AFTER five years with Ugu South Coast Tourism, I decided last year that I would not be seeking a further term of office when my contract ended at the end of July. Having spent about 70% of my time away from my Midlands home and being in my 60s, the time is right to do the things that have been lingering on the back burner whilst I have been on the South Coast. My stint here has been one of more pluses than minuses in that I have found that there are a number of people really committed to making tourism happen in their local communities. It is they who have kept our enthusiasm going when applying our extensive tourism strategy and seeking to meet or better our many performance targets.On my arrival here in 2013, I was familiar with certain parts of the destination and as I got to know more about it, I realised that there is far, far more to this paradise than the great beaches and the warm seas. My challenge has been to consistently remind our publics of this fact and to inculcate a more positive mindset amongst those who at times are of the half empty ilk.I have always held that people make the difference and here the “can do’’ people far outweigh those who prefer to be oblivious of the good intent and work of many others. Notwithstanding major setbacks like water issues and a severely dented economy, knowing the resilience of the tourism sector here I am confident that in the words from the civil rights movement in the USA, “we (you) shall overcome”.Generally our media have been very supportive of our work — it has been a pleasure working with them as well as those proactive and committed members and staff at our organisation. Credit to what we do or have done must also be directed to our municipal funders and our board who over the years have been very supportive and have provided sound advice when it was required.In conclusion, huge appreciation in general to South Coasters for the opportunity to work for and with you — the experience I will cherish as I start ticking off those many and exciting things on my “ballies” bucket list.Before then it will be off to the UK, Switzerland (sorry no secret banks accounts there folks) and France for a family break.Totsiens and siyabonga — next time I am here I will be a tourist which could be an interesting notion.Editor’s note: The South Coast Fever thanks Justin Mackrory for his contributions towards Talking Tourism and wishes him well for the future.