Director, Sustaining Tourism

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. For a list of a few of her 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)

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

CESO Volunteer (2007-2011)

Toastmasters International – Designated Competent Toastmaster



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

indigenous woman - sustainable tourism