THE GRADUATE School of Business/Financial Mail Distinguished Speakers' Programme got off to a rousing start this year with Cheryl Carolus, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism (SATOUR), taking the podium.
Carolus, who was formerly South African High Commissioner to London, delivered a challenging speech to a capacity audience at the BMW Pavilion on March 7.
"We are about to conclude a decade of freedom in South Africa," said Carolus. "In that time we have notched up a lot of successes, but there are still more challenges ahead. I challenge each and every one of you from the GSB to think about what your role will be in taking your country forward."
In her new role as CEO of SATOUR, Carolus said that one of her main priorities would be to further transformation in the tourism industry. She said that tourism has the potential to make a substantial difference in the lives of the people that need it most.
"What is common to both tourism and the GSB is that we have world-class products. Our challenge is to find out how we apply our first-world components to overcome our dreadful third-world legacy," she said.
"Our research has shown that there are many things that South Africa could be doing to leverage tourism in the country. So far we have only seen a few crumbs of a massive global cake of tourism."