POLOKWANE; LIMPOPO: The Tourism Industry has learned with shock about the passing-on of one of our leading tourism entrepreneur in the Province Marga Hagens of Q & M consulting after a long battle with cancer.
Marga was a consultant with almost 20 years' experience in the tourism and hospitality industries, She started her career in the tourism industry with Protea Hotel the Ranch as a receptionist. She held supervisory and management positions at Aventura Loskopdam, Protea Hotel Landmark Lodge, Hotel L'Horizon (in the Channel Islands, UK) and also worked as a customer service agent at Trafalgar Tours in London.
She joined Grant Thornton as a consultant in November 2002 upon her return from the UK, and was promoted to Senior Consultant in March 2007. During this time she was responsible for a variety of projects, including the National Tourism Sector Strategy on behalf of the newly formed National Department of Tourism, an accommodation grading scheme for Zambia and various feasibility study and tourism development planning projects.
In April 2011 Marga and Quentin joined Tzaneen Country Lodge (a 46-room 4-star hotel) as a management couple for a one-year contract, and upon termination of the contract decided to start their own consulting business.
Marga has since worked on hospitality feasibility projects in Uganda and Zambia, sub-contracted to Grant Thornton for tourism development planning and feasibility projects, and developed marketing strategies and business plans for various clients in the online retail, tourism and property sectors. She further assisted two entrepreneurs in Limpopo with mentorship through the Tourism Enterprise Partnership in 2013, and is currently working with another five entrepreneurs in Thohoyandou and Giyani in Limpopo. She also conducted training for local government policy makers and National Department of Tourism officials through the University of Pretoria.
Marga developed business plans for Align-Ed, Chic African, Vhadinda Shuttle Services and Ratsoma Properties and serve as the secretary of the Greater Tzaneen Tourism Association and the treasurer of the Tzaneen Eco Club.
“We are really saddened by the passing of such a highly experienced professional who made such a huge contribution to the Tourism Industry. We have been with Marga at Africa’s Travel Indaba recently in Durban as part of the LTA delegation that exhibited at the trade show. She looked strong with her smile as usual. LTA wishes to convey condolences to her family and friends as well as the entire tourism industry”, said LTA CEO, Ms. Nomasonto Ndlovu.