TOURISM TRACKS: PANELLISTS Kellie Monger Kellie Monger is the Marketing Manager of the award-winning regional tourism organisation, Destination Melbourne (DML). Located in the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne, Australia. Kellie has played an instrumental role in building Destination Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s premier destination marketing company through collaboration with the public and private sector. Leading a team of creative tourism professionals, Kellie is responsible for developing and implementing the organisations destination marketing strategy, which includes the delivery of over 350 products including print and digital guides, familiarisation programs and integrated campaigns. Kellie is committed to ensuring everything Destination Melbourne produces is sustainable and enhances the experiences of visitors. William Price A self-confessed Internet junky, William continues to try to find all kinds of way to innovate and invigorate travel online for South African Tourism. At SATourism, he manages the global online strategy, works with multiple agencies, country offices and audiences in different languages and time zones to promote South Africa as a destination of choice for leisure and business travellers. William shared elements of SATourism’s digital and social strategy and their learnings across the world. Specifically SATourism’s work on TripAdvisor that had been highlighted in the UNWTO handbook as a case study. Chris Buckingham Elmarene Bernhardt Elmarene Bernhardt is the Visitor Services Manager at Cape Town Tourism. She manages a network of nine Visitor Centres and was involved in the development and implementation of a new Visitor Services Strategy. Elmarene has experience in the private and public sectors of the tourism industry. Blacky Komani 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 Tourvest’s executive committee in July 2013 and is a long-standing board member of American Express Foreign Exchange in South Arica. Heidi van der Watt Heidi’s 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. Sharron Lewis Sharron Lewis is the CEO of Northern Cape Tourism Authority and has been heading the tourism destination marketing team for South Africa’s largest province since 1998. To tackle the challenge of growing domestic tourism Sharron and her team have cultivated constant and consistent partnerships with the business sector, product owners, government at large and other service providers to enhance the experience of visitors to the province and thereby encouraging tourists to extend their stay in the province. Rick Taylor A pioneer in the greater Cape Town tourism industry, Rick was the founding CEO of the Cape Town Convention Bureau, South Africa’s first stand-alone Convention Bureau. He directed the marketing of Greater Cape Town as an international meetings and events destination, positioning the region firmly on the global meetings, events and incentives map. Under his leadership, Cape Town rose from 51 to 30 on the ICCA list of top international conference and incentive cities. During his tenure, Rick introduced numerous innovative marketing concepts, including Cape Town’s ‘Secret Season', BestCities.net, Beautiful Bays and Great Wine Capitals of the World. In 2004, Rick was appointed to South African Tourism to establish the National Convention Bureau, to attract international meetings and conferences to the country. With more than 20 years’ experience in tourism marketing and advertising, Rick launched ‘The Business Tourism Company’ in 2005 to provide innovative strategic and project management skills, communication strategies and training services to destinations and hospitality industry clients seeking to boost the contribution of tourism to their economies, assisting each to design and implement a customtailored 21st century measurable growth strategy. Rick is a popular speaker at international conferences on the topics of marketing, branding, hospitality training and tourism development, and has served on a number of national and international Boards including: Past Chairman: South African Meetings Industry Federation Past Chairman: Great Wine Capitals of the World Director: Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Past Chairman: South African Federation of Convention Cities Board Member: Tourism Business Council of South Africa Board Member: La Maison de la France/Air France Rick was the 2011 recipient of the IMEX Academy Award – Africa & Middle East in Frankfurt, May 2011. Bheki Zwane Bheki Zwane started his career in the nursing profession before moving to the pharmaceutical sales and marketing environment. He spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry starting as a medical representative and progressed to manage key brands in the respiratory, women’s health care and FMCG. He joined SANParks in 2008 as a General Manager: Sales and Marketing a position he still holds and is responsible for the marketing and most revenue generation initiatives of the national parks. He holds several formal marketing qualifications and an MBA from Potchefstroom University. Rodney Knight Rodney has been involved in tourism development for the last 10 years, working on SME market access and funding projects. Currently produces Latitude - a weekly television programme on CNBC Africa – in partnership with SA Tourism, which has the dual mandate of raising the profile of the business of tourism, and uncovering the tourism potential that exists in South Africa. Barbara Jensen Barbara has been involved in communication for the past twenty-seven years, in a training, research and a practical capacity. Her expertise is government communication, international relations, communication research and the implementation of stakeholder mobilisation and transformation campaigns. Barbara is part of the Gautrain’s Management Agency’s senior management team and had been part of the project since its inception in 2000 and is specifically responsible for its communication and marketing. She holds a Doctorate in Business Management. The title of her doctoral thesis is The Search for Communication Equilibrium through Political Public Relations. Barbara is a senior member of the PR industry in South Africa and frequently delivers papers at national and international conferences. Under her leadership, Gautrain’s communication had received numerous national and international awards, the latest being the International Association of Business Communication’s (IABC) 2012 Gold Quill for publication design presented in Chicago in June 2012. Her team is also the proud winners of the 2011 Global AirRail Award for Communication and Marketing. In 2011 Gautrain’s communication also received several Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards by the Public Realtions Institute of Southern Africa. In 2011 the IABC’s awarded Gold Quills for Gautrain’s media management and for social media presented in June 2011 in San Diego. Gautrain’s communication was awarded the 2010 Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa Gold for media relations and Silver for social media and public relations in the private sector. Gautrain’s audio-visual material received special mention by the International CineRail competition in Paris in March 2011. In a personal capacity, Barbara was named “Spokesperson of 2010” by the National Press Club – an indication of her excellent working relationship with the South African media. John Lee John Lee joined Sun International in 1986 as a divisional finance executive after he articled with PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. He was subsequently promoted to business development director in 1995, a position which he held until 2001 when he was appointed as chief information officer. John was appointed as director of resorts operations with effect from August 2010, responsible for all resort operations as well as the sales and marketing thereof. In July this year, John was appointed to his current position of director of hospitality, where he oversees the strategic hospitality interests of the group and has also been tasked with, amongst other projects, the rebranding and launch of the new Sun International Vacation Club leisure product.