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Wine Tourism goes digital with StellenBlog

by Destinate News on 28.01.2014

South Africa's granddaddy of wine routes, the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes, has launched a new blog – StellenBlog – as part of its dynamic marketing campaign, Stellenbosch Experience, which was launched in collaboration with Stellenbosch 360 to expand the region’s wine tourism footprint locally and abroad.

The visitor and local community of people who love the region and its rich wine tourism offering will be at the centre of the campaign and digital marketing will be the primary vehicle used to share their stories and experiences with the world. 

"A destination is equal to the people of that place and no visitor wants a plastic “Disney” destination. Authenticity is essential to the successful positioning of the region and giving visitors and the people of Stellenbosch a voice and a platform for their colourful stories to be told is a key objective of this blog and the overall Stellenbosch Experience campaign,” explains Annareth Bolton, CEO of Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes.

The visitor and local community of people who love the region and its rich wine tourism offering will be at the centre of the campaign.

The blog is an interactive digital platform designed to showcase what the Stellenbosch Experience is all about, convey the visual beauty of the area through photos and video, and promote Stellenbosch Wine Routes' marketing partners

The user-friendly, uncluttered blog which is super easy and quick to navigate, also features regular contributions by leading local and international guest bloggers who form part of a global network of story-tellers working with Destinate to build rich content that will drive awareness and demand for Stellenbosch and wine tourism at large. 

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold established Destinate, a specialised destination and marketing agency, in 2013 after a successful ten-year stint as the CEO of Cape Town Tourism. Under her leadership, Cape Town Tourism won critical acclaim as a Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) and was singled out by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for its ‘world best practice tourism organisational model and innovative initiatives in destination marketing’.

In particular, the organisation's digital marketing strategy and programmes received international acclaim during her tenure as CEO. 

In 2012, Cape Town Tourism was listed as one of the world's top 20 and Africa’s most influential tourist boards and DMO’s online (rated by Other accolades include the Travel and Leisure SMITTY Award for Best Overall Use of Social Media globally in 2013, a Cannes Lions Gold Award and a Gold Loerie for Cape Town Tourism’s Facebook campaign, Send Your Facebook Profile to Cape Town, developed with Ogilvy Cape Town. 

She now brings this experience and her understanding of customer-focused destination marketing and innovative digital marketing to the table in partnership with the Stellenbosch wine and tourism industries. 

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold is an international destination marketing and tourism thought leader, a writer and public speaker on tourism, responsible tourism, destination marketing, brand innovation and digital strategy.

The Stellenbosch Experience will showcase the Stellenbosch Winelands as Africa’s wine tourism capital and one of the top wine tourism regions in the world.

Tourism and wine industry entities can join the campaign as preferred marketing partners to elevate the region and their brands nationally and internationally. You can read more about the marketing partnership opportunities here

The region and participating marketing partners will be represented at ITB Berlin in March for the international launch of the Stellenbosch Experience to the world's top travel trade and media, followed by the Tourism Indaba in Durban in May. 

In addition to the new blog, other campaign elements include an enhanced digital presence across all social media networks and an innovative wine tourism blogger campaign with top international and national travel, lifestyle and food bloggers between April and September. 

Helena Egan of Tripadvisor enjoys the wine tourism offering of Simonsig Wine Estate, one of the 152 wineries and estates affiliated with the Stellenbosch Wine Routes. 

For more information on the Stellenbosch Experience or to become a marketing partner visit the new blog or contact Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at or phone 083 225 5955.

You can follow Destinate on Twitter or Facebook and Stellenbosch Wine Routes on Twitter or Facebook. Come along on a visual journey on Instagram and Pinterest