Tourism Development Advisors

Graduates of our program serve important roles in regional tourism development by providing guidance on sustainable tourism opportunities for economic development. 

Kelsey Johansen

BA – Philosophy (Lakehead), 2008; HBOR/HBSc (Anthropology), 2008; MES – Nature-Based Recreation and Tourism, 2011Portrait of Kelsey Johansen

After completing her undergraduate degrees in Anthropology, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, and Philosophy in May 2008, Kelsey went on to graduate from the MES – NBRT program in May 2011. At the undergraduate level, her Honours Thesis examined scuba diving and dive tourism impacts on marine environments; this ultimately lead into her graduate work studying effective environmental communication with scuba divers. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Kelsey received encouragement and support from her Advisor, Dr. Rhonda Koster. During her graduate studies at Lakehead, she also worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Harvey Lemelin on his SSHRC funded project studying the current and historical barriers to insect conservation through content analysis of journal articles.

In addition to her academic studies, Kelsey completed an internship with the Corporation of the Town of Marathon. As the Recreation and Tourism Development Coordinator, Kelsey gained hands-on experience in the areas of tourism and recreation development in a rural community. This built on her experience researching rural community boating tourism and marina development (completed as a Community Service Learning project for OUTD 5733 – Rural Community Tourism Development).While completing her internship, Kelsey focused on specific projects, aimed at building recreation and tourism capacity in Marathon and secured a Celebrate Ontario Grant, valued at $32,000 from the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, to promote the development of the Marathon Summerfest tourism festival. Kelsey also had the opportunity to survey the community to determine their recreation needs, and to research and draft policies aimed at increasing recreation access for persons with disabilities and to facilitate a variety of recreation and tourism programs in partnership with organizations like Parks Canada.

Kelsey has since completed a PhD specializing in agricultural tourism from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Gail Johnson

HBOR/ BA (Geography) 2006

image of Gail JohnsonAs a graduate from Lakehead University and ORPT with an HBOR specialized in Tourism and a BA majoring in Geography I had the skills to launch into a lucrative career in the hospitality industry. I worked as the Front Office Supervisor at a brand new Marriott Hotel in Hamilton managed by Concord Hospitality.

As a student in ORPT I was given many opportunities to interact with the real world allowing me to practice the skills I was learning. As the ORPT/Lakehead University representative on the North of Superior Tourism Association, I met many contacts who were an inspiration to me and I learned a lot about trends and forecasting. My involvement in other events such as organizing and running an Earth Day event for some local schools and being a member of a committee developing a tourism conference allowed me to practice all the skills I was taught ORPT.

The management, leadership and team building skills I developed while in ORPT assisted me in my career and have led to me doing some consultant work and training for Concord. This involves traveling to their various properties to work with the staff creating a team that will provide the best possible customer service.

Concord Hospitality is a great company to work for and I owe my success within the company to my education and the great professors in ORPT.