Tourism veterans Hylton Ross and his wife Janis Ross were honoured for their invaluable contribution to the travel industry at a First Thursdays celebration hosted by Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.
Minister Winde told guests, consisting largely of players in Cape Town’s booming tourism industry, that the event was an opportunity to recognise two specific individuals who had not only driven tourism in the region, but had become the mentors to many players in the industry.
He described Mr and Mrs Ross, founders of Hylton Ross Tours in 1980, as “an iconic part of the Cape Town landscape”. Their presence at the event was an anchor to the evening’s theme,which was tourism. Minister Winde said the past season had seen growth of 29% in international arrivals in the city, and Cape Town International Airport hit the 10-million passenger mark in the past year.
Former employees and industry colleagues shared their experiences with the Ross’s over the years. It became very clear that Hylton was the fun factor in this dynamic duo with Janis playing the more serious role of keeping all things in check.
City Sightseeing chief executive officer Claus Tworek compared Mr and Mrs Ross to the tall trees in a forest “creating the shelter for the young saplings to come up underneath”, noting that their guidance and example had been a catalyst for his own career in the industry, as well as those of many others.
Travel industry member Ferdinand Rabie of Ferdinand’s Tours & Adventures described the role the Ross couple played in helping to shape his career, applauding them as “legends”.
During his time in travel Hylton sat on the board of Cape Town Tourism and was the Regional Iata Representative for the Western Cape. Hylton inspired many young travellers with his school visits and travel talks.
A truly inspiring story of how hardwork, dedication and perseverance are the key ingredients to building a successful business.