Tourism Update has appointed Sharon Hindle (sharonh@nowmedia.co.za) as its representative to develop the East African market, while Kerri Marks has been promoted to Tourism Update, Business Development Manager. Tourism Update wishes them both all the best in their new roles.

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) recently announced a series of new appointments.

TKZN appointed Thulisile Galelekile to GM of Marketing. She previously worked with the Ithala Development Finance Corporation, where she held the position of Divisional Manager of Marketing and Communications. In her new role she will be responsible for TKZN’s marketing operation.

TKZN has appointed Mpume Sibiya to Regional Marketing Manager responsible for Africa and the domestic market. Since joining the organisation 10 years ago, she has held various roles prior to her promotion. In her new role, Sibiya will be responsible for promoting the province.

Richard Wyllie has been appointed Manager of Business Development and Relations at the Durban KZN Convention Bureau, which forms part of TKZN. He joined TKZN three years ago as a researcher and, in his new role, will help drive business events into the province.

After being with TKZN for nine years, Samora Nqweniso has been promoted to Manager of Transformation. Speaking six languages and no stranger to dealing with a variety of stakeholders, he has worked his way through the ranks, having handled a wide range of tasks over the years, including customer care strategy at TKZN, formulating the Tourism Month programme, co-ordinating the annual Lilizela Awards, and conducting customer surveys. His role will see him responsible for the promotion of transformation in community-based tourism projects, tracking the progress of new and existing products and driving economic development.

South African Tourism has appointed Thekiso Rakolojane as the new Head for West Africa to lead the organisation’s destination marketing efforts and to expand strategic business partnerships in Ghana and Nigeria.

“The West African markets are critical to us being able to achieve the goal of five million tourist arrivals by 2021 because the potential to grow the region is significant enough to make a big impact to South Africa’s tourism results,” says Sthembiso Dlamini, Chief Operating Officer at SA Tourism. 

Growth in tourist arrivals means a better performing economy and increased job creation. In South Arica, 1.5 million jobs were supported by travel and tourism in 2017, which is 9.5% of the total employment in the country. The total contribution of travel and tourism to South Africa’s GDP was R412.5bn (€25.5bn) (8.9% of GDP) in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 2.9% in 2018.

Rakolojane takes over from Hloni Pitso, who has since been appointed Head of SA Tourism’s South Europe Hub. Rakolojane brings 18 years of brand management experience to his new role and will call upon his tourism industry knowledge to ensure market excellence.

Talking about his focus in his new role, Rakolojane said: “Addressing travel barrier concerns are important to our business goal and is the focus for South African officials in negotiating an ease on travel restrictions for Ghana and Nigeria. I look forward to entrenching myself in new cultures, learning from our partners and, with my team, implementing innovative campaigns and effective business projects.”

Rakolojane previously served as Regional Brand Manager looking after the African and domestic tourism markets at SA Tourism and prior to this was previously the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Tourism grading Council of South Africa.

Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness (CITW), has appointed Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris Chief Operating Officer to its Board.

CITW is a fundamental component of Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to community empowerment, and, through this appointment, ensures that both organisations continue to work hand in hand to drive sustainable conservation through leadership development.

“We are delighted to welcome Woodrow to our Board,” said Janet Wilkinson, CITW Regional Programme Manager. “Woodrow’s expertise and experience in both ecotourism and community stakeholder relations will be extremely valuable to us, especially due to the significant role he previously played as chairman of CITW Botswana.”

 During his career with Wilderness Safaris, which has spanned more than two decades, Woodrow has played a pivotal role in developing a strong culture of training and skills development within the company. He has also been directly involved with numerous local communities, driving positive cultural engagement to ensure that local people truly realise the benefits of ecotourism.

“Having been directly involved with CITW since its inception in Botswana in 2001, I have witnessed first-hand how CITW has inspired the children in its programme, ultimately changing the mindset of the communities toward our business and the environment. Without communities benefiting from tourism, tourism has no future in Africa. I am therefore proud to be part of the CITW Board and look forward to playing a significant role in making sure that we continue to meaningfully impact the lives of children in both the rural and urban areas where we operate,” added Woodrow.

Wilderness Safaris’ sustainability strategy, based on the four Cs of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation, is closely aligned to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The company will therefore continue to provide logistical, administrative and financial support to CITW to ensure the operation and growth of an effective and sustainable environmental education programme.