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New date for TIA360 eThekwini Tourism Investment Symposium

Investing in tourism to build our nation


The TIA360 eThekwini Tourism Investment Symposium, which was due to be held on July 29, will now take place one week later on Thursday, August 5.
It is hoped that the event will help to retain investment in Durban, KZN’s tourism industry and improve the city’s image. This is part of an ongoing series of partnership interventions under the TIA360 banner.
Says eThekwini Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda: “Despite the recent unrest and destruction in parts of KwaZulu Natal, it is now more important than ever to push ahead with this important conference to ensure tourism projects receive vital funding and support by matching them with supportive stakeholders, and some to potential investors.
“We are committed to the objectives of the event, which is to give tourism project owners an opportunity to meet and connect with thought leaders and potential investors, whilst being inspired with fresh approaches to increase business trade plus the rate of investment into sustainable propositions.
“Despite the recent upheavals and the challenges we face, business and government need to join forces to come up with ideas and solutions that will make this country attractive to tourists and investors,” adds the Mayor.

The virtual conference will be held in partnership with eThekwini Municipality’s Invest Durban unit as the lead, supported by Durban Tourism, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, plus investment industry leaders such as SAVCA (the SA Venture Capital Association).
Part of the work involves the construction of an investment Project Book to increase the scale and speed of investment engagements.  The event will conclude with key Launch Announcements of further global corporate support via TIA360, plus also serve as a forerunner to a more comprehensive Investment Summit in 2022. 
It will take place via Zoom with this year’s theme being “A Dream, a Pipeline and Sustainable Rebirth”. You can use this link to register:
There are six sessions: AgriTourism; Community Tourism; Eventing4Tourism; Tech4Tourism; Finance4Tourism; and Education4Tourism, running from 09:00 to 18:30, with global and local experts in their fields taking part.
Speakers include:
His Worship, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda
Mayor: eThekwini Municipality
Opening Welcome
Thursday, August 5 at 09h30
His Worship, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda has a rich socio-political activism background. Over the years he has distinguished himself as a committed cadre of the African National Congress and served in various leadership roles in both the ANC Youth League and provincial structures. Born in Inanda, Durban, he gained political consciousness early and became active from the age of 15. He was involved in student politics and youth political activism during the hard days of violence. Cllr Kaunda obtained his Diploma in Governance and Leadership from the University of South Africa and an Advanced Diploma in Advanced Governance and Public Leadership from the University of Witwatersrand. From 2000 to 2006, he served as a Ward 57 Councillor in Inanda and from 2006-2009, he was Proportional Representation Councillor in eThekwini Municipality. He has also served in various council portfolios such as the Economic Development and Planning Sub-Committee and Market Adhoc Committee. 
Russell Curtis
Head: Invest Durban, & Durban Chamber Board Member
Closing address
Thursday, August 5 at 17h10
Russell Curtis holds the degree of CA(IB), Institute of Bankers SA, plus MBA(Essentials) from the London School of Economics. During his 15 years in Corporate Banking and Financial Services he was Chairman of The Institute of Bankers, KZN. For the past 18 years he has been in charge of Durban’s Investment Promotion Authority, known as Invest Durban (Ethekwini Metro). He is a Board Member of the Durban Chamber of Commerce, past Chairman of the Institute of Directors, KZN, and one of the Founding Directors of City Story Durban, a Christian NGO generating practical socio-economic change. Internationally, Russell has sat in the UN Investment Advisory Council 2008/9 and 2016/17, served on the MCI/World Bank Expert Advisory Group on City Investment Promotion, and was a UN World Investment Forum Panelist in 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018.  He also holds several post-graduate qualifications in Financial Management, Project Management, Corporate Finance, Securities Brokerage, and company Directorship.

