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South African Tourism announces new CEO

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has welcomed Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s appointment of Thandiwe January-Maclean as CEO of South African Tourism, ending months of speculation and anticipation in the industry.

“We are pleased that Minister van Schalkwyk and the South African Tourism Board have finally made the decision to appoint the CEO for South African Tourism, Ms Thandiwe January-Maclean,” says Mmatsatsi Marobe, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).

“We trust that her experience in managing other institutions within and outside South Africa, including her current role as our ambassador in Portugal, will come in handy to direct the future direction of South African Tourism.

“We look forward to increased co-operation and partnership with South African Tourism through the collection of the Tourism Marketing Levy and other initiatives to jointly grow our tourism economy.”

The appointment of January-Maclean comes at a crucial time for the private tourism sector, as it is in the process of gearing up to “deliver the South African experience” during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament presents South Africa with the opportunity to change perceptions about the country and increase global tourist arrivals “during [the competition] and long after the final whistle is blown”, says Marobe. “More work lies ahead for us to ensure that tourism in the country continues to grow and we will be looking to SA Tourism’s leadership for partnerships.”

The TBCSA has also commended the team at South African Tourism that, under the stewardship of Didi Moyle, steered the ship since March this year.

“Marketing experts will tell you that it is in tough times that marketing becomes even more important to retain your customers. In the midst of a global recession, South African Tourism, under the leadership of Ms Moyle, continued to promote the positive qualities of brand South Africa and ensured that travellers retain the destination on their schedules,” said Marobe.

“We congratulate Ms January-Maclean and welcome her to Team South Africa, and wish her success in taking destination South Africa to greater heights.”

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