Jonny Gardner | Happy Snappy

What an incredible two years it has been. To be a part of the current board  during a global pandemic has certainly tested my ability to adapt and overcome.

Whilst we did navigate well through a difficult time, I still believe I have more to offer to the board. I see AAVEA growing in its support for the industry and

its reach to newer and more established attractions who need it most. With my experience in working with numerous local and international attractions I believe I can offer the board a glimpse into how different attractions operate and how we can best serve our members. I aim to further my studies in the coming months in an aim to improve my capabilities both professionally and whilst serving on the board. With this, I would truly appreciate your consideration to serve a second term on the board.



Mandi Jarman | City Sightseeing

I would hereby like to express my interest in availing myself for re-election to the AAVEA Board. I am confident that my over 20 years’ experience in the tourism and attractions industry will continue to equipt me to contribute constructively to the task of assisting with the growth and development of the attractions industry in South Africa.

My career path has brought me in contact with various types of attractions and services starting with my time spent at the Two Oceans Aquarium in the role of tourism trade development and was honored to be part of the inaugural set up team.

As marketing manager of the Planet Hollywood brand in South Africa, I enjoyed the experience of working with a popular international franchise. Planet Hollywood also gave me first have experience handling emergency situations, terrorism threats and loss of life when the restaurant was bombed in 1998.

Time spent working with Cape Town Tourism was enjoyed assisting the development of new business and marketing and networking across all levels of our industry. Aquila Game Reserve was a great learning curve in guest services and the logistics of large groups of visitors and overnight guests. This also led the to the creation of the NPO – Saving private Rhino and the handling the social media and PR requirements after a poaching attack on the reserve.

Working in IT for an online booking system funded by FNB and then joining the team at City Sightseeing has given me a rounded view of the attractions and tourism industry on all levels and I hope to continue to be of use and service to the AAVEA Board.



Tinyiko Mageza| V&A Waterfront

This letter serves as a motivation to stand as a member of the Board of African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attraction (AAVEA). I attach a brief summary of my biographical details and CV which I hope will provide a flavour of the experience I would bring to the Board.
While my 15 year career in Strategic Brand and Direct Marketing has spanned multiple industries working for large South African-based multinationals (in FMCG, financial services and property development) it is only in my current role as Executive Manager: Marketing at the V&A Waterfront that I have been immersed into the world of travel, tourism and designing experiences and attractions. That being said, I do not consider this a disadvantage. In fact, I believe this stands me in good stead as, while I learn about this new industry, I also lean into principles, philosophies, insights and case studies from other industries to break new ground and develop best practice solutions. Moreover, I consider myself a unique and well-rounded Marketer who is strategically oriented, data and insights-led, conceptually-creative and obsessed with human beings and human behaviour. The combination of these characteristics and capabilities coupled with the depth of insights, experience and expertise that the V&A Waterfront as an organisation holds, would bring an interesting perspective to the industry and to this esteemed board.
I believe this industry is poised to make a significant impact on the socio-economic challenges faced globally and nationally. It allows for the facilitation of real human connections, provides platforms for learning, is a vehicle for job creation and economic development and gives us permission to show compassion to the environment and its people. The work that is done by bodies like AAVEA is key to the future of the industry and of South Africa and as a representative of the V&A Waterfront, I would welcome the opportunity to play a part.



Rebs Mogoba | Durban Eye Wheel  

Rebotile ‘Rebs’ Mogoba is a highly experienced Events Executive with more than 20 years’ proven experience in the communications industry.

Exuberant and inspiring, Rebs embodies the diversity of our beautiful and vibrant South Africa. A true Pedi girl from Limpopo, she was born in the Eastern Cape, raised and educated in KwaZulu-Natal, She matriculated at Epworth High School in Pietermaritzburg, before finding her niche studying at the prestigious AAA School of Advertising in Johannesburg and subsequently worked at Lintas Advertising Agency as an Account Manager on the Unilever account.

With a talent and passion for Strategic Communications, Branding, Events and Stakeholder Management, Rebs is a seasoned and respected figure in the Events industry. Co-founded the successful Remba Connections Events Company in 2000 – 2009.

As MD of Summer Sun: Strategic Event Consultancy, she continues to bring a real hands-on approach to the conceptualisation and staging of beautifully styled events for Corporates, Government, Dignitaries, Donor Funded Projects in SA, Mozambique, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Mauritius and New York.

