CONTRIBUTOR: Emma Castle & Lionel Bonnafous


Who is Lionel? And how did he get involved in the tourism and hospitality industry? Read on for a short synopsis on one The B Hive’s expert consultants.

What do you do at the B Hive?

I’m the Director of Consulting. I focus on delivery of consulting engagements. I design our approach and manage its delivery.

How did you find the B Hive?

I met Tammy at Carnival Australia and thoroughly enjoyed working with her. She’s a very positive person who embraces change and diversity. She loves to try new things and that resonates. We met at the end of 2016 and agreed to work on a consulting project together. That was the beginning of The B Hive.

What’s your favourite thing about your work?

Solving problems, tackling new problems and finding the best way to address them.

What else do you have going on outside of work?

A wife and two kids. It’s full on – I like to be hands-on dad. They make my life very challenging but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I also do a fair bit of running these days and compete in the odd half-Ironman.

You have an unusual accent. Where did you grow up?

On the outskirts of Paris, France, although I did live in the UK for three years when I was a teenager.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a policeman, like my dad. For some reason that didn’t stick. I considered joining the French Foreign Legion when I was bored with studying mathematics at uni. Somehow I made it past that.

What was your first job?

Accountant at KPMG in Paris. It was a great formative experience but the environment was too rigid to suit me in the long run. I moved on wanting to work on different things, solve problems and pursue opportunities so I became a management consultant.

How did you become interested in business/tourism? What attracted you to this kind of work?

I went travelling around the world in 2004 and visited 40+ countries. I loved it. I did a short stint as a scuba diving instructor in Utila-Honduras in 2006. I joined Carnival Australia in 2011, and returned again in 2014 – 2016. I thought it was a fun, growing, exciting space to be in and decided to focus on it.


If money were no object and you could have a year’s sabbatical, what would you do?

I’d buy and renovate a ‘Mas de Provence’ [traditional French farmhouse] for six months and then I’d go and travel with my kids to give them a global perspective for the other six months.

Where are your favourite travel destinations and why?

Tough one to answer as every destination has something unique to offer. Food in India, beer in Munich, tapas in Spain, South America has dancing and steak, and the scuba diving in French Polynesia is unrivalled. France is home and I spend most of my holidays there. Cheese and skiing are the highlights there.


What is the one thing you wish all your clients did?

I find a lot of businesses will tell you about what cannot be done. I like to think most things are possible. Just start with a blank canvas!


  • Connect with Lionel Bonnafous  on LinkedIn here.
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  • Download The B Hive’s 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation & How to Avoid Them White Paper here.
  • Download The B Hive’s white paper on Collaboration in the Travel & Tourism Industry here.
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