Speakers and moderators

Kim Whitaker

Co-founder, Once Youth Hotels

Kim started her first tourism business age 23, inspired by a year of living and working around the world. In 2013, Kim co-founded “Once in Cape Town” (Cape Town, South Africa) with a dynamic team, and grew the Poshtel/ Youth Hotel concept from strength to strength.  In 2016, the team went on to open the second property (Once in Joburg) in Johannesburg, in the vibrant inner-city Braamfontein area.

Once Youth Hotels are bustling youth hubs, where, by clever design, strategic partnerships with local businesses and hiring the right “Ateam” (staff who encapsulate the “Once” ethos and spirit), guests can experience contemporary Africa. Once in Cape Town recently passed the Fairtrade in tourism grading with 100%, which recognizes that the business operates in a way that is mutually respectful, fair and transparent.

Kim is current CEO of Once Youth Hotels and is passionate about entrepreneurship, leadership and growing the Once Youth Hotel brand into the African continent. Kim’s many personal entrepreneurship awards include the Investec “YoungTreps” (2014), Sanlam EOY, Emerging Entrepreneur winner (2015), Mzansi Top 100 Young Independents (2016), and Premiers Award for Entrepreneurship Tourism winner (2016).

Why attend

  • Over 600 attendees from the global youth and student travel industry
  • 150+ pre-selected buyers
  • Up to 48 pre-scheduled business appointments
  • 92% senior management attendees
  • 25 seminars and workshops
  • Up to 7 networking events