Award in Peru for developing a platform to educate tourism professionals about his home country, among other business & marketing awards and recognition.

    He was a speaker at AdventureNEXT Latin America 2018 in Brazil based on his passion for creating long-lasting business relationships and innovative partnership models. Working in collaboration with brands such as Columbia Sportswear, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear and Billabong, he has successfully created opportunities and competitive advantages for several businesses across the adventure travel value chain.

    Eduardo is avid traveller, collaborator in specialized travel and adventure media in Peru, mountaineer, artist, and surfing enthusiast.


    Grace Russell


    Foundation Year Program, University of King's College
    Masters of Tourism Management, Royal Roads University

    Grace Russell has been crafting compelling stories, forging steadfast connections, and bringing well-deserved attention to the world’s most remarkable people, places, and things for more than a decade. She has worked with some of Canada’s most notable talent, and has helped present many of the country’s signature art and culture events.

    Grace’s unrivaled talent for relationship and network building has elevated client profiles and resulted in coverage in The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, National Post, Toronto Star, enRoute, and Chatelaine, to name a few.

    In addition to her work as a communications professional, she has executed export events, built partnerships and media networks, and developed international B2B and B2C strategies in Europe, the U.K., and North America.

    A lifelong love of travel and a heartfelt commitment to sustainable and meaningful tourism drives Grace’s work. She currently lives on the East Coast of Canada, where she has boundless opportunities for adventure.

  • 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.