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Gillian Saunders

Deputy CEO & Head of Advisory Services, Grant Thornton

Gillian Saunders is the Global Leader Travel Tourism and Leisure for Grant Thornton and Deputy CEO of the Audit Tax and Advisory Firm in Johannesburg as well Head of Advisory Services in South Africa. Gillian has a long track record, of more than 25 years in her speciality: consulting to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. As Global Sector Leader, Gillian leads 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 through-out 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 Chairperson of the board of the University of Johannesburg’s Kerzner School of Tourism and Hospitality and is passionate about education and education in the Hospitality and Tourism sector .