News from Africa
16 June 2017 , 8:36 am

What are the qualities of the top travel leaders of tomorrow?

We are living in a constantly changing world, increasingly dynamic and challenging. This complexity also affects the travel business environment, which never stops evolving.

As South Africa is celebrating Youth Day, we decided to have a look at which qualities the young travel leaders of tomorrow need to succeed!

We chatted to industry leaders across South Africa for their views.

“Be proactive and make a difference,” says Mary Shilleto, CEO Thompsons Travel

“When I think of young leaders in the industry, I think of outstanding young women like Priti Ramkassoon, Chantal Kliche, Nthabaseng Kekae, Sharon Leong, Kaps Phiri, Lizette Titus, Marelize De Beer, who I am privileged to work with,” says Mary Shilleto, CEO Thompsons Travel.

She explains:

Instead of owning up to mistakes once they’re discovered, bring them to light themselves and have a solution ready.

Instead of asking for training, do it on your own.

Instead of doing what you are told, be proactive. If you see a problem fix it, do whatever it needs to make a difference.

Build relationships with other divisions in your company – person to person interactions are always more effective

Be the calm in a crisis.

“All the above girls do these very things!!!” says Mary.

“Leaders of tomorrow will need people skills to succeed,” says Sure Travel’s Rachael Penaluna

“We all know travel has changed the most in the last 10 years. Not only systems and accessibility but travellers too have changed,” says Sure Travel’s Rachael Penaluna. She explains Generation Y travellers are constantly connected and on the look- out for something better, cheaper, faster, instantly. “Young travel consultants have a distinct advantage, because they understand their own generation and what appeals to them.”

Having said that, Rachael is quick to add that older travel consultants bring dedication, responsibility, passion and a hands-on approach – old school tactics that will always apply and traits that the online realm does not have.  She says: “I believe the secret is to merge the two.”

According to Rachael, the significance of person-to-person and experiential learning is extremely important for younger consultants, it is something they can benefit from and utilise as a valuable skill in dealing with their peers when consulting. They need to know how to apply knowledge and people skills to ensure that the travel industry remains a personal touch industry!

For Rachael, Robyn Daneel –Spicer embodies all of the above, she is in between both generations and has a good handle on the future of travel and how to get there successfully!


“Passion and Dedication are qualities leaders of tomorrow will need,” says Club Travel’s Minette Fourie

“Important qualities in a leader in travel would be passion and dedication to the team and the customer,” says Club Travel’s Minette Fourie. She adds flexibility is another important quality youngsters who want to make it in the travel industry will need to have. “They’ll have to be able to roll with the punches, as things can change so drastically in the matter of a split-second in the travel industry.”

In light of this changing environment, Minette explains that being able to effectively communicate with your team is of critical importance.  She adds: “Above all I believe that loyalty and pride in what you do will help you rise out from the rest.”



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This post was written by Amadeus Africa Team

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