2020 was a year of unprecedented falls in international travel for Africa and worldwide, but the roll-out of vaccines offers hope for recovery and some return to normality. In this session, we will discuss the risks and opportunities in the African region, assessing the areas for faster growth and future gains. The panel will consider factors that could drive more rapid growth in demand, including wider economic trends, as well as drivers of destination market share such as infrastructure and openness, as well as both physical and digital connectivity.
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Area Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Radisson Hotel Group
Based in Dubai, Tim is responsible for leading hotel operations and delivering business growth and profit across the group’s largest area, with over 100 hotels in operation and over 80 hotel projects in the development pipeline. As a young and dynamic hotelier, Tim brings a level of knowledge, skills and experience, which are critical to Radisson Hotel Group’s expansion plans and strategic operations across the Middle East and Africa. A British national, Tim has been with Radisson Hotel Group (formerly Carlson Rezidor) since 2003 and was recently appointed Area Senior Vice President for the Middle East & Africa in 2017.
Senior Political Economist at NKC
Francois is a Senior Political Economist at NKC. He studied a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, and holds an MPhil in Futures Studies from the same university. After teaching French and English in Cape Town for a year he began his career in marketing, then spent three years in financial services in Tunisia and Morocco. He started doing political analysis for NKC in August 2011 and was Head of Research from 2016 to 2019. In that role he piloted research work related to the lower commodity-price environment and concerns about Africa’s debt levels, questions over the effects on the continent of a global trade war, and the outlook for trade integration in Africa, while also managing the company’s ad hoc consulting projects. Francois also fulfilled a pivotal role in developing NKC African Economics’ political risk rating methodology
Senior Analyst: Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google
Yolanda Mlonzi is the Government Affairs and Public Policy Analyst at Google South Africa. Yolanda holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in International Relations and Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, where she was awarded the Wits Postgraduate Merit Award. At Google she is responsible for managing relationships with government, regulators, non-profits and other key stakeholders. She started her career in ICT policy as a Google Policy Fellow where she was hosted at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
Managing Director, Europe and Middle East, Oxford Economics
David has been instrumental in developing Oxford Economics’ tourism forecast models and continues to contribute to the team’s regular updates of the global tourism forecasts for 185 countries and 300 cities; as well as air passenger forecast database; and hotel performance forecast models developed in conjunction with STR. David leads the team’s analysis of tourism trends, forecasts and impacts and regularly presents to client groups, conferences and webinars. He leads the team in economic impact analysis for the tourism sector, including a detailed understanding of different travel activities.