An extremely experienced tourism practitioner has been appointed to succeed Michael Bertram as Chief Executive Officer of UGU South Coast Tourism.
Chairman of the Board Joy Crutchfield announced in a statement on Friday that Justin Mackrory, who had extensive experience in both destination marketing and tourism product development, and was well-connected with all levels of government and private sector stakeholders, had been appointed in the position. She said he had a wealth of experience in the sports and management sectors, and previously led the destination marketing for the Pietermaritzburg region. He had spent the past fifteen years actively involved in conducting tourism development assessments and feasibility studies for various municipal districts and the private sector throughout Southern Africa. He had been involved in the implementation of certain of these projects, and his most recent assignment had been as tourist specialist to the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Programme in developing and marketing the alpine areas of South Africa and Lesotho. Crutchfield said the board looked forward to the fresh approach that the new appointment would no doubt bring, and Mackrory would be properly introduced to all stakeholders. He would take up his new post on 1 August.
She paid tribute to Bertram’s contribution over the five years of his contract, with a specific reference to his excellent management of Tourism’s finances. and said it was never an easy decision to bid farewell to an employee who had delivered his or her best throughout their term of office. However, the board had taken the bold step to appoint new blood to better embrace the full tourism mandate — destination marketing and tourism product development in previously disadvantaged areas. Bertram would be formally thanked at a farewell function in his honour, and the board trusted he would find himself a new and exciting challenge soon.
Crutchfield pointed out that Bertram’s 5-year term of office, in terms of section 57 of the Municipal Systems Act of 200, had come to an end and that the Board had advertised the position together with the vacant post of General Manager: Marketing and Eventing. Whilst the GM position did not attract applicants of the required competence, she said, the CEO post had been heavily contested by candidates of excellent quality.