Sindile Xulu
CEO and symposium convenor: TIA360

Setting the scene
Thursday, August 5 at 09h30
Sindile Xulu is a businesswoman, social entrepreneur and advocate for women, with more than 25 years’ experience in business strategy, operations, concept development and management across a range of sectors. She has spent over 15 years in tourism, first with SA Tourism in the USA and later becoming Country Manager, looking after the domestic market. Xulu was also responsible for the execution of the Sho’t Left campaign and Tourism Indaba amongst other notable marketing campaigns. Sindile was previously with the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) as head of hospitality. She is currently running her own business, making contributions in women enterprise and entrepreneurial development, tourism, business eventing, farming, training, renewable energy, project management, monitoring and evaluation and entertainment. Xulu studied travel and tourism in the USA, Programme and Project Management from the University of Pretoria and Wine Business from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
Cathy Goddard
CEO & Founding Partner: FyreFem Fund Managers and SAVCA Board Member
FLASH FIND – De-stressing what is in distress
Thursday, August 5 at 13h50
Cathy Goddard is the CEO and founding partner in a South African-based BEE women-owned private equity fund manager FyreFem Fund Managers, a Category 2 FSCA-registered fund manager with a focus on SMEs, gender and jobs. She is a board member of the Southern African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (SAVCA) and the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). 
Goddard is an investment committee member of Spear Capital, a Scandinavian-backed fund which provides growth capital funding in Africa and is currently incubating two SA SME Fund funded venture capital firms for FSCA Compliance purposes, both based in Cape Town, and one Enterprise Development Trust. She is a registered senior business rescue practitioner and has experience in working with distressed assets and turnarounds.
Jacqui Taylor
Founder and MD: AgriTourism SA & AgriTourism Africa
SESSION 3 – Agri-tourism: Sowing the seeds for an eternal harvest – thoughts on growing tourism on farms.
Thursday, August 5 at 12h50
Jacqui Taylor has more than 30 years’ communications and marketing experience in the agricultural and tourism industry. Agritourism South Africa is a facilitator of employment opportunities, an additional income generator to rural communities and a means to empower women and the youth. Taylor started her journey in 2016 by creating an internet hub highlighting tourism farm experiences that allowed tourists to incorporate visits to farms as part of their travel plans. She is passionate about rural tourism, agriculture, conservation, ecotourism, cultural diversity and sustainable agritourism initiatives and has succeeded in developing domestic and international marketing strategies for a number of destinations, with the focus on sustainable agritourism, ecotourism and rural tourism initiatives. Taylor is an advisory member on the Yonder International Committee and a member of the SA Association of Agricultural Journalists, the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is also a member of Vinpro, the National Science & Technology Forum, Agri SA, the African Food Security Forum and Wildlife Ranching South Africa.
Judy Kepher-Gona
Founder & Advisor: Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda, Kenya

SESSION 1 – Community Tourism: By the Community, for the Community – Sustainable Tourism for Life.
Thursday, August 5 at 10h15
Judy Kepher Gona has more than two decades of working in sustainable tourism in Africa as a manager, strategist, researcher, lecturer, global speaker, motivator and consultant. Her interests are in community led models of tourism, integration of communities in tourism supply chain, sustainability assessment and reporting. In 2018, Women Academics in Tourism (WAIT) recognized her among the top 50 awesome scholars in tourism. In 2019, she was awarded the Sustainable Citizen Award by Forbes Woman Africa in recognition of outstanding contribution to awareness and knowledge of sustainability in tourism in Africa and beyond. In 2020, Centre for Responsible Tourism awarded a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to sustainable tourism and in the same year she was named amongst 40 global shakers in sustainable tourism. Kepher-Gona holds a master’s degree in Community Development & Rural Sociology and is the founder of Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA).
Kevin Czok
Managing Partner: Hotel Data Cloud, Dubai
SESSION 5 – Tech4Tourism: Changing Fast & Bringing New Opportunities – Get in the Know.
Thursday, August 5 at 15h10
After several years working as an investment manager for a corporate VC, Kevin Czok co-founded Hotel Data Cloud, a company that helps hotels win back control of the descriptive content of their listings by establishing a globally consistent standard with automated distribution to all channels. 
Markus Nellessen
Investor: Intosol Luxesreisen, Germany
SESSION 2 – Eventing4Tourism: Working for Sold Out Bookings 52 Weeks of the Year.
Thursday, August 5 at 11h10
Markus Nellessen is a former banker in Europe and investor in different businesses such as the travel industry and digitalisation. Among others, he is invested in Investec, a German- based award-winning, international luxury travel company providing bespoke travel solutions globally, utilising its highly experienced travel consultants and proprietary itinerary management technology. The company is actively expanding on its successful core business of designing luxury trips to more than 3500 global destinations with a main focus on South Africa, into the real estate market through the acquisition of luxury boutique properties for its SOUL Private Collection in South Africa. Nellessen is involved in creating investment models for international investors into travel businesses such as boutique hotels, safari lodges, wine farms and others. Main focus of the investments into South Africa are based on sustainability, integration of communities, educational programmes and environmental protection. 
Tanya van Lill
SESSION 6 – Financing4Tourism: Now is the time for innovative funding solutions and investment strategies
Thursday, August 5 at 16:10
Tanya van Lill joined SAVCA in March 2017 after a 10-year career at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) with her last role being director of academic programmes. Van Lill is passionate about human and organisational development and during her time as a learning and development specialist, focusing on management and leadership development, she gained valuable experience working with various companies across a wide range of sectors.
She holds an MBA and post-graduate diploma from GIBS where her MBA research focused on methods to develop a global mindset as well as a BCom Informatics and Honours in Business Management from Unisa. Van Lill is fervent about developing the private equity and venture capital sector in Southern Africa.

For all media enquiries contact Neo Motlhala at or cell +27 (0) 72 349-4081 or Grant Bushby on and Janine Greenleaf Walker on

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