The WTM Africa Travel & Tourism Awards judges bring together a breadth of expertise from throughout the travel and tourism industry.
Meet our judges
With her proven ability to innovate and lead big teams, Carol brings a unique and unstoppable force to the Reed team. A strategist at heart, Carol delights in growing both personally and professionally as well as empowering her team to reach new heights and develop their own path to success. Those closest to Carol can bear testimony to her commitment to living out her daily mantra, carpe diem, “seize the day”, to the full.
Carol is the past Chairperson of the Exhibition Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) and former Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO). She is also on the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) committee and the World. In 2018 Carol was also named a board member for the African Tourism Board.
Dionne has over 30 years’ experience in high profile entertainment and lifestyle PR and brand management. Her long term relationships with key clients is testament to her ability to put the client`s needs first, focusing on achieving their goals cost effectively.
Passionate and vivacious, Dionne will go to the ends of the earth for our clients. Her effervescence and endearing personality, make it almost impossible for media to refuse her pitches!
From April 2018 to May 2019 Gillian was Special Advisor to the then Tourism Minister; Minister Derek Hanekom. Prior to that, until mid-2018 she was Deputy CEO of Audit Tax and Advisory Firm, Grant Thornton in Johannesburg, and head of their Advisory Services in South Africa. Gillian’s client facing expertise while at Grant Thornton was consulting to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries and she has a long track record, of more than 30 years in her speciality area.
Gillian has a BSc Hotel Catering and Tourism Administration (Surrey 1981) and an MBA (Wits 1988 cum Laude). Gillian is the author of a number of articles and a regular commentator in the media on many issues related to Tourism and Hospitality. She is a member (and previous chairperson) of the board of the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality and is passionate about education and education in the Hospitality and Tourism sector.
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.
Damian Cook is the founder and CEO of ETourism Frontiers- a major global initiative to develop online tourism in developing markets globally. He has extensive experience with digital and content development and marketing working within DMOs, the private sector and as a consultant. He is a frequent and popular presenter at global tourism forums.
After working in both the public and private sector developing destination websites and online marketing campaigns he formed E-Tourism Frontiers taking a practical, business driven approach to developing practical tourism strategies and public-private partnerships around the world. He is a Board Director of the African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta). He founded and managed the DATA project with TripAdvisor which creates regional forums for DMOs to share analytical data and discuss digital best practice..
E-Tourism Frontiers has successfully trained over 7000 tourism professionals, small to medium businesses and tourism students and has brought leading International experts and major travel firms and intermediaries to new markets to do business for the first time. He has written and published a practical guide to digital tourism for emerging markets. He has worked in tourism development, strategic planning and digital marketing training projects in many destinations, including South Africa, Jordan, the Seychelles, Kenya, Cambodia, Mozambique and many more. He is a recognized expert in the field and a registered USAID expert consultant in the field of Digital Tourism.
David Frost is CEO of SATSA. David has 25 years’ experience at an executive level in tourism strategy. An economist by training, he worked for the COSATU trade union movement prior to joining The Premier Group in 1994, where he ended up as head of Corporate Strategy. He was seconded as Special Advisor on Tourism to Ministers Jordan and Moosa by the Business Trust.
He then joined Tourvest in 1998 and was MD of the Inbound Division. David established his own bespoke consultancy – the Tourism Strategy Company in 2001 and has consulted widely to leading private sector companies as well as developed destination strategies for a number of SADC countries. He has been at the helm at SATSA since September 2013.
Enver Duminy acquired his B.Sc. Degree in Computer Science and Mathematical Statistics from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and is a qualified Microsoft Certified Professional and IBM Solutions Provider. Duminy has also completed his MBA through the Management College of South Africa. He started out his career working in the Information Technology departments of companies like IBM, Eskom and Nedbank and has worked as the Head of Operations at Integer Financial Services. In January 2010, a passion-driven career change saw Duminy join Cape Town Tourism as the Executive Manager of Tourism Services whereafter he was appointed as CEO in August 2013.
