South African Tourism


14-15 October 2013, The Maslow Hotel, Johannesburg
The Summit 2013 Speakers

Managing Director,
ED/GE Tourism Solutions

Heidis career in the tourism sector spans over a period of twenty years. She provides strategic tourism advisory services to local, provincial and national government, tourism businesses and funding agencies. Besides South Africa, she has worked on projects in ten African and Asian countries. She specialises in sustainable and responsible tourism.


Mr Jack van der Merwe, a Civil Engineer, obtained the degrees B.Sc. (Eng.) Civil and B.Sc. (Eng.) (Hons.) Civil, from the University of Pretoria. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business Schools SED programme.

He has been providing a service to the public transport sector for more than 41 years of which some of the highlights were his appointment, in 1994, as the team leader of the Strategic Management Team (SMT) tasked with developing, structuring and establishing the new Department of Public Transport and Roads in Gauteng. A Department he headed from 1995 until 2004.



Chris has more than a decades experience as leader in regional Victoria and Melbourne.  He has owned and operated a small business, led community organisations, worked as a senior manager for Local Government and recently completed five very successful years as CEO of Destination Melbourne, the regional tourism organisation for Melbourne.

Chris is widely credited for rebuilding Destination Melbourne and reinvigorating the Gippsland visitor industry. A number of ground breaking initiatives including the Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Program, the Discover Your Own Backyard Campaign and establishment of Victoria Tourism Week.

He has a proven track record achieving set goals in resource-constrained environments by helping people take ownership of strategy and creating shared values.

Throughout his career Chris has demonstrated the capacity to change the course of the game. He does this by employing the principles of paying it forward and looking after the neighbours. His hallmark is boundless energy, enthusiasm and the capacity to get the best out of people.

He is an active member of Veccis Executive Council, the Victoria Tourism Industry Council and was recently appointed as Adjunct Professor, College of Business at Victoria University. He is also a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chris lives in Gippsland with his family Mikaela, Thomas and Mietta. His favourite pastimes are blogging, surfing, watching the Melbourne Rebels in action, walking the dogs and spending time with his family.


Managing Director,
AE Tourism Consulting

Mrs. Jacqueline Wilson Asheeke, MA, BA, is currently the Managing Director of her own consulting firm, AE Tourism Consulting. Ms. Asheeke is one of the foremost tourism industry experts in Namibia, regularly consulted by Namibian and international decision-makers, the media, potential investors, international organizations, and other captains of industry on tourism market projections, statistics and product development. She is the tourism business expert on the team developing the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) plans for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) in Namibia for the Greater Fish River Canyon and Greater Sossusvlei/Namib Landscape Areas.


Chief Executive Officer,
Ignite Consulting

Paul Bannister, who has run several major advertising agencies (including TBWA Hunt Lascaris) in South Africa and who heads up Ignite (a strategic consultancy), is a management, marketing, branding and communication specialist who has extensive media, broadcasting, mentorship and public speaking experience. Paul is also the founder of the Welcome Tourism movement (1999), and has served on the boards of SA Tourism, SATSA and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

Visitor Services Manager,
Cape Town Tourism

Elmarene Bernhardt is the Visitor Services Manager at Cape Town Tourism and Industry Services Manager (Acting) since July 2013. She manages a network of nine Visitor Centres, serving more than 290 000 visitors per year, and was involved in the development and implementation of a new Visitor Services Strategy. Elmarene has wide-ranging experience in both the private and public sectors of the tourism industry.



Roshene Singh currently works on a number of education related initiatives in both a professional and voluntary capacity.

She has a broad range of experience in business strategy and development, organisational strategy, design and change, as well as general and operations management. She is a public sector specialist with a focus on education, tourism and marketing. Roshenes career has taken her squarely into the international arenas, both of business and government. She has travelled extensively, as a government representative on a range of international platforms.

During her tenure at South African Tourism from 2002 2012 she held the position of Chief Marketing Officer and Portfolio Manager: Europe. In these positions she has distinguished herself as being able to adapt and effectively manage an organisation tasked with developing an integrated marketing strategy around leisure, business and events..


Chief Destineer,

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold is an international destination marketing and tourism thought leader, a writer and public speaker on tourism, responsible tourism, destination marketing, brand innovation and digital strategy.

She established Destinate, a specialised international destination and tourism marketing agency, after an enviable tenure of almost 10 years as the CEO of Cape Town Tourism. She now works with brands and destinations within and beyond South Africa to unlock their full potential, applying her knowledge and pursuing her passion for innovative, people-centred marketing and tourism by unpacking global consumer trends, new markets, city tourism dynamics, Africa and the impact of new technology and the web on tourism.


