The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) annual conference is set to kick off in two weeks’ time, running from July 23 to 25. The theme, 'Transforming Geographical Spread', is a broad umbrella under which esteemed speakers within the tourism industry will be unpacking various aspects.
Here’s a snapshot of who you can expect to see at the conference.
Alex Granger – programme director
Granger is the CEO of The Possibility of You, a niche mentorship and coaching business, which also offers leadership workshops, as well as courses in high performance and sales. He is also the CEO of Metro Conference Centre, a Global Business Speaker, and author of three books.
Tony Romer-Lee – SATSA Chairperson
Co-founder and managing partner of PMR Hospitality Partners, Romer-Lee is well respected in the hospitality sector, having worked at the Bay Hotel, Singita, Cape Grace, One&Only Cape Town and most recently, serving as CEO for The Collection by Liz McGrath.
David Frost – SATSA CEO
Appointed CEO of SATSA in 2013, Frost is a trained economist, with an extensive background in public and private sector strategy. Prior to joining SATSA, he was founder and Managing Director of The Tourism Strategy Company; was Special Adviser to past South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pallo Jordan, and later to past Minister, Valli Moosa, and led the process of establishing the vibrant public–private partnership that currently underpins and funds tourism in South Africa. He has worked across a number of organisations over the years, and been a driving force for tourism in the country, including developing growth strategies for KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Zambia and Inhambane province in Mozambique, amongst others.
Romer-Lee and Frost will do the welcome and introductions for the conference.
Monika Iuel – Private Safaris Southern Africa
CEO of Private Safaris Southern Africa, Iuel has worked as General Manager: International Marketing of SA Tourism from 2010 to 2014, prior to which she worked for nearly eight years as Sales and Marketing Director at Your Africa, a division of Tourvest.
Iuel will be discussing pricing: to do we move away from the boom-bust model, which will interrogate whether travel/tourism-related pricing in Africa is too expensive. Unpacking two camps of thought: the inflationary era which says pricing will do what it does; and the second camp which says we are pricing ourselves out of the market. Iuel will moderate a panel of speakers on this topic, which includes Craig van Rooyen (Tour d’Afrique), Lindy Rousseau (Singita), Martin Wiest (TDM), Neil Bald (aha), and Ryan Powell(andBeyond).
Ryan Powell – andBeyond
Powell is the sales and operations director of andBeyond, a luxury experiential travel company that offers exclusive safaris and experiences in Africa, Asia and South America. Powell manages the global multi-channel sales and operations of the organisation, and has in excess of 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing.
Sisa Ntshona – South African Tourism
Ntshona is the CEO of SA Tourism, and former Head of SME Banking for Absa/Barclays Africa responsible for the Enterprise Development strategy, operations and activities as well as the development of competitive and innovative propositions for emerging Small and Medium-size Enterprises across 12 countries in Africa.
Ntshona will moderate the discussion on Transformation: informing the SATSA agenda, which will include, on the panel, Ashley Wentworth (Stormsriver Adventures), Collin Thaver (SATSA Board sub-committee on transformation), Pieter Geldenhuys (PG Tops Travel and Tours), Tshifihiwa Tshivhengwa (Fedhasa), and Zoe Molapisi (By Design Africa Group).
Pieter Geldenhuys – PG Tops Travel and Tours
Founder and owner of PG Tops Travel and Tours, a boutique Cape Town day trip and Garden Route operator, Geldenhuys is also a tour guide, and has been in the tourism industry for over a decade. Prior to that, he was a part-time academic at Lehigh University in Bethelehem, Pennsylvanina, and a lecturer at the Institute for Hospitality Training Cape Town.
Mqondisi Gumede – The OMG
Founder and CEO of The OMG, Gumede has international experience in marketing, travel and tourism, and domestic experience in the construction fields with experience as both client and agency executive.
He will be heading up a panel discussing infrastructure and product development: underpinning geographical spread. On the panel is Darryl Erasmus (TGCSA), Gillian Saunders (Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism), Nomasonto Ndlovu (Limpopo Tourism Agency), Shamilla Chettiar (National Department of Tourism), and Tim Harris (Wesgro).
Tim Harris – Wesgro
Harris is a well-known industry figure, and the CEO of Wesgro – Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Having previously served as a Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Finance for the Democratic Alliance (DA), Harris also sits on the board of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Cape Town Film Studios and Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA).
Otto de Vries – ASATA
CEO of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA), de Vries has over 30 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry. He has been involved in managing businesses, start-ups, business transformation and projects, with extensive experience in operations, sales and marketing and a well-rounded background in contract management and product development. His current focus is on travel and tourism industry advocacy and industry relations, with government and private sector stakeholders.
