PropelTO is an informal, free networking community for Toronto travel professionals of all ages and from all sectors of the industry.
We meet monthly in a Toronto bar, hotel, or travel company headquarters for conversation, learning, and drinks. We fill a need for an industry-wide platform that brings together enthusiastic individuals (known as Propellers) to discuss the present and future of this great business we share.
Our goals are to:
The PropelTO Team
Our membership is open to anyone currently working in the travel industry, travel students, and those looking for new opportunities in the travel biz. There are no age limits, and our definition of the industry is wide and welcoming; we have members from traditional roles, like travel advisors, hoteliers, and tour operators, as well as members from new spaces, like travel tech start-ups, blogging, and virtual reality marketing. The more diversity, the better.
Come see how a Toronto institution is growing and adapting to the expectations of modern travellers... over drinks! The crowd will be a broad crossection of the travel industry, so don't feel confined to cool hotels.
Where: The Drake Hotel
An informal social networking event. The first round of drinks and light snacks will be provided by our sponsors, TourRadar and Sherpa. We are also going to open up the floor to you, our members, for a 30-second 'open mic' speed round to share with your fellow members who you are, what your company is up to, what you're looking for, who's hiring, etc. Make sure you sign up upon arrival, and remember you have 30 seconds!
Where: Toronto Island Marina (Centre Island) - Upper Deck Bar
Annie is the Community Engagement Manager at Destination Toronto, leading the DMO's sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and educational initiatives. Annie is a champion of equity in tourism. She co-founded Let’s Get Uncomfortable, a platform to drive positive change through meaningful conversations, and she mentors immigrants seeking jobs in the sector through Canada InfoNet. With a background as a luxury travel advisor and in travel tech sales, she now devotes her time and passion to fighting for a future in which tourism is regenerative for people, place, and planet.
Find Annie: On Instagram.
An avid traveller, Amanda always knew she was destined for a career in the tourism industry, and has had the chance to explore many avenues in this exciting business. After graduating from Ryerson’s Hospitality and Tourism with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Amanda headed to the seas for a stint on Disney Cruise Line. Following that career-shaping experience, she learned the ropes selling luxury travel and custom-designing high-end tours and experiences for 1-150 people.
After a few years of travel consulting, she swapped out sales for marketing and was named the Director of Marketing at Southwest Adventure Tours, an adventure DMC based in Utah. Now at G Adventures, Amanda is the Brand Manager of National Geographic Journeys & the Jane Goodall Collection. She is passionate about building travel brands, relationship management, event planning, and her Chihuahua, Davey.
Not only that, she's passionate about the future of the travel industry, especially in Toronto, and is thrilled to be part of PropelTO's board. She’s looking forward to watching this community grow!
Find Amanda: On Instagram.
Zach Vanasse is manager, marketing & creative at Bannikin Travel & Tourism, a niche-focused consulting firm based in downtown Toronto. A content specialist with a decade’s worth of experience in the travel industry, he spearheads Bannikin’s marketing department, leading on content creation, branding and storytelling strategy. He also works to connect travel organizations with sustainability leaders around the world and develops sustainability programs and initiatives for travel companies.
Zach came to the travel industry quite by accident. He started his professional writing career in sports, then switched to covering music & arts before moving to Toronto and being hired to cover the Canadian travel industry, serendipitously landing in this business. Before joining Bannikin, he served as an editor with PAX News and PAX Magazine where he worked with industry leaders and innovators, gaining insight into the inner workings of the industry. As a journalist, he developed personal relationships with many of the travel industry’s thought leaders, directors and industry influencers. In his role as editor, he collaborated with a variety of industry organizations ranging from tourism boards to tour operators.
He was a founding board member and former president of the Young Travel Professionals – Toronto chapter and holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from the Université de Sherbrooke.
Find Zach: At the next PropelTO event!
Co-founder of Sherpa, Max is really interested in how technology is changing the travel experience and industry.
Find Max: On Twitter.
Marc is currently working as a business development director at Kusini Collection, a trade representation company that focuses on marketing DMCs and lodges in Africa, Latin America and India. With over a decade experience selling and developing product for African safaris with Kensington Tours, Marc has gained a passion for wildlife, conservation, and birds! When he’s not photographing birds at your local parks in Toronto, you can catch him in class as a part-time professor at Humber College teaching tourism. The only other thing that he loves more than his wife and kids are doing endless hotel inspections in which he has seen over a hundred camps, lodges and hotels in the span of his tourism career.
Find Marc: On Instagram.
When he’s not paddling a canoe or drinking copious amounts of coffee, you’ll find Adam talking about some kind of travel plans. He spent a month doing Tai-Chi in China, horse-camped in Mongolia, rode 3rd class trains all over India, tour-guided in Europe, worked in Namibia and surfed in Costa Rica – the travel bug bit this Canadian repeatedly. Food is one highlight of any destination for him, and he’s admitted on a few times to be willing to try just about any food once, and apparently “putrefied shark wasn't that bad”.
Find Adam: On Instagram.
Devin loves new adventures and exploring exciting cities around the world. She is Publisher of Travelweek – Canada’s best-read travel trade publication – and loves the passion, camaraderie and shared values in the Canadian travel industry. She caught the travel bug early in life while on holidays with her parents, and it ramped up as she studied abroad and backpacked around Asia and Europe. Her previous role as a Country Risk Economist, while living in England, took her to places like Kazakhstan, Albania and Kosovo. Devin’s most favourite recent adventure was a snowboarding trip to Japan where she enjoyed powder days with waist-deep snow!
Find Devin: At the next PropelTO event!
Receive curated news about the travel community in Toronto, and details about upcoming events.
Simply click the follow up box when you sign up for our newsletter if you would like to assist as an ambassador or event support. Then attend our monthly events!
These are Propellers who sign up to help us recruit new members. When an ambassador brings 4 new attendees to an event, and gets them to sign up as new members on our website, he/she/they receive an additional drink ticket and/or an extra chance to win the prize of the month (if applicable).
These are Propellers who are looking to develop their event-planning skills and round out their resume by assisting with event planning. This might include our monthly “pub nights,” and/or one-off events like round tables or talks. Support can be for one event only, or several.
Our sponsors are like-minded travel businesses who see the benefit in connecting with our membership base in person. You commit to covering all of some of the cost of drinks and snacks in exchange for a chance to scout potential new hires, increase your brand awareness, and receive marketing privileges.