Women in hospitality industry recognised
A POSITIVE attitude is what speakers at the second Celebrating Women in Hospitality Gala Dinner stressed on Sunday as being essential in the pursuit of successful business.
The Summerstrand Hotel was filled with elegantly dressed women – and a few men – who work in the hospitality business.
Guest speakers shared words of appreciation and encouragement of the women who work behind the scenes in the city’s tourism industry.
The annual event is the brainchild of former cleaner-turned-businesswoman Francine Zana, who said she initiated it to give the women a taste of what it was like to get dressed up and be served for a change.
Zana owns Exclusive Hospitality Concepts, a consulting company catering for hotels, B&Bs and private homes.
“The event is aimed at the women working behind the scenes every day in the hospitality industry, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend such evenings,” Zana said.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism chief executive Mandlakazi Skefile commended Zana for the event and the women for the hours of labour they put into serving guests, saying the industry would not be what it was without them.
“The Nelson Mandela Bay tourism industry is contributing about R17-billion to our GDP and sustaining about 38 000 jobs.
“It is the second biggest industry after the automotive industry and you are [its] heartbeat and we value your hard work,” Skefile told the women.
Other speakers were Blunden Tours owner Shaun Blunden, Old Mutual regional manager Mathapelo Siphamla, My Pond Hotel general manager Sisonke Mapuma and Aphile Communications chief executive Dr Mthembeni Tebelele.
HIGH PROFILE: Mandlakazi Skefile addresses the Celebrating Women in Hospitality event