Meet your fun and passionate crew

Tourism Tribe is a genuine peer to peer community of tourism operators, industry and digital experts in a supported learning environment.

Tourism Tribe is relentlessly committed to helping tourism businesses stay up-to-date with transformative technology and business opportunities brought by the new traveller. We aim to help businesses to leverage these new opportunities in the most time and cost-effective manner.

The Tourism Tribe platform is built leveraging interconnected free cloud platforms available to anyone, from anywhere, to deliver cost-effective training and the ability for any business, independently of their location, to share best practices without reinventing the wheel.

Liz Ward CEO and Founder Tourism Tribe

Liz Ward

Founder & CEO

Fabienne Wintle

Founder & CIO

Despina Karatzias

Chief Navigator & GM

Claire McCollum

Digital Engagement Health Check™ Manager & Coach

Hannah Conroy

Content Manager & Coach

Emily Barry

Digital Marketing & Course Development Manager

Julia Retson

Digital Solutions Manager

Amanda Hinton

Business Development Manager

Molly Dobbins

Program Coordinator & Customer Service Advocate
Sam ward headshot

Sam Ward

Business Development Assistant & Coach

Our team in action

In July 2021, we celebrated our sixth year anniversary with a six-month recap of coaching sessions, events, industry workshops, news updates and more!

We are so thankful to everyone who has been part of this journey and all the amazing businesses we have met and had the pleasure of working alongside these past six years.  We hope to celebrate another six years helping small tourism businesses navigate the digital world.

Liz Ward CEO and Founder Tourism Tribe

Liz Ward

Founder & CEO

Liz is a committed advocate for innovation in marketing and distribution and recognised expert in strategy with more than 20 years experience specialising in travel and tourism.

Liz has pioneered many first-time digital transformation initiatives that have had lasting impacts including starting up the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) and being its CEO for over ten years.

Liz Ward

Liz is the co-founder of the innovative tourism online learning community, Tourism Tribe, which launched in July 2015 and is already providing online coaching and support to over 1,600 tourism operators around Australia and the world.  Tourism Tribe was awarded in the Queensland Tourism Industry Innovation Awards in 2016 and in its inception in the UNWTO Innovation Awards in 2015.

Liz is also is Managing Director of Digital Coaching International – a network of experts who assist businesses through digital transformation of their marketing and operational processes.  Liz is able to pull together a team of tourism experts with the relevant, specific experience to meet the clients’ needs.

Recent consulting projects have included:

  • Development of an online health check and raking model to benchmark the digital maturity and effectiveness of destinations and tourism business
  • Implementation of a digital capability training program across 10 destinations in Queensland
  • Digital strategy and capability building program for 300 Northern Territory businesses TourismTribe.com/Digital-Leap
  • Development of the Digital Business Scorecard and Training Program for the Department of Digital Economy in Queensland business.qld.gov.au/running-business/it/digital-scorecard

Liz is an experienced speaker, facilitator and trainer and leads her sessions with a philosophy of shared knowledge and collaborative learning. Some of Liz’s speaking commitments have included:

  • Keynote at Destination Tweed AGM 2018
  • Keynote at the Welcome to the Dry conference in Darwin 2017
  • MC for the Australian Chamber of Commerce Mobile-ising Women in Business conference in 2016
  • Facilitated Digital Masterclass, Destination Queensland conference 2016

Liz is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Institute of Management and holds an Advanced Diploma in Business from University of Southern Queensland.

Liz has been a director on several boards, including Tourism and Events Queensland, Queenslanders Credit Union and presently is on the board of Women Chiefs of Enterprise, Australia. Liz is also President for Women Chiefs of Enterprise, Queensland.

Fabienne Wintle

Founder & CIO

Fabienne (Fabie) is a digital strategist who excels in her field of empowering tourism professionals to make the most of digital technology in their business ventures. 

She is an advocate for digital self-sufficiency within businesses and her hands-on approach has enabled thousands of small and large business owners with the tools and knowledge to make a living from Tourism.

Fabienne’s special blend of digital know-how, tourism knowledge, her training and coaching skills, ability to think outside the box and a natural gift for communication make her a sought after consultant, workshop facilitator and speaker in her field.

Fabienne (Fabie) Wintle

Fabienne has developed some of the best performing customer-facing websites and digital coaching programs in the tourism industry. She is also the co-founder of the worldwide digital phenomenon, Tourism Tribe, which has an online community of 1,500 businesses.

Recent projects have included:

  • Development of the Tourism Tribe genuine peer to peer online platform
  • Development of the Tourism and Events Queensland Social Media Criteria for the Best of Queensland project
  • Development of an online health check and raking model to benchmark the digital maturity and effectiveness of destinations and tourism business
  • Implementation of a digital capability training program across 10 destinations in Queensland
  • Digital strategy and capability building program for 300 Northern Territory businesses http://www.TourismTribe.com/Digital-Leap
  • Development of the Digital Business Scorecard and Training Program for the Department of Digital Economy in Queensland www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/it/digital-scorecard

Fabienne holds a Bachelor and Masters in Information & Communication Systems (University of Geneva, Switzerland), a Masters in International Tourism & Hospitality Management (Griffith University, Australia), a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and a Certificate IV in Small Business Management. She was also awarded Young Achiever of the Year – Queensland Tourism (2010) and received the Griffith University Business School Young Outstanding Alumnus Award (2011).

Fabienne has been a director on several boards, including Queensland Tourism Industry Council and is currently Vice President of Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce. Fabie is also a Queensland Digital Champion (Queensland government).

