RT in Cities Conference – speaker updates

Since the last pre-conference update, the following speakers have been confirmed, in addition to Ron Mader (of Planeta.com) and Mariette du Toit-Helmbold (of Cape Town Tourism): 

Nombulelo Mkefa, Director of Tourism for the City of Cape Town, has overseen and guided the drafting and adoption of the responsible tourism policy and action plan that was formally adopted by the Cape Town City Council in 2009. A longstanding advocate of responsible tourism, she has been at the centre of Cape Town’s drive to see RT taken up across the destination, working closely with officials, the tourism industry, local community organisations, academic experts and other stakeholders, giving her a broad, firsthand knowledge of the issues and practical realities facing local city government regarding responsible tourism.

Pierre Voges, CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency, has deep expertise in developing and analysing the business case for investments intended to drive economic development in South African cities. Formerly with Grant Thornton (Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure) and Chief Director of Trade and Industry (in Cape Town), he has been a diplomat at the Hague and in Bonn, as well as working in the office of the President under Nelson Mandela on international finance. Pierre has been a key driver of a series of ground-breaking economic development projects in Nelson Mandela Bay that are being implemented in alignment with the principles of responsible tourism, with investments that benefit local residents while strengthening the tourism industry.

In addition to the moderators and panellists previously introduced, the following people will be sharing their expertise during the conference:

Nkosinathi Manzana, COO, Johannesburg Development Agency
Bhekithemba Langalibele, National Department of Tourism
Marnie Heim-Stafford, VOLUNTOURS
Mike Gcabo, Chairperson, Tshwane Tourism Action Team
Sheryl Ozinsky, former CEO of Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, sustainability and tourism consultant
Iain Harris, CEO, Coffeebeans Routes tour operator in Cape Town
Jacques Stoltz, Urban Genesis consulting and formerly with Gauteng Tourism Authority working on major tourism development projects in Alexandria

The afternoon sessions will be focused, practical, case study-driven workshops for tourism businesses on implementing responsible tourism management and marketing responsible tourism products and experiences. These include: Open Africa, Abang Africa, and The Green Cab.

Virtual participation encouraged

For those who are unable to be in Durban on the day, or once all available slots have been filled, participation has been enabled via the internet at no cost.

All presentations and discussions from the mini-conference will be broadcast in real time via the web allowing for simultaneous virtual participation by delegates around the world. Questions will be submitted and parallel discussion will take place via Twitter in real time (hashtag #rtcities).

All sessions and lunch will be provided at no cost on a first-come basis.

Full details about the conference, speakers, themes, and more are available here.