“Meet our Travel Concepts Team.”
A multinational collection of world travellers, our team is now grounded in Southern Africa with a collective love of its beauty and its diversity. Combining our European sense of style & service with local spirit & culture, we create the ultimate in unforgettable travel experiences for our discerning clients from across the globe.
Click on any of the pictures below and find out more about our team.
“I arrived and fell in love with Southern Africa in the early 1990’s and have been exploring ever since. It’s a majestic part of the world with so much beauty and diversity, the perfect backdrop for our international clients’ private and corporate celebrations. My calling is to turn these into world-class events that truly stand out with each carrying their own unique signature.”
Richard HoltGroup CEO
Originally from the UK, Richard trained initially in the sports & leisure and hospitality industry before embarking on a 20 year career that has seen him establish, grow and manage several successful businesses.
A visionary leader and engaging people person he has gold medal when it comes to building relationships, running major events and “thinking outside the norm” to deliver customer excellence. With a focus on strategic and business development he leads the Concepts Collection team with a flair and infectious energy and is passionate about building effective teams that can co-create memorable customer experiences.
Richards love affair with Africa started in the 1990’s and he continuously travels Southern Africa and beyond in search of new locations and experiences to promote to the world. Rarely seen travelling without his golf clubs, he is also our resident South African wine expert, foodie and “go to man” on all things luxury.Contact Richard
I am truly dedicated to designing out-of-this world African journeys for our clients. Whether an itinerary for two or incentive for 200 – my heart lies in tailoring truly unique experiences and being a seasoned traveller myself – sharing personal insider tips with our clients.”
Mandi Johnson-AlivertiMD Travel Concepts
Mandi was practically born with a backpack on her back and a head filled with dreams of adventure. With both her parents working in the industry, it’s no surprise that Mandi went on to complete studies in travel and marketing before jetting off to explore the world. She later returned to South Africa where she worked in the family travel business for 12 years before joining the Travel Concepts team.
Mandi also said I do to her dashing Italian husband in the Cape Winelands and keenly understands both the romance and the level of detail involved in organising a dual nationality wedding. Now the mother of two, Mandi is treating this new phase in her life as a golden opportunity to explore the many child-friendly luxury holiday destinations across the African continent.
A true “Out of Africa” bush aficionado, Mandi loves sharing her glittering finds, which is why she is so well placed to custom create travel arrangements for conference groups, tour groups, incentives, special interest groups, family travel, honeymoons and individuals. Her goal? To design bespoke journeys of excellence that sees travellers returning to African shores time and time again.
Mandi continues her love for new travel adventures by leading several of our global tour groups each year.Contact Mandi
I am devoted to making the world-class quality of South Africa’s services available to our clients from around the globe. I want them to embrace the opportunity of celebrating a memorable wedding, their corporate event, incentive or simply unforgettable African journey in one the world’s most beautiful locations – just as I did.”
Christina HoltFounder & Group MD
German born Christina is the Founder and Group MD of Travel Concepts – responsible for creating some of the largest and most high profile African nuptials & exclusive events for a discerning international clientele.
Regarded as one of Africa’s leading luxury travel experts Christina has lived and worked previously in the USA, UAE, UK and Germany and managed a multitude of international events before moving to Cape Town in 2004.
She started Wedding Concepts the same year, followed by sister companies Event Concepts & Travel Concepts that now form the luxury brand “The Concepts Collection”.
Respected as an industry innovator with a keen eye for international trends Christina intuitively understands and values different cultures and is hugely passionate about promoting true 5* service excellence and uniquely tailored, stylish celebrations with a strong focus on each individual client and an eagle eye for detail.
Christina avidly markets luxury South African destination weddings and is also a fierce brand ambassador for Southern Africa as a whole. She counts amongst the international wedding elite and is honoured to regularly be invited globally to share her experience as a speaker, MC and panellist with international wedding & event peers.
A real people person and passionate traveler at heart she loves exploring Africa and the world – camera in hand – and currently lives in Cape Town with her husband Richard & her two Ridgebacks Sam & Jesse. She enjoys good food & fine dining, loves stylish boutique hotels and reading autobiographies.Contact Christina
“I was born and bred in East Africa, and have been pursuing a love and passion for all things African-travel related since then. My exploring has also taken me to destinations all over the world, where I continue to enjoy imparting stories and knowledge with those that travel with us.””
Michael JohnsonGlobal Tour Leader
Our premier and much sought after global tour leader, Michael is steeped in a love for world travel and has been leading tours for over 40 years.
Born and brought up in East Africa, he was educated in the UK, where he worked as a chartered accountant with his first employer, Deloitte. His corporate career took him around the world including stints in the UK, Switzerland, USA and finally back home to his beloved Africa, where he settled in Cape Town in 1970.
Pursuing his passion for travel, adventure and people, he built and sold a successful family travel business and now focuses his talents on leading our global tour program to exotic and enticing destinations around the world. A born story-teller with a zest for life and a real to connection to people, Michael leads our tours with his unique and infectious travel brand of ‘joie de vivre’ and has built a loyal following of fellow travelers who have become lifelong friends.Contact Michael
I am very excited about joining the dynamic close-nit team. Every day is exciting at our office – as I can literally travel “indoors” – all over the world in a day’s work!”
Ester SmitTravel Consultant
Ester is our travel specialist with a love for Africa and the great outdoors. With degrees in education, tourism management and photography – she is an all-rounder with a true love for nature and adventure travel.
Having worked in London and after traveling around Europe and across the African continent she found her calling in the world of travel & tourism back at home in South Africa. Customising safaris and multitasking to create hand-crafted travel experiences are her true passion.
When Ester is not planning exciting itineraries or dealing with clients from all over the world – she is will be found outdoors doing something active or spending time with family and friends (in the city or at her family’s wine farm) – enjoying a good glass of South African red wine.
Ester is the most recent addition to our ever growing team and she brings a great wealth of travel knowledge to our Concepts Collection family & clients.Contact Ester
I am so excited to be a part of this dynamic team. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel and at the Concepts Collection, we make everyone feel special.”
Nicky HendricksOffice Manager
Capetonian Nicky is our Office Manager, the friendly voice on the phone, our “meeter & greeter” and brand ambassador, who serves as the first point of contact for clients, suppliers and industry colleagues. With a successful career in front of house management with luxury hotels, she is a perfect fit.
Highly organised and efficient and armed with an Advanced Diploma in International Hotel Management, Nicky knows all about personalising the customer experience and delivering the highest standards of service, with a smile.
Her love for travel and different cultures has seen her hotel career take her to Europe and the USA, but the love for Cape Town was always going to bring her home – and we are glad it did.Contact Nicky