About Us

Welcome to The Institute for Tourism Leadership Australia

If you’re looking to inspire, grow and develop leadership capacity within your team, amongst your colleagues, and within destination stakeholders, you’ve come to the right place! No matter how big or small your tourism business is, or how new or advanced your region is as a tourism destination, collective leadership and collaboration is vital for a successful, vibrant tourism sector. The most successful destinations are those that work together.

Our names are Leigh Bennett and Robbie Cornelius - Founders and Directors of The Institute for Tourism Leadership Australia. We not only have extensive tourism experience in both the private and public sectors but are passionate about tourism. We love the sector and want to see it succeed!

Whether you run a small business or head up tourism for a local Council – we all face leadership challenges in the workplace, and we can give you the tools and knowledge to help address these issues and create opportunities.

Leigh Bennett

Institute Of Tourism Leadership Tourism Leadership Session TL 36

Leigh is founder of the Institute for Tourism Leadership Australia, an experienced business consultant, an executive and leadership coach, board director and a former CEO, national HR Manager and educator. He brings passion and enthusiasm to his consulting, facilitation and coaching which is conversational, flexible, respectfully challenging and non-judgmental.

Leigh knows the sector well. He has established and managed tourism and economic development departments, set up LTOs, scoped and built new VICs, led the redevelopment of the Hervey Bay Airport to jet capacity, securing direct flights from Sydney and winning Australian Major Airport of the Year in 2006. He has also been a director and Interim General Manager on Regional Tourism Organisations, and Interim CEO for a major Hospitality and Tourism business.

Leigh is a relaxed and practical workshop and training facilitator, bringing a mix of humour, energy, profound workplace experiences and a drive to get the best out of people.

Visit my LinkedIn Bio here.

Research Interests

Leigh’s professional interests are currently around exploring the links between: Diversity; Inclusion; Resilience and Wellness. He has devised an Executive Wellness Leadership model, in partnership with Australia’s GreenX7, is rolling out an Inclusive / Resilient Leadership model for disaster affected parts of Queensland and is the invited Australian expert for the design of an Inclusive Leadership model for Oita Prefecture in Japan for its world renowned onsen tourism sector, with Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

Robbie Cornelius

Institute Of Tourism Leadership Tourism Leadership Session TL 33

Robbie has a strong Regional Tourism Organisation background. He has held key roles such as Tourism Development Manager at Tourism Fraser Coast, Manager of Tourism at Fraser Coast Opportunities and Interim General Manager at both Tourism Fraser Coast and Fraser Coast Opportunities. Robbie has also worked in a shared role between Fraser Coast Opportunities and Tourism and Events Queensland as Destination Manager. Robbie has successfully worked as a tourism consultant, having leapt into self employment over 5 years ago.

He has excellent relationships with key stakeholders at an RTO, STO and NTO level, as well as within government departments critical to tourism development for a region.

Visit my LinkedIn Bio here.

Tourism Development Interests

Robbie is hugely passionate about tourism, particularly around the areas of industry and experience development. Robbie has led the process of devising numerous tourism destination tourism plans and strategies, and also currently works with the Queensland Government and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council on a range of statewide industry development programs ranging from trade distribution, packaging and bundling, and digital marketing one on one mentoring programs and workshops.

Our Partners

We are big believers in collaboration. Collective leadership, partnerships and collaboration is vital to success in the tourism sector; embodied in our good fortune to work with some fantastic partners to provide you with an articulated suite of services.

Our Clients

ITLA is fortunate to work with a diversity of industry leaders, ranging from Regional Tourism Organisations, Local Tourism Organisations, Councils and Tourism Operators. Some of our clients include: