Derek Hanekom appoints David Frost to the board of SA Tourism.

CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa), David Frost, has been appointed to the board of SA Tourism, effectively immediately.

Appointed by South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, Frost brings 21 years of experience in the tourism industry to the board, as well as a deep understanding of source markets, distribution channels and consumer behaviour, and a passion for selling destination South Africa.

A former Special Adviser to previous Tourism Ministers, Pallo Jordan and Vali Moosa, Frost also held the position of Managing Director of Tourvest’s Inbound Division, after which he set up a tourism strategy consulting business where he developed destination strategies for a number of SADC countries – the most successful of which was with Namibia in the mid-2000s. He has been at the helm of Satsa since September 2013.

The appointment has been met with anticipation and support by the local tourism industry.

“The tourism industry and SA Tourism are not as connected as they should be, and so this link would be invaluable,” says Martin Wiest, CEO of Tourvest Destination Management. He says Frost has the ear of the industry, which means that he can be a strong link between SA Tourism and the private sector.

Frost is not afraid of frank talking, and this is what is required to make local, provincial and national tourism entities more effective and to understand the private-sector requirements and the reality of doing business on the ground better, adds Craig Smith, Managing Director of New Frontiers Tours.

Chairman of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Blacky Komani, says the TBCSA – which works hand in hand with SA Tourism and the National Department of Tourism to guide the tourism direction of the country – is proud to have Frost on the SA Tourism board. “It is important for industry board positions to be occupied by industry experts. All of us at the TBCSA are proud to have David on the SA Tourism board. This will enhance our already strong partnership with them.”

CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, is ecstatic to have Frost join the board. “Over the last two years we’ve worked very hard to build a closer working relationship between SA Tourism and the industry, and we’ve really built our relationship with Satsa. David is a major voice and leader in this space, so with him being a part of SA Tourism, we look forward to his guidance, advice and also his counsel.”

Says Frost: I’m deeply honoured to be appointed by the Minister. I have huge respect for the team at SA Tourism and the great work they do. I would seek to foster closer synergies with the private sector around practical growth initiatives, which would amplify and enhance the current organisational strategy.”