Dave Butler

Director of Sustainability
Canadian Mountain Holidays

Dave’s passion for the business of adventure tourism started 30 years ago when he first met Hans Gmoser, the Austrian mountain guide who founded Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). Gmoser’s approach to his guests, treating each of them as if they were a member of his family, while sharing special places with them in a safe and sustainable way, made a deep impression on the young national park warden. Dave’s dream of working for CMH came true in 1997; since then, he’s been part of the company’s senior leadership team. As a professional forester and biologist, he ensures integration of the fiscal, socio-cultural and environmental components of the business, and works with communities and First Nations. Through Dave’s efforts, CMH has won awards at local, national and international levels.

Dave has also worked in adventure tourism consulting, in collaborations with other tourism businesses, in developing tourism policy and strategic plans, and he’s played a leadership role in tourism sector associations and chambers of commerce. He regularly shares his experience with students in tourism and sustainable business classes at colleges and universities, and at tourism industry conferences.

In 2013, Dave was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for leading a tourism industry task force in negotiations with the British Columbia government to create Destination BC.  He’s also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Dave lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and is a hiker and mountain biker, an avid traveler, a rabid fly fisher, and a photographer and writer (fiction and non-fiction).


  • Strategic planning and tourism policy development
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Organizational development and governance for destinations and business collaborations
  • Adventure travel product development
  • Facilitation and collaboration
  • Government/community relations and advocacy
  • Safety, risk and crisis management

Training Client Testimonial Quote

I have the genuine privilege of having worked with Dave Butler for over a decade in a variety of capacities and in diverse areas, such as tourism sector planning and development, technical research and analysis, and relationship-building with land user interests (forestry, mining, First Nations).Dave is a consummate professional who possesses a rare and invaluable marriage of scientific and technical expertise, a strategic business mind, and an energetic, optimistic outlook for a more sustainable future. His “academic” and applied knowledge of complex technical elements of sustainability is unsurpassed in British Columbia’s tourism industry, in areas such as energy management, consumer trends and marketing, supply chain management, cost-benefit analysis, and standardization / certification.

Peter Larose
Principal, Larose Research & Strategy
Sessional Faculty, Thompson Rivers University Tourism Management Department

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