Head of Advisory Services,
Grant Thornton

Gillian Saunders is Head of Advisory Services at audit firm Grant Thornton. She holds a BSC in hotel, catering and tourism management and an MBA. After working for Sheraton and Southern Sun, Gillian joined Grant Thornton in 1988 as a tourism and hospitality consultant and became manager of the tourism and hospitality consultancy in 1997. She has consulted extensively in these industries for the public and private sector for more than 20 years.

Gillian is the author of a number of articles and a regular commentator in the media, particularly on tourism. She is also Chairperson of the Board of the University of Johannesburgs Kerzner School of Tourism and Hospitality.


Head of New Products,
Google Sub Sahara

Brett St Clair is Head of New Products at Google Sub Sahara and manages the commercial operations of Youtube, Google Plus, Google Display Network and Mobile across Sub Sahara Africa. Brett has over 18 Years experience in the world of technology and media with a focus on Mobile and Digital over the last 7 of those years. Brett returned from 10 years in London where he worked all over the planet from New York to Greenland in starting his own Mobile Agency, followed by occupying the role of Managing Admob's Business in Africa. Admob was then acquired by Google 3 years ago for just over 0 million.


The Gauteng Planning Commission (GPC)

Rashid Seedat is the Head of the Gauteng Planning Commission (GPC), a position he assumed in October 2011. The GPC is located in the Office of the Premier in the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG), where he is responsible for short, medium and long range planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation. Between April and August 2012, he acted as Director-General of the GPG.

Rashid has a BA, Master of Management in Public & Development Management and MSc in Development Planning all from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He was awarded a fellowship at the Local Government Centre, Warwick University, UK between 1992 and 1993 and also studied at the University College of London, UK in 1993.


Executive Committee Member,

Bachelor of Public Administration (Honours) Forte Hare University, Masters in Tourism Administration George Washington University

Blacky has been involved in the tourism industry since 1985 and was the General Manager for the Americas of SA Tourism for six years. He was also Managing Director of Miami-based tour operator Karell Travel for four years and Chief Executive Officer of 1time Holdings from 2011 to 2013. Blacky was appointed as a member of Tourvests executive committee in July 2013 and is a long-standing board member of American Express Foreign Exchange in South Africa.



Eric was mayor of Boksburg for five years as of 1995 and later worked for various departments within the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Xayiya then joined the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 2009 where he occupied several positions, including the Chairman of the Road and Transport Sub-Committee and a member of the Oversight Committee on the Office of the Premier in the Legislature (OCPOL).

Outside of his official duties, Xayiya is a committed community activist who readily provides social support to HIV and Aids Projects and Matric Education Projects.

"Love all humanity and wake up every morning and thank God that you are alive," is the motto that Xayiya lives by.

The MEC has also occupied the position of Co-Chairperson of the Aids Consortium.


Chief Executive Officer,
Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA)

Mmatati Ramawela is the CEO for the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). Her career in the Travel and Tourism sector spans over a period of seventeen years. In 1996 she was responsible for the strategic marketing of what was then the National Parks Board (now South African National Parks). This was followed by appointments in two provincial tourism authorities -KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo respectively.

She joined the TBCSA at the start of 2006 as Chief Operating Officer and took over the position of CEO in 2007. The TBCSA is the official umbrella body for organised business in the South African travel and tourism industry. The organisation seeks to lobby and positively influence government policies and decisions in the interest of the private sector.


Chief Executive Officer,
South African Tourism

Currently Chief Executive Officer for South African Tourism since January 2012. He started his career in the financial industry where he spent 7.5 years before joining the aviation industry. This is where he found his passion and spent 13 years with SAA in various senior and executive positions, including 4 years as GM for the Benelux countries, based in The Netherlands.

He then returned back to SA at the end of 2000 to take up senior roles in the domestic SAA market. He was appointed CEO for SA Travel Centre, an SAA subsidiary travel agency network franchiser which was amongst the top 4 consortia in SA at the time. He broadened his horizons at the end of 2007 when he joined Avis Rent A Car Southern Africa as Group Sales & Marketing Director, a position he held for 4 years until the end of 2011 when he responded to the call to serve the national duty as CEO for SA Tourism.


TBCSA has joined forces with Gauteng Tourism Authority to host the upcoming South African Travel & Tourism Summit under the banner of The Summit.

The Summit is a joint initiative between TBCSA's SATTIC and GTA's bi-annual provincial conference. Please note that The SATTIC idea has not been abandoned and depending on the outcomes of ongoing discussions with our partners, we are exploring the possibility of expanding the concept to other provinces in the future.

The programmes of both events have now been merged and the TBCSA will continue to keep you our valued member updated on any further developments relating to the event as it unfolds.

The cost of registration to the event is R1500.00
The event will be hosted at The Maslow Hotel on the 14th and 15th of October 2013.

For any enquiries email projects@tbcsa.travel  
Click here to view the SUMMIT site: www.sasummit.net for more details

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