Staff Spotlight: Doris Spiesmeier

Tour Manager


A native of Vienna, Austria, Doris holds a Master’s Degree in Tourism and Leisure Management, and has worked as a Tour Manager with AESU for over 15 years.

She has a passion for exploring the world and has traveled multiple times around the globe for both work and play. While all of our tours are offered in several languages, Doris is fluent in five languages and working on a sixth, so she’s always open to teaching people new vocabulary!

In her spare time, Doris enjoys yoga, hiking, and checking new experiences off her travel bucket list!

What is your favorite travel memory?

One evening I took my group of about 30 students out into the town to explore the streets of Rome. As we came down the street, suddenly one of the guys in the group started with some rhyming lyrics - a tune, and then rapping.

Spontaneously, his new friend next to him stepped in with some beat boxing sounds. No sooner had he started his sounds than the 5 girls behind him offered their background singer voices.

The rest of the group came in formation dancing – we certainly drew attention to us on the busy streets of Rome – Flash mobbing a la AESU. Such fun!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Being part of the AESU family for more than 15 years has broadened my horizons and allowed me to learn so much about the industry that I love.

I’ve been able to participate in amazing experiences like a gourmet tour of Southern France, or a Gold Investor’s Expedition to Australia. It’s fascinating to learn more about other people and their many and varied reasons for traveling.

And I’ve learned about more than just new places—I’ve ventured into product design and development, new staff training, and scouting new destinations. All with the aim of creating the most spectacular experience possible for our clients!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would definitely choose the Great Escape, because it provides such a great intro to some of Europe’s most iconic destinations. You have the fast-paced capitals of London, Paris, and Rome, mixed in with a visit to quaint Heidelberg or a hike in the Alps. And of course, a few days in my favorite place in the world, the islands of Greece.

In only 24 days, participants in this program experience 9 different European countries and get to see some of the world’s most iconic locations.

Plus they get to do all this while enjoying the travel experience with other people in their age group. What a great way to gain the cross-cultural experience that is so valuable in today’s increasingly connected world!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

AESU works hard to combine the excitement and fun of travel with an educational twist—it’s “travel with a purpose!” I love the idea that we offer not just the opportunity to see interesting places, but the chance to experience them with a group of other people who are at similar places in life, and may even become life-long friends!

I am most proud of our team of Tour Managers. They are handpicked and undergo a lengthy training/evaluation process to represent the best of the best. Every year, I am so proud to be part of such a diverse and well-traveled team of professionals.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Consistency! For more than 40 years, we have provided affordable, high-quality travel programs for young people. We accomplish this through a combination of experience, a well-developed network of contacts, and unparalleled attention to detail.

Our staff work tirelessly year after year to provide the experience of a lifetime for each participant. We know that many of our participants will be first-time travelers, so we are committed to making each program both educational and fun.

This quote is my personal motto, but also a perfect way to describe what we want to deliver at AESU: ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’