Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA), the official destination marketing agency for the Gauteng City Region, is pleased to announce its new chief executive officer, Ms Sthembiso "Sthe" Dlamini.
Ms Dlamini previously served as the acting chief executive officer of South African Tourism and was confirmed by Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Parks Tau as the new GTA chief executive following an extensive recruitment process which involved the GTA Board, the MEC and the Gauteng Provincial Executive Council (EXCO). She is expected to officially assume her responsibilities from Monday, 6 December 2021.
Sthembiso brings in a wealth of experience and strategic management capabilities having formerly presided over South African Tourism as its acting CEO and substantially its chief operations officer for the past seven years. During her tenure at the SA Tourism, she championed the agency’s organisational redesign process, the infusion of heightened marketing intelligence in driving tourism marketing programmes and further worked tirelessly in the development and adoption of the tourism recovery plan, a multi-stakeholder driven blueprint for tourism recovery and sustainability following the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the sector.
In confirming her appointment, GTA Board of Directors chairperson Judi Nwokedi urged the new CEO to continue working hard in consolidating the city region’s standing as Africa’s leading business and leisure destination with breathtaking and countless township tourism offerings, world-class museums housing our rich political and cultural heritage and the birthplace of humankind. Her task is now made harder by the unjustified travel bans imposed by many country especially from our key source markets on South Africa. Destination Gauteng plays a crucial role as the lead point of entry and the start of a memorable bleisure tourism experience.
Dlamini takes over from Yoland Kona who resigned in September 2020 and acting CEO Barba Gaoganediwe who has been at the helm since October 2020 to date. As the GTA Board we would like to thank Gaoganediwe and his management collective for steering the ship especially having to navigate through a difficult period of Covid-19 pandemic which has capitulated the sector resulting in massive job losses and low tourism revenues.
We are proud that, during his acting tenure the GTA received its seventh consecutive clean-audit, a feat we believe the new CEO will continue on.
Tourism in Gauteng continues to contribute around 4% to the total provincial workforce and its estimated 4% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product by Region and 9% overall nationally highlights the sector’s importance to the economy of Gauteng and the country. In hard numbers we are talking in excess of over 200,000 people employed by the sector, contributing in the region of R30bn per annum to the provincial economy.
Dlamini is expected to hit the ground running as the golden city region of Gauteng is seized with its #Jab4tourism drive to encourage high number of vaccination amongst the frontline tourism staff in restaurants, museums, hotels and other tourism amenities in the build-up to the festive summer period and the forth wave of Covid infections.