Fabie practices what she preaches, living a balanced connected lifestyle in the beachside community of Agnes Water/1770 (Central Queensland), with her head in the digital world and both feet firmly planted on the sandy ground.

Despina Karatzias

Chief Navigator (GM)

Despina is Tourism Tribe's Chief Navigator (AKA our General Manager). Despina brings incredible business expertise to the Tourism Tribe team and our clients. She has started up and managed multiple businesses and brings unsurpassed experience in all aspects of running and growing a tourism business.

As a lover of all things tourism and the small ‘passionate’ business community Despina loves to work with the small to medium business owner or manager who struggles to figure out cost effective ways to maximise and grow their business through digital, social media, distribution and partnership marketing.

When Despi isn't managing, mentoring, hosting a webinar or creating irresistible social media content for clients, she can be found with her family. Despina met her hubby over 20 years ago (two days after she turned eighteen) and their greatest gifts in life have been their three children. She has two daughters and a gorgeous little man.

Despina's love for travel and the Australian tourism industry is her other passion. She loves everything about travel and tourism. Everything! Long haul. Weekend. Overnight. Accommodation. Tours. Attractions. Wineries. You name it. She loves helping these businesses and when she am not helping them she is either planning (or dreaming) about her next holiday.

Hannah Conroy

Content Manager

Hannah manages the Tourism Tribe's digital content including our media content and branding. She is also a key contributor in the development and maintenance of our online courses and tools.

She ensures Tourism Tribe members and clients have access to all of the products and training that can enable them to push their businesses further.

Hannah is also part of the Tourism Tribe coaching team where her focus is on social media and branding. She jumps at the opportunity to find what is unique about a tourism business and work out how to represent that visually in their branding.

Hannah has been involved in tourism since 2010 when she started working at a Victorian ski resort where she did four seasons. She worked abroad in tourism and hospitality roles in Japan and Ireland before settling back in Melbourne working for a major hotel in the city centre.

Hannah holds a degree in Sociology and a Certificate 4 in Graphic Design. Outside of working hours you will find her working in her veggie garden.

Claire McCollum

Digital Engagement Health Check™ Manager & Coach

Claire is Tourism Tribe’s Coach and Digital Strategist. She has extensive experience in the tourism industry working for tour and accommodation operators in guiding and marketing roles and now provides confidence and capability building to tourism operators through training and coaching.

A major part of Claire’s role is to work with clients to develop content marketing strategies, blog updates and social media plans.

Claire worked as a tour guide both in Kakadu (8 day tours) and in the Kimberleys for two years. She has also previously worked for 8 years as the marketing and business manager for a regional holiday letting business where she transformed that business to a fully self-sufficient, online tourism offering. Claire migrated the entire operational systems and marketing to digital and cloud-based platforms, driving efficiencies and sales and making the business systems available remotely at any time.

Claire is very well-travelled, both overseas and in Australia and has lived in every state except for South Australia and Tasmania!

Julia Retson

Digital Solutions Manager

Julia works on the technical side of Tourism Tribe, building the website and our automated marketing system to ensure that customers have a seamless user experience while enjoying what we have to offer.

With her previous experience working in visual effects on major feature films, Julia is no stranger to complicated digital tools and has had many an opportunity to hone her skills in explaining how to use these tools in simple and easily understood English. Julia's also has extensive experience with online learning platforms as she has been both a creator of content, while using progressive teaching methods as a high school teacher, and as a user while completing her online diploma.

Julia has a degree in Aerospace Engineering as well as a graduate diploma in Secondary Education (Mathematics & Physics) and a diploma of Graphic Design.

Originally from Canada, she has travelled extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, and many other places around the world. She has just recently returned from a year travelling Australia in a caravan with her young family.

Emily Barry

Digital Marketing & Course Development Manager

Emily is Tourism Tribe’s Digital Marketing and Course Development Manager. Her degree in Business (Marketing) and years of work experience in hospitality and tourism has given her the skills and resources to coach small tourism businesses across Australia. Emily project and team manages the development of digital assets for our clients as well as the course content, social media channels and marketing campaigns for Tourism Tribe.

Emily has a passion for travelling and aims to visit every continent before she turns 30.

Amanda Hinton

Business Development Manager

Amanda was the GM of Australian Award winning Capricorn Caves and on the board of many tourism industry associations.

Having run through the Tourism Tribe programs during her tenure at the Caves, she wanted to join the team to spread the word on how simple changes can help business save time and run more efficiently.

Molly Dobbins

Program Coordinator & Customer Service Advocate

Molly is Tourism Tribe’s Programs Coordinator and Customer Service Advocate.

Her passion for the industry started back in 2018 when in high school she realised that the tourism industry was calling her. From working in various positions in both the hospitality and tourism sector, Molly has a strong focus on delivering excellent customer service. She strives to go above and beyond expectations to ensure operators are getting the most out of their programs.

Molly is passionate and determined to assist all tourism operators to take full advantage of making the most of their Tourism Tribe journey. She’s also studying a Bachelor’s dual degree in Business Management and International Tourism Management.

Sam ward headshot

Sam Ward

Business Development Assistant & Coach

Sam is part ofthe Tourism Tribe coaching crew. He is passionate about developing and growing products and processes – start-ups and small businesses.

Through his mentoring approach he elicits business creativity using lean canvas processes to flesh out the economic value of a goal and helping others thrive through coaching and achieving milestones.