De Vries will be moderating a panel discussion on the POPI Act and EU Legistlation, with a panel including Louis Nel (Corporate Legal Advisor), Illana Clayton (Travel Smart Crew), and Elizabeth de Stadler (Novation Consulting).
Elizabeth de Stadler – Novation Consulting
Founding director of Novation Consulting, and co-founder of HeyPlainJane, de Stadler is also the chairperson of the IAB SA Regulatory Affairs Council and an authoritative knowledge source for ethical digital marketing and consumer law. Co-author of Commentary to the Consumer Protection Act, de Stadler has written chapters on the Consumer Protection Act in The Law of Contract in South Africa and The Law of Commerce in South Africa.
Karen Terrell-Kramvis – Sun International
Group General Manager, Sales and Contact Centre at Sun International, Terrell has been with the company for nearly 20 years, and has much knowledge of the fast-paced hospitality industry.
Terrell-Kramvis will be moderating a panel discussion on the future of roadshows: maximising your marketing spend, with a panel that includes Abby Swartz (SA Tourism), Derek Houston (Houston Travel Marketing Services), Hanneli Slabber (SA Tourism) and Jacqui Reynolds (On Show Solutions).
Derek Houston – Houston Travel Marketing Services
Houston is the Managing Director of Houston Travel Marketing Services (HTMS), a brand that assists the African tourism industry to effectively promote itself in both local and global markets. For over two decades, HTMS has delivered Spotlight Travel Workshops, Expos and Roadshows, which have provided a platform for travel suppliers to introduce and market their products throughout Africa and Europe.
Belinda McIntyre – Tsogo Sun
McIntyre is the General Manager for International Sales and Marketing at Tsogo Sun Hotels. She is highly experienced in the sales marketing arena with a demonstrated history in the hospitality industry, both locally and internationally.
McIntyre will be moderating a panel discussion on South African tourism global trade strategy: how we reap maximum synergies, with panellists Bradley Bouwer (SA Tourism), and Margie Whitehouse (SA Tourism).
Thembe Kunene-Msimang – RETOSA
The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) has had Kunene-Msimang as its acting CEO since March 2018. With over 18 years’ experience in executive management in the tourism sector, Kunene-Msimang has headed up Tourism Services at Cape Town Tourism, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), and was a member of the EXCO at South African Tourism (SAT). She currently serves on the Boards of Stenden South Africa, iCandi-CQ as well as Brand South Africa.
Kunene-Msimang will be moderating a panel discussion on regional cross-selling: positioning SADC in the global marketplace, along with panellists Blacky Komani (Tourvest), Chris Roche(Wilderness Safaris), Mateus Tembe (Femotour), Rob Moffett(Ongava Game Reserve), and Ross Kennedy (Africa Albida Tourism).
Blacky Komani – Tourvest
Komani has a deeply-rooted history in the tourism sector, having been involved in the industry for over 30 years, and is currently the CEO of Tourvest Ground Duty Free. He is the former marketing director of American Express Foreign Exchange, and a long-standing member of the group’s board and executive committee.
Chris Roche – Wilderness Safaris
Chief Marketing Officer of Wilderness Safaris, Roche has worked in the eco-tourism industry since the mid-1990s as a guide, guide trainer and conservation ecologist for well-known ecotourism operator, andBeyond. Chris has been with Wilderness Safaris since 2005, in various marketing and sustainability teams, and is involved in projects that at expanding into new countries and ecosystems in Africa.
Mateus Tembi – Femotour
Tembe is the Executive Director of the Mozambican Tourism Federation, and the Economic Advisor at the former president Joaquim Chissano’s Foundation in Mozambique. With over 15 years’ experience in programme management experience in Mozambique and abroad, Tembi has consulted with diverse national and foreign companies and organisations for cooperation projects.
Rob Moffett – Ongava Game Reserve
Moffett is the General Manager for sales and marketing of Ongava Game Reserve, and a trustee of the non-profit Save The Rhino Trust working in partnership with communities in the remote North-West. His knowledge is rooted in the safari sector, and his interest in tourism is how it can be leveraged to generate the maximum advantage for wildlife and rural community outcomes.
Adrian Gardiner – Mantis Collection
Creator of the Shamwari Game Reserve, Gardiner is the founder of the Mantis Group – an empire of over 40 game reserves and luxury hotel groups across the globe. The Mantis Group’s global footprint of properties is in the process of being expanded, using the lessons that Gardiner has learned during the course of his career to educate, support and develop major conservation tourism projects worldwide.
Gardiner will be moderating a discussion on the Eastern Cape: unlocking geographical spread, with panellists Craig Smith (New Frontiers), Mandlakazi Skefile (Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism), Nopasika Mxunyelwa (ECPTA), and William Ross (ECTour).
The conference will be taking place at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth. Attendees are advised to register soon to secure their places. For more information, visit the SATSA website.