Tolene van der Merwe to head South Africa tourism in UK

Travel industry expert Tolene van der Merwe will become the new UK country manager for South African Tourism it has been announced.

South African native, van der Merwe has more than 15 years’ experience in the travel industry, working on business to business and business to consumer initiatives.

She began her career in South Africa, at travel agency Exclusive Getaways, before becoming national sales manager at Gatsby International Hotels.

She then moved to the UK in 2005 to become product manager at African Affair Travel.

In 2007, van der Merwe launched her own company, London-based Boutique Travel Marketing, providing marketing and representation for African tourism products.

Commenting on the decision South Africa Tourism chief executive officer, Thulani Nzima, said: “Tolene is the ideal candidate for this job because of her wide-ranging and expert industry experience, both within South Africa and the UK.

“Her strong trade background means she is well-suited to driving our arrivals figures from the UK and maintaining its strong position as the number one market for international visitors to South Africa.”

Nigel Vere Nicoll, Atta CEO also welcomed the news in Tourism Update. "This appointment has been long awaited and I am delighted to welcome Tolene Van der Merwe to London and hope that she will further strengthen the bonds with this association which has such strong ties to South Africa."