tourism, hospitality, education, community, strategy

Welcome to Left Coast Insights.  We are a boutique consulting firm specializing in tourism research, planning, and development to provide communities and enterprises with insights that create competitive advantage in visitor experience, attraction, and sustainability.

The team at Left Coast Insights works with public and private sector clients offering a comprehensive suite of tourism and community development consulting services. Areas of expertise include: tourism and hospitality sector development, community economic and business development, sales and marketing strategy, project management, stakeholder integration, market research, feasibility analysis, visitor forecasting and modeling, guest experience development, training and education, and destination development. In addition to our principal consultants, we draw on the expertise of some of the most experienced and respected practitioners in the industry.

Left Coast Insights Ltd.

Publications and Events

Slideshare Presentations

Ray Freeman and Eugene Thomlinson are contributing authors for the LinkBC Open Text Project. This textbook is an introduction to the tourism and hospitality industry in British Columbia, and is written with a first year college and university audience in mind. It is a collaborative work with input from educators, industry leaders, employers, and past graduates of BC’s tourism and hospitality management programs. Ray co-authored chapters on Services Marketing and Customer Service, and Eugene co-authored the chapter Back to the Big Picture: Globalization and Trends.

Ray Freeman (Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada) and Eugene Thomlinson (Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia) have been published in a themed issue of Tourism Review International on cycling tourism research. Topic: Mountain Bike Tourism and Community Development in British Columbia: Critical Success Factors for the Future. Volume 18, Number 1, 2014, ISSN 1544-2712, E-ISSN 1943-442

Redefining the Story Mountain Bike Tourism in British Columbia May, 2013 (Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium)

Mountain Bike Tourism: Benefits of Collaboration  May, 2013 (Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference)  

Flexicurity: A Solution for Tourism Labour Market Mobility and Security? January, 2013

Community Champions, Collaborations, and Leveraging Partnerships November, 2012

Destination Marketing, Management, and Skills Training November, 2012

Destination Management Organization Communications Preparedness October, 2012

Strategic sales training workshop October, 2012

Mountain Bike Tourism and Community Development in British Columbia – Critical Success Factors for the Future. Paper ; Presentation

Developing Forecasting Modelling Criteria for Snow-School Lesson Volumes
Examines the factors that influence demand for ski and snowboard lessons at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. Paper

Velo-City Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 29, 2012 (13:30) “Who are the Customers. How to develop the market for Cycling Tourism”

Victoria International Cycling Festival, June 20, 2012, Spoke n’ Word event

Tourism Educators Conference, Nelson, British Columbia, March 2012.

Australian Cycle Tourism Conference, Canberra, Australia, February 2012. (Keynote)


Select Projects

Tourism Prince Rupert – Analysis of Northern BC Ferry Routes to improve ferry services dialogue with provincial government and BC Ferries (2017 – Ongoing)

Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7, Ontario) in partnership with the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, the County of Bruce, Parks Canada and the Bruce Peninsula Environmental Group have engaged Twenty31 (and LCI) for the development of a Sustainable Tourism Management Action Plan (2017 – Ongoing)

City of Nanaimo – Tourism Advisory Consulting for the development of a Governance Strategy towards creation of a new Destination Management Organization (2017)

Destination Canada – Qualitative & Quantitative Research Services (2017 – Ongoing)

Destination British Columbia – Secondary Research and Technical Writing Services (2017 – Ongoing)

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority – Feasibility Analysis (2017)

British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training – Context Report and Provincial Tourism Action Plan to Support Aboriginal Tourism (2016 – 2017)

Destination British Columbia – Remarkable Experiences Program Delivery & Workshop Facilitation (2016 – Ongoing)

Parks Canada – Visitor Experience Strategy: Planning, Facilitation, and Writing Services (2016 – Ongoing)

Tourism Vancouver Island – Hiking Tourism Master Plan (2016)

Lethbridge – Destination Management Plan (2015 – 2016)

Fort Chipewyan – Tourism Opportunity Assessment – Alberta Culture & Tourism (2015 – 2016)

Destination British Columbia – Corporate Strategy Situation Analysis Briefs (2015)

Central Alberta – Destination Management Plan (2014 – 2015)

Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia – Mid-Coast Ferry Service Situation & Outlook Report (2014 – 2015)

Treaty7 Management Corporation – Tourism Strategic Plan (2013 – 2014) LCI,

Ethnic Vancouver Family Market Plan for Whistler Blackcomb (2014)

Mount Seymour Resorts Ltd. (2012 & 2013)
Client and community analysis and group sales team training workshops.

Family Market Plan for Whistler Blackcomb (2011-2012)

Stakeholder Integration Analysis of a Managed Recreation Area Pilot Project (2010-2011) British Columbia Ministry or Tourism, Culture and the Arts

Renewed Visitor Experience Concept, Forillon National Park, Gaspe Quebec (2010-2011)


About Us

tourism, hospitality, community, education, strategy


Ray Freeman, ORT, MA
Master of Arts in Tourism Management (Royal Roads University), Tourism & Recreation Resources Management (Lakehead University), Outdoor Recreation Technician (Seneca College).

Ray Freeman pic 2Ray is a community-based tourism planner and consultant, and tourism educator. His passion for tourism led him to pursue a Master’s Degree in Tourism Management, where he was the recipient of the inaugural 2011 British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts Tourism Management Research Award for his graduate research on Mountain Bike Tourism and Community Development in British Columbia.

Ray works throughout Canada with public and private sector clients, municipalities, regional and provincial governments, and Indigenous communities on community tourism development, tourism experience development, destination management and marketing, sustainable tourism development, rural community capacity-building, and adventure tourism.

In addition to his consulting work, Ray is an Associate Faculty member in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at North Island College, and was a faculty member at Royal Roads University from 2011-2017. Ray was Industry Services Manager with Tourism Vancouver Island in 2009-2010, and a member of the board of directors of Tourism Victoria from 2010 to 2015.

Some of Ray’s clients include: Destination British Columbia, Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia, Alberta Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Destination Canada, Parks Canada, Tourism Prince Rupert, Tourism Vancouver Island, The City of Nanaimo, BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training – Tourism Policy Branch, The City of Lethbridge, and the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.

Ray has been a presenter at the BC Tourism Educator’s Conference, Velo City Global, Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium, Victoria International Cycling Festival, Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and was a keynote speaker at the Australian Cycle Tourism Conference. Ray has worked throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe.


Dr. Eugene Thomlinson
PhD in Tourism (La Trobe University, Australia), MBA in Tourism & Hospitality Management (University of Calgary), BCom (University of Manitoba)..

EugeneEugene is a senior advisor with Left Coast Insights – Tourism Development Consulting and Assistant Professor, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University and has more than 15 years of experience in industry and academia providing a firm foundation of practical and theoretical knowledge in market research and management.  Eugene has worked for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) as the senior market analyst, where he was the principal researcher for the CTC’s award-winning Explorer Quotient (EQ) program.  Prior to this, he worked for Parks Canada, conducting social science research for national tourism and historic sites across western Canada.  Eugene completed his PhD in Tourism through La Trobe University in Australia, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in finance and small business management from the University of Manitoba.  He also has an MBA in tourism and hospitality management from the University of Calgary with his thesis examining the business of ecotourism in Central America.  He is a trained focus group moderator.

Eugene is often engaged as a tourism industry subject matter specialist, provides research methodology design, market research and analysis, tourism destination development strategy review, and is a contributor to client briefings, draft and final reporting.