The WTM Africa Travel & Tourism Awards judges bring together a breadth of expertise from throughout the travel and tourism industry.
Meet our judges
Chris Mears, African Travel and Tourism Association
Chris Mears has spent his whole career working in African tourism and has extensive travel experience.
Chris is based in the UK, working as CEO of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA®), a trade association focused on promoting tourism to Africa from all corners of the world with over 650 members spread across 49 countries globally.
Michelle Page, Service Gurus
Michelle has been in the Hospitality and Tourism industry for over 28 years, I believes that enabling individuals especially the youth and women to empower themselves is a necessity that contributes to the upliftment of our society.
Michelle is co-owner of ServicesGurus , a business that focuses on people development, performance culture, skills development and enabling team members.
Dr Harold Goodwin is a Professor Emeritus and Responsible Tourism Director at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and adviser to the World Travel Market on its Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London, WTM Africa, Latin America and Arabian Travel Market.
Lesley Simpson, LSC
LoAnn Halden is Vice President-Communications for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. In her communications role, LoAnn frequently speaks to global media outlets about LGBTQ+ tourism trends and has participated in travel sessions for consumers and trade on five continents, including WTM Africa, the Barcelona LGBTI Tourism Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, GNetwork360 in Buenos Aires and the JATA Expo in Tokyo.
She is based in Fort Lauderdale, home to IGLTA headquarters, and London, but has been passionate about Africa travel since her first visit in 1996/97: a two-month trip around South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Shireen Onia Service Gurus
Serial entrepreneur, Shireen is committed to provide support and guidance to the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Customer Service industries. Improving the way that businesses are run to create a better working environment for all. Building her businesses from the ground up, she has carved an illustrious career in a fast moving industry and continues to thrive. Currently, she runs ServiceGurus, a learning and development company; as well as Propati Cape Town, a short and long term property management business. She has just launched PropaClean, a subscription based information hub which hosts training and more for domestic workers and office cleaners. Her vast experience extends to general management, project management, professional qualifications and 24 years of operational exposure and engagement. Shireen has developed impeccable communication skills which now prove her to be an articulate Motivational Speaker and MC. Dedicated to championing women by motivating, uplifting, and empowering, Shireen offers implementable advice on an individual and business level. Motivated by her desire to create an impact in the industry, Shireen has shared her insight as a business coach and project manager for Future Females, Trade Forward Southern Africa, a committee member of the Cape Chamber, a board member of Fedhasa, Cape Town Tourism and Women In Tourism Western Cape.
Beks Ndlovu, African Bush Camps
CEO of African Bush Camps (ABC), and professional guide, Beks Ndlovu, was born in the small rural village of Lupane, on the outskirts of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. His formative years in the bush ingrained a passion for wildlife and conservation that has been burning since.
Beks has become a leading voice in the tourism and conservation spheres, always advocating for tourism to be used as a vehicle to transform African communities and conserve wildlife.
Kojo Bentum-Williams is the Founder and Publisher of Africa’s leading travel and tourism Publication, VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine, and Media. A communication professional with over 12 years in working in travel and tourism trade. He is currently the Senior Expert for Communications in Africa at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and aide to the Secretary General.
Kojo has worked closely with a number of African Tourism Ministers, Convention Bureaus, and CEOs of National Tourism Boards in Africa as well as the Africa’s Tourism Private Sector.
Louise has enjoyed an exciting career in the hospitality industry spanning over 25 years. After studying at Granger bay hotel school she started her career in Operations and quickly moved to sales and marketing. She’s had the privilege of working in some exciting places, all in a sales and service capacity – from Super yachts in the South of France, to London’s iconic O2 arena where she was responsible for looking after premium hospitality in seating and suites. She progressed to Business travel where her focus shifted to technology sales and large scales operations and efficiencies.
Louise now works in hotel technology driving direct revenue for independent and hotel groups globally through Allora.ai which leads the way in using ai to drive engagement and increase conversions, optimising the profitability of the hotels direct channel.
Natalia Rosa is the CEO of Big Ambitions, a specialist travel and tourism communications and marketing organisation in tourism and travel. Exceptionally well connected within the tourism and travel sectors in South Africa, Natalia is a communications, marketing and PR expert in the industry.
Travel & Tourism Awards
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See our past winners
Click here the to view our winners and finalists under each category