There is no doubt that the travel and tourism industry is awash with passionate, positive professionals who seek to inspire others and make dreams come true. Tourism and hospitality consultant, Lew Rood, is most certainly one of those professionals and has earned a nomination as a superlifter, courtesy of Leighanne Dawkins.
Leighanne is the Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, an intimate private lodge specialising in Big Five game viewing. A few years back, Leighanne and Lew crossed paths when she was helping him with the installation of new reservation software.
“I had the opportunity to observe Lew and his way of working, and immediately thought to myself ‘when I grow up, I want to be just like him!’. I look up to him for his ethics and passion. He’s always smiling and just such a pleasure to be around,” she says.
Leighanne also speaks highly of Lew’s involvement in the South African chapter of StreetSmart, which he helped to launch. The initiative revolves around encouraging restaurants and their patrons to contribute to charity whereby a percentage of each item ordered off of the menu is donated to feeding children living on the street.
Who is Lew Rood?
Lew says that he was enamoured with tourism from a very young age. He got started by studying at the Johannesburg Hotel School and now boasts a career spanning almost 50 years. Shortly after completing hotel school, Lew was awarded a bursary to undergo 5-star training at the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam. He then moved back to South Africa where he landed his first job in Durban working for Sol Kerzner at Elangeni Hotel on the bustling beachfront. He worked as the front office manager before later moving to London where he worked at the South African tourism office for a few years. Further down the line, he returned home and started in the sales and marketing office at Springbok Atlas, one of the pioneer companies of inbound tourism. During this time, he had the opportunity to travel further afield where he attended countless trade fairs and embarked on numerous sales-related trips.
“I built up a significant network consisting of tour operators, travel agents, and travel journalists – many of whom I am still in contact with today. Meeting and interacting with new people from far and wide was my favourite part of the job,” comments Lew.
Lew also worked at Conservation Corporation Africa – now known as andBeyond – and Singita Game Reserve before finally deciding to launch his bespoke hospitality and tourism consultancy. He now focuses his attention on providing expert advice to inbound tour operators, hotels and the international travel trade specialising in Africa.
When asked why he thinks he received a nomination as a superlifter, Lew says that he’s sure it’s due to his unique way with people.
“I think I inspired my colleagues because I always made a point of starting positive interactions with staff and clients. It is always my goal to make everyone feel loved, heard and well looked after. I also feel strongly about guiding younger members of the travel and tourism industry, teaching them all about the art of hospitality and about the wonderful world of inbound tourism,” he concludes.
Watch our conversation with Lew Rood here.