Tourism Tracks Panellists - South African Travel & Tourism Summit

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
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',, Beautiful Bays and Great Wine Capitals of the
In 2004, Rick was appointed to South African Tourism to establish the National
Convention Bureau, to attract international meetings and conferences to the
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
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.
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