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MILLER MATOLA FOR ICC (article first published : 2006-06-17)

The eThekwini Municipality and ICC Durban Board of Directors have announced the appointment of the new ICC Durban CEO, Mr. Miller Matola.

Currently Chief Executive Officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Miller Matola’s appointment takes effect from July 1. He takes over the ICC reins from Alec Gilbert, who left in May for the Adelaide Convention Centre in Australia.

“The ICC is entering a new era with the construction of the Arena,” commented Ethekwini City Manager, Michael Sutcliffe. “It is appropriate that we have appointed one of the most competent, experienced and qualified professionals in South Africa to lead us in overcoming these challenges. I am delighted to welcome Miller to the city’s fold and am sure that he will assist me in making the city the number one destination in Africa for conventions and business, sport, arts and culture.”

Mato Madlala, chairperson of the ICC Durban Board of Directors, added; “We have great pleasure in welcoming our new CEO, who has the track record to tackle the task of ensuring that the ICC maintains its position as Africa’s finest and leading convention centre and one of the top 10 convention centres in the world. We are very confident that that the ICC will grow from strength to strength under his leadership.”

Alec Gilbert also welcomed the appointment: “I have had the pleasure of working with Miller both during his term at SA Tourism and during the period when I was a board member of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and he was chief executive. I have the utmost regard for him and I am sure that the ICC team will be very happy working with him.”

Miller Matola said he was humbled by both eThekwini municipality and the ICC Durban board’s confidence in his ability to lead ICC Durban, adding that he looked forward to the challenge that lay ahead: “I feel honoured to be joining an institution that has played a vital role in positioning not only Durban, but also KwaZulu-Natal as an international meetings and conventions destination.”

Amongst other business education qualifications, Matola has an MBA from Thames Valley University (dissertation focusing on competitive strategies in destination marketing). He has invaluable experience in international tourism marketing, in both leisure and business travel. As Head of the South African Tourism Convention Bureau, he played a significant role in establishing the Bureau as a major player in the South African business tourism industry. Internationally, he chaired the International Conference Association’s Southern Africa Chapter. In South Africa he established and chaired the first MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) Forum encompassing industry stakeholders and other destination marketing organizations.

Before joining Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, he was the South African Tourism Portfolio Manager for The America’s and the United Kingdom. He also served on the SA Tourism Brand Team. In recognition of his contribution towards tourism in South Africa, he was one of only two nominees for the SAA Travel Industry Awards 2002 in the category; “Most Outstanding individual in the tourism industry”. As TKZN chief he has been responsible for the strategic direction of the organization in positioning and marketing KZN as a prime destination in Africa.

An important element of this work at ICC Durban will be overseeing the construction and development of the R460 million ICC Arena that is expected to put the city back on the map as an ideal venue for international concerts and events. The ICC Arena will open in March 2007.




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