Director of Durban Iye Wheel (Pty) Ltd: a black women-owned entity, Durban Eye will serve as an iconic tourist attraction. A giant observation wheel will be positioned along the Durban promenade as a prominent landmark enhancing Durban as a prime tourism destination. Proposed launch will be in 2022.

As AAVEA Members, attended the 2021 AAVEA virtual conference.

Rebs lives in Durban and is passionate about growing the Attractions and visitor experience industry.



Hulisani Thabela | City of Tshwane

I am currently employed as Acting Head of the Tourism Division at the City of Tshwane. My responsibilities relate to the strategic and administrative leadership of the division, as well as currently steering the division through an exciting time of transition. I also serve on the board of the Dinokeng Tourism Organisation (DTO), whose mandate is to promote the Dinokeng region’s tourism products which are one of our destination’s popular attractions.

In my roles, I bring passion, energy, enthusiasm, commitment, and a wealth of insight backed by extensive industry experience in South Africa and on the African continent. Be it in the development of relationships with tourism industry partners and stakeholders, or the establishment of marketing platforms and promotion of tourism products, I aim to deliver high-quality results for the City of Tshwane and our tourism partners.

I have attended the 2016 AAVEA Conference when we hosted it in Tshwane. I am continually excited by the work that AAVEA does – I see great opportunities to transform African tourism attractions into world-class experiences that  can  unlock economic opportunities. So I believe joining the AAVEA Board will enable me to achieve this vision not just for Tshwane but South Africa, and especially on the African continent where I believe there is much scope to grow AAVEA’s footprint and to contribute to the greater standing of the continent to the world.

With 20 years of experience in the tourism industry spanning tourism research, strategy development, international marketing, business events organising, and currently, in the economic development sphere of local government, I believe I will serve the AAVEA Board well in the following ways:

I have a very strong technical background in tourism and have served at the senior management level for over 11 years, with a broad experience of tourism product development and promotion from national (SA Tourism) to the local municipal level.

On a personal level, my robust professional networks, intellect, commitment, creativity, passion, and ability to influence others and lead – are characteristics that I believe would make me a valuable member of the board to help achieve its  goals.

Lastly, as someone who works at the local level, I see the absolute need and benefit for our attractions to be part of such as association as this one but I also realise the challenge to reach and convert memberships and participation from state- owned attractions. I think this is an area I can help to tackle.



Johan van Schalkwyk | Aquila Collection

My professional history over the last decade includes hospitality marketing management as well as public and private tourism sector management. I also serve on the committees of the Worcester Tourism Association, Touws River Tourism Association and Skål International Cape Town.

My experience with attractions started during my high school years when I prepared and presented a 12 month marketing strategy with R1m budget to Monex Ratanga Junction. My proposal and was accepted and I was offered a bursary at the Advertising College of South Africa.

I am currently committed as the Group Marketing and Trade Manager for the Aquila Collection and manage the strategic growth of the group and sub brands – locally and internationally. The brand is managed strategically and involves key global partnerships and relationship management – and key to the AAVEA board: we operate a critical mass tourism attraction.

Previous industry experience also includes the position of Marketing Manager for the Knysna Tourism Association. Key projects at the LTA included the strategic revision of the brand and its deliverables, creating an enabling environment for destination and member growth in conjunction with the Knysna Municipality, Wesgro and national bodies – delivering a new and meaningful direct and trade brand.

Other than the formalised work experience, I am an active participant and member of a variety of tourism bodies and participate at all levels of the industry – creating an opportunity to learn and grow with domestic and global tourism trends.

I am confident that my insights, learnings and successes over the last 12 months within the private sector Covid19 recovery programme would be an advantage to the future growth of AAVEA within the immediate post-traumatic pandemic period, as well as the ongoing recovery phase thereafter.


The priority brand – Aquila Private Game Reserve – is a household name in South Africa based on the mass advertising and communication model. The business offers a combination of day trip excursions and overnight stays. The attraction: a bucket list big 5 safari just outside of Cape Town.

The heart and the pulse of the business is its day trip programme which is strategically managed as a critical mass tourism business.

Other than the safari offerings, the Aquila Collection operates ocean experiences through Cape Sea Safaris and Xtreme Fishing, harbour activities in Struisbaai through its mass tourism CatchCook Restaurant and Beach Bar, as well as a few other travel and tourism operations and support businesses.


I have attended two AAVEA conferences over the last three years and thoroughly enjoyed the content presented and the delegates attending. The discussions were insightful and practical – and based on the experience of a previous AAVEA conference, I dedicated resources to be a 2021 conference partner.