Hell Yeah! Tourism comms pro joins ToursByLocals, has cool name.

We’re thrilled to announce that our search for a new ToursByLocals VP of Marketing has turned up a winner. Nikki Hellyer, who most recently led the marketing and communications team for the luxury-tourism firm Rocky Mountaineer, will be taking the top marketing position for TBL, which is based in Vancouver, BC.

ToursByLocals has quickly emerged as one of our favorite clients, with its clever business model and top-notch corporate culture. It has built an impressive network of local tour guides – over 4,600 individuals in 173 countries around the globe – who can help travelers bypass the big-crowd tours and experience the best that the world’s top destinations have to offer. Since launching in 2008, ToursByLocals has served almost a million and a half travelers and has delivered multiple years of 30-40% growth.

As we mentioned in the announcement advertising this position, TBL takes great care of its people and fosters an open, egalitarian leadership model. These values have withstood a serious test during COVID-19 and a resulting economic downturn that has been especially severe for the travel sector.

Through it all, the company has stood by its folks, and seems poised to come back strong as more countries (or anyway, the ones whose leaders actually grasp such concepts as “science” and “data” and “public-health expertise”) reopen to tourists.

Nikki has an ideal background to help the company launch into this new phase. For the last two decades, she has honed her marketing and brand-building skills in tourism, as well as in the retail, wine, and advertising industries.

Prior to Rocky Mountaineer, where she oversaw multiple years of double-digit growth in revenue and brand awareness, Nikki was with Best Buy Canada leading the marketing efforts for Future Shop, Canada’s top consumer-electronics retailer. She began her career crafting award-winning marketing strategies and campaigns for brands like McDonald’s, Molson Coors, Bell, and Toyota.

Congratulations to Nikki and to the TBL team. It’s been a joy and a privilege to work with you!


I’d love to hear your perspectives on the new proposed tax recently passed by the Seattle City Council, which would tax incomes above $150,000 at companies with payrolls of $7 million or more. The measure now awaits Mayor Durkan’s signature. How do you all see this? As a much-needed revenue boost for efforts to address coronavirus and homelessness, or as a hindrance for local companies? Let me know what you think!

PPS From PSP: During these unprecedented times and with individuals exiting companies, we are here to help! Please keep us in the loop with your current contact info so we can keep you up to date with all the “goings on” around the PNW.

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