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Destinate COVID-19 Business Support

by Destinate News on 06.04.2020



Whilst we are confident that we will overcome this crisis and that we can return stronger and more resilient than before, we must realize that tourism and the world at large will never be the same again. The Corona outbreak will forever be a watershed moment.

There are no quick fixes and one thing is clear, our industry will be changed forever. Whilst many yearn for normality to return, normal no longer exists neither will it be enough to safeguard us or help us recover fast enough when this crisis finally abates.

Nobody can predict how long the industry will remain under lock-down or to what extent we will be affected in the medium to long run. We need to make sure we are able to ride out this storm and ready to operate in a post-Corona world.

Whilst we don’t know for sure how things will pan out over the next few weeks and months, it is safe to say that domestic tourism will show the first post-lockdown green shoots of recovery.

Many people are craving the simple pleasure of a walk in nature, a shared meal and a weekend away with a few of the people we’ve missed the most during lockdown. Many will want to reunite with loved ones in a beautiful, most likely quite remote or secluded place, not too far from home.

The lock down will probably be eased gradually allowing some businesses to start operating whilst the vulnerable remain in some sort of extended lock down. Either way, once we are allowed to travel, even with with restrictions, people will be keen to venture out. The ability to escape home with loved ones whilst being safe will be important and my prediction is that rural towns and getaways within an hour or two radius from cities will be popular as people yearn to get away and reunite with their loved ones after weeks of lock down.

Rural destinations have an opportunity to position themselves as attractive post-lockdown destinations, but will have to be well prepared and ready to offer the new post-lockdown traveller exactly what they crave. Destinations and the tourism industry will have to respond with very specific information, build trust with customers and assure travellers that their safety and health will be prioritized. Transparency, felxibility, added value and the ability to show potential customers exactly what they can look forward to will be important and the industry should prepare themselves to respond with suitable offerings and the kind of information required. 

There are few countries that offer its own citizens the kind of experiences and getaways that South Africa does. We don’t need to go far, we can stay home in South Africa. 

We've been working with a number of tourism businesses providing business support and hosting a series of COVID-19 business sessions helping small businesses navigate the time ahead and prepare for a post-Corona travel era.


We designed a bouquet of tourism support services with special COVID-19 rates (valid till end 2020) to help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis and become future fit.

These include:

  • Help develop a resilience plan to survive the next few months.
  • Develop a communications and social media plan that will keep customers informed and hooked into your brand. You need a good 6-12 month content plan for implementation across your communication platforms, including direct consumer communication.
  • Identify new business opportunities and income streams.
  • Help you develop your recovery plan now so that you are ready and able to hit the ground running when the crisis abates. 
  • Assess your brand’s online presence and customer journey to make sure it is fresh, user-friendly and effective not just for the weeks to come, but for the future.
  • Assist you with social media management and content creation.
  • Provide you with business mentorship and strategic marketing support over the next three months as you navigate your way through the crisis and into a new post-lockdown travel era.


Businesses can book an online mentorship and business support session with Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold for one-on-one business advice and mentorship.

The one-on-one sessions are 1-hour long and cost R550 per session.

She is also hosting themed group sessions (minimum 5 and maximum 15). These sessions are on Fridays and are 2-hour sessions available at R450 per person, but organisations or destinations can also book group sessions tailor-made to their unique needs.

The themes covered include:

  • Communication in times of crisis. What do we say and how do we reach people without sounding desperate?
  • Reshaping tourism and the value chain. Where do small businesses fit in and how will our industry look post-Corona?
  • Post-Corona business readiness. How can we prepare ourselves for a new tourism era and what opportunities are presented with this crisis?
  • Who will our travellers be? Understanding the potential change in traveller profile, behaviour and needs.
  • Marketing do’s and don’t’s. Innovative ways to attract the new traveller.
  • Post-lockdown marketing campaigns. 
  • Social media messaging. 

Bookings are via email to and are only confirmed on proof of payment received.


Destinate is a strategic marketing agency founded in 2013 and run by Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, former CEO of Cape Town Tourism. We develop and help implement strategy, build brands, market destinations and connect people with great brands and destinations.

The Destinate team is a collective of passionate, highly specialised individuals with more than 40 years combined experience in tourism, strategic business management, marketing, public relations, events management and tourism development.

Our team lives and breathes travel and storytelling. Our global network of bloggers and influencers, DMO’s, tourism professionals and specialists is a powerful tool for any destination or brand trying to tell their unique story.

Before establishing Destinate, Mariëtte was CEO of Cape Town Tourism for 10 years, and has more than 20 years practical tourism and marketing experience.

She has a real understanding of both the private sector and the public sector, having navigated a complex environment as CEO of Cape Town Tourism and establishing and managing a successful business for the past six years.

She has extensive experience in destination brand development and management. Her work in place marketing received international recognition. Du Toit-Helmbold is also in demand internationally as a strategist and speaker on tourism, trends in marketing and the role of digital and social in destination and tourism marketing.

She is strategic advisor to a number of hospitality brands and works with multinational commercial corporations as a strategic communications advisor.

For more information or to book your online session with Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, email