news / Focus on Women - Tolene Van der Merwe: South African Tourism Hub Head UK & Ireland
17th Oct 2018
Tolene Van der Merwe joined South African Tourism as Hub Head for the UK & Ireland in October 2014. She is responsible for the overall marketing and brand management in the UK for South Africa. She and her team in London work closely with the travel trade to educate them and help them inspire travellers to book a trip to the destination. With 20 years' experience in the travel and tourism industry, Tolene has also worked as Director of a hotel representation company - Boutique Travel Marketing, as a Product Manager for African Affair Travel, as National Sales Manager for Gatsby International Hotels and as a senior consultant at Exclusive Getaways. Tolene has a tourism diploma from Damelin College in Port Elizabeth."Nelson Mandela has been a huge inspiration to me in my life and in my career. He is one of our nation's most powerful exports and I stand alongside many South African women who have been influenced by his values and apply them to their everyday lives. Almost a third (29%) of senior roles in South Africa are now filled by women - a number which is steadily rising every year and I believe Madiba's strength, integrity, morality, compassion and humanity has and will continue to inspire a new generation of female leaders."