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Heidi van der Watt, one of Tourism South Africa’s most respected and knowledgeable responsible tourism specialists, has been appointed to the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme’s board of directors.Heidi’s appointment is perfectly timed as the STPP is gearing up for 2014, building on its successes of its first year.  The STPP is focused on main-streaming sustainable practices amongst small and entrepreneurial tourism businesses.
Heidi van der Watt

While the STPP was only established in December 2012, it has created awareness in 25 towns, formed partnership with Nedbank, Media Company Alive2Green and local social media giant,  MXIT , amongst others. The STPP works closely with patrons,  including  Glenn Phillips, Dr Azar Jammine, Eldrid Jordaan, Erald Felix and  Steve Haze to name but a few.

According to Niki Glen, Programme Director of the STPP, Heidi’s specialization in regional and local economic development, socio-economic assessments and responsible tourism raises the profile of the STPP. “We have a philosophy of collaboration and capacity building through partnerships and Heidi’s appointment exemplifies this.  She has joined us earlier in 2013 as a Patron, as she also believes that strong collaboration is they key to successs for all and the foundation of tourism sustainability”, continues Niki.

Heidi  has worked in the economic and spatial development arena for just short of 20 years.  Her project experience spans local economic development strategies, market assessments, feasibility studies, business planning, tourism sector strategies, and programme monitoring and evaluation.  She has undertaken projects for local, provincial and national government, government tourism agencies, private sector investors and financing across South Africa.  Internationally, she has worked in Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Seychelles, Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Russia, Tanzania and India.  Combined with her commitment and strong networks, her experience significantly enhances STPPs profile in the industry.

Heidi will continue her role as Consultant for ED/GE Tourism Solutions and various other tourism portfolios, while supporting the STPP with  stakeholder engagement and  programme development in in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape.  Heidi teams up with 3 founding members Caroline Ungersbock, who has significantly improved the profile of small business in the industry over the past 3 years, Niki Glen, with a strong programme management background and well into attaining a PhD in Sustainable Tourism and  Adv. Louis Nel, advising many tourism partners on legal, risk and compliance matters.  The programme is set to drive significant sustainable change to the tourism industry in the next 10 years, and aims to build more strong partnerships along the way.

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