Top Women In Tourism


A formidable force for good in the tourism industry, African Travel Market (ATM) highlights the contribution of our key movers and shakers to find out what motivates and inspires them to even greater heights.

Lindiwe Rakharebe

CEO Of The Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC)

Lindiwe Rakharebe’s background is the corporate financial sector, having worked in managerial positions in all four of the major banking institutions in South Africa over the past 30 years. Before joining the Durban ICC in April this year, she was ABSA’s regional executive for KwaZulu-Natal. Rakharebe is well known for her passion and dedication to growing the KwaZulu-Natal economy. “My experience in the finance sector has groomed me to work well in a structured environment,” she explains. “Working at the Durban ICC is giving me the opportunity to home in on my creativity. Service excellence is crucial in this business and I believe that if you have love for people, so much more can be achieved.”

Mmatšatši Ramawela
CEO Of The Tourism Business Council Of South Africa (TBCSA)

Mmatšatši Ramawela’s took on the role of CEO in October 2006, after joining the TBCSA as its chief operating officer earlier that year. Her mandate is to provide a voice to organised business in the South African travel and tourism sector. The TBCSA uses this voice to influence macro-economic policies that affect the private sector. Under her leadership, the TBCSA has grown to encompass 16 sector associations. Ramawela’s career in the tourism sector spans more than 20 years. In 1996, she joined the National Parks Board as senior manager: marketing and was responsible for promoting the country’s 22 national parks. Among her achievements was the successful rebranding of the National Parks Board into South African National Parks. Before joining the TBCSA, she worked for the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority and the Limpopo Tourism Board. Ramawela is also a trained tourist guide.

Nina Freysen-Pretorius

President Of The International Congress And Convention Association (ICCA)

Appointed to this position on 2 November 2014, Nina Freysen-Pretorius is the ICCA’s first president from Africa and only the third female president in the association’s history. She was the ideal candidate to fulfil the ICCA’s mandate and drive growth for its members due to her boldness, strategic thinking abilities, and in-depth understanding of the international association meetings industry. Since founding The Conference Company in 1997, Freysen-Pretorius has becoming a driving force in the southern Africa conference industry




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Bewitched by the magic of France, Melissa Jane Cook is an intrepid explorer. A lover of traversing the globe, she eagerly absorbs different cultures and laps up the magnificent oceanic experiences. Wooed by words and writers alike, her penchant for facials, chocolate, owls and bugs, is surpassed only by her fascination with the stage aglow in lights or bookshelves that heave with stories, where characters invite her along on their marvellous journeys.