Rick Taylor, CEO of The Business Tourism Company and group marketing and sales executive for the Petousis family’s hotels in Cape Town, Newlands and Stellenbosch, won the Africa & Middle East Academy Award at the IMEX 2011 gala dinner.
IMEX is a major exhibition for the international incentive travel, meetings and events industry and held its dinner in Frankfurt, Germany, where tributes were paid to some of the industry’s finest talents.
IMEX 2010 saw 3 500 exhibitors from 157 countries representing national and regional tourist offices, major hotel groups, airlines, destination management companies, service providers, trade associations and more.
Paul Flackett, IMEX group MD, praised Taylor (pictured above, receiving his award) for his effervescence in both business and in life, noting a career that has spanned advertising, hotels, destination management and entrepreneurship next to personal achievements in cycling and Iron Man competitions.
The Petousis family’s properties include the Vineyard Hotel & Spa, Townhouse Hotel & Conference Centre and d’Ouwe Werf. Taylor was appointed by the family in 2008, in his capacity as CEO of The Business Tourism Company, to oversee the planning, development and implementation of a sales and marketing strategy to ensure the portfolio’s success well into the 21st century.
“Since coming on board in 2008, Rick has introduced a bold sales and marketing strategy built around the three ‘R’s’: repositioning the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in the luxury market, rebranding the Townhouse Hotel & Conference Centre and rebuilding the historic d’Ouwe Werf in Stellenbosch,” explained Lex Petousis, group operations director.
“It is thanks to Rick’s unwavering enthusiasm that our sales and marketing efforts have greatly accelerated in recent years, and we’re thrilled to see his excellence celebrated in this manner.”
Taylor, who has featured frequently in the pages of Hotel & Restaurant, was MD of ohannesburg-based international advertising agencies, Barker McCormac and McCann Erickson. In 1994 he bought the Hout Bay Hotel to begin a new career in the tourism industry.
Later, as CEO of the Cape Metropolitan Tourism and Cape Town Convention Bureau, Taylor was responsible for initiating a range of marketing concepts. He established South Africa’s first stand-alone Convention Bureau which ensured greater Cape Town’s placement on the world map as an international meetings destination. In 2004 Taylor was appointed to South African Tourism to launch a National Convention Bureau.
Today Taylor’s expertise is in demand on national and international boards of business tourism and he is a popular speaker at international conferences