Inspiring young Queenslanders to work and find success in the tourism industry

Ashleigh Barnes

Gold Coast

Ashleigh's tourism journey started in high school when she excelled in a Certificate III in Tourism, Travel, and Events at TAFE. She came first in the NSW HSC and got the Tourism Minister’s Student Achiever Award. After that, she continued her tourism studies at Griffith University, doing a Bachelor of International Tourism and Hotel Management and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).

During her studies, Ashleigh gained practical experience in different tourism jobs, like at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, a 5-star hotel, and a popular river cruise company.

After university, Ashleigh worked as Marketing Coordinator for a company that makes software for the tourism industry. In this role, she developed global marketing initiatives, promoted brand awareness, and engaged clients at industry trade shows. She also coordinated social media, digital advertising, and blog/content writing.

In 2022, Ashleigh shifted into destination marketing and is now the Partnership and Membership Officer at Destination Gold Coast. In this role, Ashleigh helps businesses grow and supports industry members. She plans educational and networking events and works with Gold Coast tourism businesses to improve the experiences they offer. Ashleigh also contributes to making the Gold Coast a better place for tourism, aiming to get more people to visit.