Rachel Dodds

 

Director, Sustaining Tourism

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM EXPERT AND PROFESSOR AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY

 

A dynamic, self starter with over 25 years international experience across a wide spectrum of the tourism industry. Dr. Rachel Dodds has worked with hotels, large and small tour operators, tourism planners, sustainable tourism management and marketing projects, international development banks, landscape and park planning firms, governments, NGO’s, marketing organizations and hospitality and tourism attractions.

Rachel is the Director of Sustaining Tourism – a boutique consulting firm. She is also a full Professor at Ryerson University in Canada where she joined the Ted Rogers School of Tourism & Hospitality Management in 2006. From 2014-2018, she was the Director for Ryerson’s Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Research.

Having been trained to look at many different aspects of tourism, Rachel knows that sustainability means long term planning and management and that experience and understanding of diverse cultures and environments is a fundamental part of tourism. She also has seem many of the issues that lead to overtourism and perhaps undertourism and understands how to plan for them.  Rachel has furthered her understanding of the industry through both her personal and work travels. She has now has traveled extensively to six continents and over 80 countries.

Rachel has two specialties within the tourism industry:

Sustainable/responsible/eco consulting – strategy, development, environmental management, research, auditing, business planning, marketing and communications. She has undertaken a range of tourism development and marketing consulting assignments both alone and in cooperation with other companies.

Communication, marketing and public relations implementation including speaking engagements. Her experience includes non-profit organizations, tour companies, accommodations and entrepreneurs.

Rachel holds a PhD from the University of Surrey in the UK and a Master of Tourism Management from Griffith University in Australia. She also holds an undergraduate degree in sociology (honours) and political studies as well as a business management diploma from SAIT.

She has taught globally, delivering classes on sustainable tourism, marketing strategy, research, ecotourism/adventure recreation, tourism policy, destination marketing and strategic business development. In addition to giving lectures on sustainable tourism, overtourism, tourism marketing and urban sustainability, she has guest lectured at events and conferences worldwide and contributes to the tourism community through a number of boards and memberships.

Rachel has written, co-authored and edited articles about sustainable tourism, tourist motivations, CSR, islands, tourism development and planning and urban sustainability. She has published a book about sustainable tourism policy (2005), planning and island sustainable tourism (2010) and overtourism in 2019. To read some of Rachel’s publications click here or join here to download them for free

 

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND BOARDS

Canada’s Federal Council for Jobs and the Visitor Economy (2018 – 2019)

Transportation Options Board Member, Secretary (2015-2019) and Chair (2019)

Sustainable Tourism International (STI) Canada (2013- 2014)

Sustainable Tourism Degree Program Advisory Board, Centennial (2011)

Transportation Options Board Member (2011 – 2012)

The Icarus Foundation founding member and Board Member (2007 – 2010)

Canadian Sustainable Tourism Advisory Council (2008-2011)

Sarah Dodds Entrepreneurship Advisory Board (2008-2019)

Green Motion Express (2007 to 2010)

Travel & Tourism Research Association (TTRA), Canada – Board of Directors (2008 & 2009 and 2001-2005)

The International Ecotourism Society – Member

Tourism Concern – Member (2005-2015)

Ecoclub: The International Ecotourism Club – Member, International Speakers Bureau (2001-2005)

CESO Volunteer (2007-2011)

Toastmasters International – Designated Competent Toastmaster

AWARDS

2018: Ted Rogers School of Management Research Achievement Award, Ryerson University

2015: PM4SD, Practitioner Certification

2014: Faculty Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Award, Ryerson University

2011: Faculty Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Award, Ryerson University

2010: Outstanding contribution to the Ryerson Hospitality and Tourism Management student experience

2008: Nominated for Best Lecturer Competition, TVO

2006: ITB Science Award for Sustainable Tourism- selected for best international paper

2004: British Airways/Royal Geographical Society Travel Bursary

TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

 

Rachel has been to over 80 countries and six continents 

CLICK BELOW TO READ ABOUT A FEW OF RACHEL’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES

SRI LANKA

The land of tea (formerly known as Ceylon)…when I describe this place – colourful is the word that comes to mind. From multi coloured three wheelers also known as ‘tuk tuks’, decorated public buses, women’s sari’s and their umbrella’s used to shade them from the intense sun, or the varieties of curries all made from the multiple local vegetables growing in abundance.