Duminy’s current focus as CEO of Cape Town Tourism is to work alongside his team and the stakeholders of Cape Town Tourism (including more than 1500 signed-up members), to find ways to address seasonality in Cape Town by combining innovation and agility. He is passionate about Cape Town, not only because it is his home town, but because of its blend of natural beauty, interesting history and diverse cultures. His vision is to peel back the layers that make Cape Town what it is today - a thriving metropolis at the tipping point of the African continent , recognised as a global challenger through tourism. Duminy lives in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town with his wife Karen and their daughter Grace.
Harold is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracts 2000 participants each year and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and chairs the panels of judges for the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family, Africa, India and Ireland.
Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.
Juergen Thomas Steinmetz
Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. Juergen Steinmetz started the African Tourism Board as a founding chairman in 2018 and is now CMCO of the South Africa based NGO. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation.
His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.
Keith Jenkins founded iambassador and began offering social media and marketing services in 2011. Keith is also the founder and publisher of the Velvet Escape luxury travel blog. Based in Amsterdam, Keith left his ten-year investment banking career to travel the world and carve out a new career as a travel blogger and social media advocate. He has visited more than 80 countries across six continents.
In addition to being a travel blogger, Keith often speaks at travel and social media conferences. He is also the co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network, a community of travel bloggers. Keith has been featured in The New York Times, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic Traveler, and has spoken at TEDxTalk.
Natalia Rosa is a passionate follower of online marketing, social media, retail travel, inbound tourism and publishing.
Natalia has editing, writing and management experience in the content generation, online marketing, social media and publishing fields, has completed an online marketing diploma with University of Stellenbosch, Honours in Journalism and Media Studies and Masters in Publishing with specialisation in online publishing field cum laude. [Based in Cape Town but spends half her life in Jo’burg]
Ngozi Ngoka holds a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Benin, Nigeria. She began her professional life in the logistics department of a construction company and soon realized her passion was for people, travelling, history and culture and actively participating in movement from one place to the other. She decided to pursue a career in travel & tourism and consequently proceeded to the United Kingdom to take post graduate courses in Tourism, Culture and Society; Creating Attractions; Global Festivals; and Events Management.
Ngozi is passionate about the tourism industry and frequently participates in tourism trade shows and conferences where she delivers topical academic papers and participates in tourism discussion panels all over the world. She is the pioneer chairperson of the Education and Training Committee of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) and is a member of the committee set up by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to make recommendations for grading and standardization of hotels and tourism accommodation facilities in Nigeria. She has also provided tourism advisory services for two State Governments in Nigeria.
Otto de Vries
Otto is the CEO of ASATA (Association of Southern African Travel Agents), past Chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) and board of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). He has been active in the travel industry for 30 years, 20 of those in senior management roles in the inbound, retail and wholesale sectors.
He is a WTAAA delegate to the IATA Passenger Agency Global Joint Council (PAPGJC) and currently Chairs the WTAAA Air Committee. Through the Council he has participated on a number of sub-committees, including the steering group on NDC Thought Leadership, the Transparency in Payment Advisory Group and the IATA ADM Working Group. Closer to home he actively participates in the Tourism Leadership Forum (TLF) and through the TBCSA worked on several committees that focused on the B-BBEE Tourism Sector Code amendments; amendments to the South African Immigration Act and the Market Access/ Regulatory Environment Working Committee of the Department of Tourism.
Thembi is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Tourvest IME (Incentives, Meetings and Events), a South African company with a global footprint specialising in the MICE industry.
Thembi has a Communications Degree from the University of Fort-Hare. Her tourism career took off in 1994, when she was appointed Public Relations Officer for the then Jan Smuts Airport.
She went on to become the first and youngest black female to manage an airport in South Africa, when she took over as Head of George Airport, Western Cape in 1997.
Thembi has since worked as an Executive at South African Tourism, the Tourism Grading Council, Cape Town Tourism as well as RETOSA (Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa – a SADC Body). Being appointed as Founding Chairperson of the Lilizela Tourism Awards, South Africa’s premier tourism awards in 2013 was one of her industry highlights.
Travel & Tourism Awards
Take a look at the award categories you can enter or put forward a nomination
See our past winners
Click here the to view our winners and finalists under each category