ToursByLocals Appoints Lisa Chen as New CEO

ToursByLocals has named President Lisa Chen as CEO as Co-Founder Paul Melhus steps down to assume the role of executive chairman of the board.

Chen has over 25 years of digital, operational and strategic marketing and branding experience in both B2B and B2C. She joined the company as president in February 2023, with prior high-profile tenures at Expedia and Disney and a track record of helping two-sided marketplaces sustainably scale. She has spent the past seven months learning the intricacies of the business.

“I’m thrilled to lead at this pivotal moment,” said Chen in a press statement. “With the business firing on all cylinders, a brand that is deeply beloved by our customers, and our team as a driving force, we’re set to solidify ToursByLocals as a global leader in private customized tours and further propel its already remarkable growth. Stepping into the CEO role is an honor, and I’m excited to leverage the incredible foundation laid by Paul and the team to usher in a new era of innovation and expansion.”

ToursByLocals, an online marketplace for locally guided, private tours, was recognized as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies in 2019. After successfully navigating the pandemic, the company has continued to achieve significant double-digit growth, including over pre-COVID years. In May 2023, ToursByLocals celebrated a milestone of two million travelers served.

“I am excited to appoint a leader who is aligned not only with the strategy of the company, but most importantly, with the people-first culture we want to continue building,” said Melhus. “I’m immensely proud of how we’ve helped over two million travelers make more meaningful connections to the world through local experiences, and am excited to support Lisa in shepherding ToursByLocals into its next phase of growth.”

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