Speaker Profile

Gillian Saunders

Global Leader, Hospitality & Tourism
Grant Thornton

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Gillian Saunders is Global Leader Hospitality and Tourism for Grant Thornton, and Head of Grant Thornton Advisory Services in South Africa. She holds a BSC (Hons) from Surrey  in hotel, catering and tourism management and an MBA. Gillian has a long track record, of more than 28 years in her speciality: consulting to the hospitality, tourism  and leisure industries. In 2012 Gillian was appointed Global Sector Leader, Hotels and Tourism for Grant Thornton and 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 .