I am Special Adviser to Minister Hanekom in the Ministry of Tourism. Until recently I was Deputy CEO and Head of Advisory Johannesburg as well as Grant Thornton’s global leader for
Gillian Saunders is Special Adviser to the Minister of Tourism, Minster Derek Hanekom.
Until last year, she was Deputy CEO of Audit Tax and Advisory Firm, Grant Thornton in Johannesburg and Head of Advisory Services in South Africa.
Gillian has a long track record, of 30 years in her specialty: consulting and advising to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. In 2012 Gillian was appointed Global Sector Leader, Hotels and Tourism for Grant Thornton and she led a team of experts in various fields from over 25 countries. Gillian has consulted extensively in all aspects of these industries for the public and private sector throughout Africa.
Prior to consulting she worked in the industry in Europe and South Africa, with stints with EUREST (a contract catering subsidiary of Nestle and Wagon Lits), in France, and with Sheraton in Germany and Switzerland, before joining the Southern Sun Group in South Africa in 1982.
Gillian is the author of a number of articles and a regular commentator in the media, particularly on mega events. She is a member of the board of the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality and is passionate about education and education in the Hospitality and Tourism sector.