The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has appointed Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa as permanent CEO.

Tshivhengwa was appointed interim CEO on August 15, and captained the TBCSA ship for the months prior to the permanent CEO appointment.

Chairman of the TBCSA board, Blacky Komani, said: “We are excited that we have secured an outstanding tourism executive of the calibre of Tshifhiwa to spearhead TBCSA’s organisational strategy. There was huge interest in this role from tourism industry heavyweights, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who made themselves available to serve in this position. On behalf of the board I would also like to congratulate Tshifhiwa on his appointment and we wish him a successful journey with us. He is level-headed, and is well respected in the industry.”

The TBCSA has adopted a new organisational strategy that focuses on tourism as a stimulant for the economy, elevating tourism’s profile as an employment and enterprise creator, and resetting the TBCSA. Another key element within the strategy will be to enhance collaboration between the private sector, government and civil society, to grow tourism.

“I am excited by this opportunity, but a lot of work lies ahead of us. The next immediate steps are ensuring that the strategy approved by the board is operationalised, and that we sit down and define what needs to happen in the next year, two years and three years,” said Tshivhengwa. “While we are doing this, we are not going to stop listening to and responding to the industry needs. Whatever the industry needs in the name of positive growth of the tourism sector, the TBCSA is committed to doing: to prosper the industry, create more jobs, and contribute positively to the economy. We will also ensure that everything we do is done in an inclusive way.”

CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa), David Frost, says: “Huge congratulations to Chief on his appointment. He’s a considered man, a humble man, and has been one of the few people that knows what it’s like to be at the frontline and working in the trenches – he’s not afraid of doing the hard work. After many years of the exact opposite of this at the TBCSA, we look forward to having his strength of character and leadership and, credit to the board and Blacky Komani for the appointment. We look forward to working with Chief to take the issues within our industry forward. We are in good hands.”

National Chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa), Jeff Rosenberg, has also applauded Tshivhengwa’s appointment, saying that during his time as CEO of Fedhasa, Tshivhengwa was instrumental in growing the organisation’s brand, keeping it relevant amongst stakeholders and ensuring that Fedhasa members’ interests were kept top of mind at all times.

Tshivhengwa concludes: “I would like to thank the TBCSA board for placing its trust and confidence in me. There is a lot of work to be done; the industry is not in good shape – arrival numbers are down, so we need to work hard to make sure that any tourists touching ground in SA are serviced properly, and that we seek and implement solutions to any impediments that stand in the way of growing and enhancing tourism in our country.”