Freelance writer & communicator for hire: specialist in tourism. Background in science, with a powerful ability to translate scientific concepts and jargon into language the lay public can understand. Also experienced in project management of web sites (with strong abilities in developing site architecture, creating content, etc.) and of print and advertising projects (brochures, adverts, etc.). And I enjoy making photographs and videos, and writing stories.
I qualified in horticulture in Durban before going into the real world to put my hard-won knowledge to good use... as a boat boy in Knysna.
Went on to work in restaurants, a timeshare resort and, in the very early days, one of those old-fashioned caravan park/holiday camp places. I then used my grounding in the natural sciences to become a tour guide (the first, mind you, at Featherbed Nature Reserve - now Knysna’s biggest tourism attraction), a ferryboat skipper and, ultimately, the owner of my own business in the Wilderness National Park: a bird-watching concession called the Kingfisher Ferry. Then the floods of ’96 came down, the Touw River was silted up, and my boat and I found ourselves up the creek without an, er, creek.
So I started to write.
I entered the fray as the editor of a newspaper called Cape Tourism Update - which survived for just 21 months. When it closed, I went out as a freelancer (in about ’96), and I now blog (see This Tourism Week), and write feature articles, media releases, advertising copy, commentary, business strategies, textbooks and souvenir books like Ferry Boats & Fossil Fish (20,000 words for Featherbed Nature Reserve); The West Coast Fossil Park (27,000 words); and Now If You’ll Look To Your Left (a 100,000 word guides training manual for Knysna & Plettenberg Bay). And I write fiction, too, of course: my first novel, ‘Belthar’s Garden,’ is available in print or Kindle format from Amazon.
And I’m a public speaker, too - pet subjects: Responsible Tourism and ‘The Social web for grannies’ (see my presentations on SlideShare).
The personal stuff? I was born on 21 October 1958, and I’m the single foster father of two boys (men now, actually) and the grandfather of the world’s most beautiful and talented child - although I’m quite unbiased about him. (We have a pirate ship.)
Telephone: 0027(0)84 951 0574
Skype: Reefgod - YouTube: www.youtube.com/martinhatchuel
63 Wilson Street, Knysna, 6570