Institute of Excellence

Institute of Excellence


A bit about me

It is such a pleasure to be part of the Tourism Tribe community and take great pride as being in the training and mentoring team. As a lover of all things tourism and the small, passionate business community I serve members who struggle to figure out cost effective ways to maximise and grow their business online.

Mainly it is business owners, marketing managers and entrepreneurs that I work with to help grow their online presence and turn those likes into LOVE with actionable business outcomes.

Tourism, like many of you in this community, is in my DNA. My entire career I have been from the supplier side of the distribution chain selling and marketing experiences to local, domestic and international markets.


My background

The highlight of my career where I took a leading role in developing everything from a website, online booking system, social media strategy, international distribution and general day to day business and people management was during my time at Global Ballooning. At the time I started the journey with Global online booking systems, social media marketing or digital marketing to an extent was not a concept, we didn’t know how to make sense of what was happening and like many small tour operators during this time learned through doing.

There was no training and development, workshops or mentoring just trial and error and a lot of experimenting. I loved it, spent countless hours researching, applying and then sharing with tourism colleagues and spoke at regional organisations and local council business seminars our journey as our little ballooning business continued to grow success and brand equity year after year.

From this experience, I developed a love of sharing information to help other tourism businesses scale and grow. Moving on to start a little business of my own three years ago helps me even further connect with my clients and students. It is called and I began the journey with one clear mission: inspire excellence in people.

For all the digital tools, marketing systems strategies and algorithms, albeit important, I love to remind businesses that creating human connection matters. Your story matters, and creating content, be it blog, a video, or social media update that shares the core of why you exist matters.

The way I specifically help businesses is through inspired digital, social media, visitor servicing, distribution and partnership marketing tailored training programs delivered online or in live group environments.

Despina core valuesIn recent years I have…

  • Developed almost 20 years of business and digital marketing experience
  • Received the National Australian Tourism Export Council Len Taylor Award for Excellence for contribution to the Australian tourism industry
  • Awarded the Victorian Tourism Industry Council Lynette Bergin fellowship to carry out research in regional tourism in Italy and Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Become an International Coaching Federation accredited coach, Neuro Linguistic Program practitioner and Certified Trainer
  • Been presented with the first Victorian Certified eKit Trainer accreditation, an accreditation presented to me by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse
  • Produced, curated and delivered over 500 hours of training programs
    Certified trainer of internationally recognised Professional Diploma of Digital Marketing
  • Proud trainer of the TourismTribe network
  • Self-published my first book, Adventures of a Balloon Girl to help the small business community of the tourism industry which has gone on to be distributed to over 75 retailers around Australia


Family time

And when I’m not teaching, mentoring or creating irresistible social media content for my clients to help rock their digital excellence, I can be found with my family. I met my hubby over 20 years ago (two days after I turned eighteen) and our greatest gifts in life have been our three children. I have two daughters and a delicious little man. When I am not devouring precious moments with them I am either preparing meals, helping with homework or hanging out at the national gymnastics centre where both our daughters have been selected into an international level program which means a LOT of training hours.

My love for travel and the Australian tourism industry is my other passion. I love everything about travel and tourism. Everything. Long haul. Weekend. Overnight. Accommodation. Tours. Attractions. Wineries. You name it I love helping these businesses and when I am not helping them I am either planning (or dreaming) about our next holiday.


Despinas tips

She has so many tips, we wrote a new blog post, you”ll find it here.


If you’re dying to know more, here are 3 things you don’t know about me…

  • I played Rizzo in our high school musical production, Grease
  • I moved to Australia from Greece with my mum, dad and younger sister when I was nine years old
  • I am notorious for reading 3-4 books…at the same time!


Institute of Excellence

Tourism Tribe expert

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