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The land of tea (formerly known as Ceylon)…when I describe this place – colourful is the word that comes to mind. From multi coloured three wheelers also known as ‘tuk tuks’, decorated public buses, women’s sari’s and their umbrella’s used to shade them from the intense sun, or the varieties of curries all made from the multiple local vegetables growing in abundance.

By car, by foot or by ‘tuk tuk’ I notice the small things. Stopping for a coconut at one of a million road side fruit stands is a joy to the senses – you could build a house with the shells stacked up beside them from discarded ones.  I notice, the highway exit toll stations have trees growing on their roofs. They are huge concrete structures which seem unnecessary but it’s nice to see plants growing. Carts full of bananas which seem impossible to carry weaving through traffic where everyone drives to their own tune – often down the centre of two lanes! The tuk tuks are especially ambitious; they fearlessly weave between cars often to their own demise. Here there are more pedestrian signs than any country – even in remote places and high up in the hills  – traffic will stop for you to cross the road

It is a country so diverse that there is a different vista every hour from jagged rock formations  to terraces tea plantations, jungle, savannahs, wide sandy beaches and lush hill tops. There is a still a local flavour and the country is mainly independent accommodation, although the Marriotts and other international chains are moving in nearby…such as a hideous multi story hotel in Welgama Bay which has changed forever the village like cluster of surf style accommodation.

Sri Lanka is often referred as the country of the big four (elephants, leopards, sloth bear & water buffalo) and nature is spectacular …and everywhere. Monkeys playfully chatter in the trees and peacocks fan themselves in the rice paddies. Elephants are easy to spot and these majestic beasts don’t seem to mind the heat at all although it is sad to see locals selling food to feed the animals at Ulaware National Park. Its common to see an elephant by the side of the road or even a cobra slither across the road in front of you. Awakening in the early morning awards great views of eagles, peacocks, blue and white herons, cormorants, kingfishers, crocodiles and the occasional elephant if you take the time to paddle down one of the coastal estuaries…the only thing that can disturb is the ring of your fisherman’s mobile phone!

Ulter Peak Pakistan

PAKISTAN

Imagine camping under a glacier that creaks and groans all night long and after spending a day in your tent avoiding the hail and rain that enveloped you after a steep climb up to a mountain meadow.

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You emerge from your tent to see an avalanche tumble only 50 meters away and the moonlight glistening off the mountain peaks that surrounding you that make you feel like you are watching an incredible film or gazing at an Ansel Adams photograph

TIBET

The land of tea (formerly known as Ceylon)…when I describe this place – colourful is the word that comes to mind. From multi coloured three wheelers also known as ‘tuk tuks’, decorated public buses, women’s sari’s and their umbrella’s used to shade them from the intense sun, or the varieties of curries all made from the multiple local vegetables growing in abundance.

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A land where the people are beautiful and their smiles inviting, where men and women walk a kora (holy route) to gain merit…some spinning prayer wheels and humming OM MANI PADME OM (to the jewel of the divine lotus), some doing full prostrations (involves standing up and placing your hands in a prayer like gesture above your head, to your forehead, mouth and chest before lying down and spreading full length on the ground and then repeating the same gesture where your hands reached) where some walk a 53 kora in one day (these who gain more merit through the difficulty of prostrations take up to 3 weeks!).

A land that is barren and hard to imagine how one less than 30 years ago one could only travel by foot of by yak and it would take over 3 months to reach the holy pilgrimmage site of Mount Kailash.

A land where instead we traversed over 1500 km by foot and four wheel drive and the endurance test of such a trip will stay with me for many thoughts.

WEST AFRICA

The wonderful sites and scenes of western Africa amaze you, the customs and cultures engage you and the differences astound you…Western Africa is living and yet dying at the same time.

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For almost a month I travelled across Mali and Burkina Faso in Western Africa and was thrilled, amazed, frustrated and saddened all at the same time. The 5th and 6th poorest countries in the world, I often was saddened by what drought and defeatism has done but amazed at how safe, friendly and colourful the country was! Even after a month of travelling, I had yet to become complacent about the tradition of carrying everything on their heads – from 40 lbs of bananas, to water in calabash jugs, to bahalame (sweet milk drinks sold in the market) and piles of material from wood, clothes and straw – truly amazing and the posture and statuesque-like figures would put runway models to shame!