Meet the Team
Owner & CEO
Rob Safrata is a successful serial entrepreneur and former Olympic Athlete.
In 1996, Rob founded Eagle Quest Golf Centres and in 2 years grew the centres to 24 locations, in Canada and the US. In 1998, Rob sold Eagle Quest Golf Centres to a public company for $105 million.
In 2000, Rob acquired Novex Couriers in Vancouver, BC. Through a strong strategic plan to become a sustainable organization, Novex is the 1st courier in North America to become carbon neutral. Today their fleet is 100% ULEV – consisting of 40 hybrids and 5 electric vehicles – and are the only courier company in BC to be Certified B Corp
In 2007, the Globe and Mail identified Rob Safrata as, “perhaps the greenest CEO in Canada.”
Rob acquired Westcoast Sightseeing in 2009, growing the business from 45,000 guests to over 500,000 guests through two strategic acquisitions and consistent organic growth. Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing creates memorable experiences for all travellers visiting Vancouver.
President & COO
Jason Bryant leads with innovation and 25+ years of tourism experience producing measurable results.
In 2000, Jason joined Brewster Travel Canada, leading Brewster Vacations and Brewster Charters & Sightseeing divisions. In his 12 years at Brewster, Jason managed multi-million dollar budgets, strategic plans, leadership development, multiple on-site operations and overall guest service.
In 2013, Jason accepted a position at Westcoast Sightseeing, leading sales, marketing and business development, then taking over as President in 2019. Through a rebrand and Jason’s leadership, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing has seen a sales growth from 150K guests annually to nearly 300K guests annually.
Chair, Board of Directors
James Terry is a true tourism professional with 50 years experience in Tourism and Hospitality. James managed a vibrant selection of tourism and hospitality companies and established himself as a hotelier and restauranteur with international experience.
James was COO of the award-winning Canadian rail tour company, Rocky Mountaineer for 16 years. James led Rocky Mountaineer’s worldwide operations through significant and rapid growth.
James has sat on the board for the Vancouver Playhouse and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). James is Past Chair for Tourism Vancouver and today, is the Founder and Chair of Tourism Industry Partners (TIP).
For the past 10 years James is Principle of a successful hospitality consultancy, with emphasis on Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience, while sitting on various company boards.
Hugh Jones brings to the CTCE team 15 years of operational experience in air and ground transportation, logistics, and business development,
For over 10 years, Hugh has funneled his knowledge into consulting in process management, resource utilization and competitive positioning. Hugh presents business solutions that are effective and efficient.
Hugh is an integral leader in Westcoast Sightseeing’s growth over the past 5 years, providing critical expertise in innovation, and providing leadership to support new business structures. Hugh understands the importance of environmental impact and developed a fleet renewal strategy and roadmap to renewable energy.
Jim Bennett has spent 15 years as a senior financial executive in several markets for companies ranging from start-ups to $100 million in sales. Jim’s strengths and hard work have raised over US$20 million in start-up capital for past ventures.
Jim has also added 10 years of progressive banking experience including risk management, corporate banking and treasury.
Jim’s early career experience in technology has assisted him to implement or improve technology platforms in every business venture he has come across.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Monica Karlsson approaches business with an edge of creativity bringing to the CTCE team a unique perspective on opportunities. Strategically minded melded with her creative concepts has helped discover innovative sales channels and greater earnings for renowned tourism businesses.
Her talents also include turning that business dream into reality. Even with established companies Monica recognized and helped create brand aligned revenue streams, like themed rail cars for Rocky Mountaineer, and a Hop on, Hop off tour with elevated service for Landsea Tours & Adventures. In 2009, most notably, Monica was instrumental in establishing a new avenue of return for BC Ferries, one of the world’s largest ferry services, by bringing to fruition a catalogue of vacation packages built around the existing ferry system. This BC Ferries Vacations division insightfully benefits both the company and surrounding communities with its cost competitiveness and increased demand. A mutually beneficial relationship based success indicative of Monica’s talents.
Director of Product Services
Carolyn Bates has over 25 years experience in the Tourism Industry with a primary focus on client relations, contract negotiations and reservation system integrations.
After joining Brewster Travel Canada in 1996, Carolyn learned the intricacies of the travel industry starting from an entry level position and developed into roles of leadership, product development and client relations. After 20 years at Brewster, in 2016, Carolyn accepted a position with Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing leading OTA and Receptive Sales. Her role has evolved to include integrating support & sales systems within the CTCE network of companies.