Destinate is a bespoke destination management and tourism marketing agency established in 2013 by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold after ten years as CEO of Cape Town Tourism. We develop and help implement strategy, build brands, market destinations and connect people with great brands and destinations (often over good food and wine).
We do travel differently. Working with a range of local properties, small tourism operators and local tourism companies, we create unique travel experiences for the conscious traveller. Our curated travel experiences and packages are all about making real connections with people and places, sharing their stories and contributing to the greater good in one way or another.
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We’re also passionate about supporting local makers, designers and creatives. You’ll find an array of articles and personal recommendations crafted around proudly ethical African products in our Style section. Meeting the makers, whether that be local designers, artists, chefs, cooks or winemakers are some of the most memorables moments of travel. Through Destinate Style we are connecting the makers directly with our guests and online audiences, telling the stories of Africa and giving travellers the opportunity to experience carefully curated local products and design pieces.
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 and events management. Our team of #Destineers 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.
Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold established Destinate in 2013 after ten years as the award-winning CEO of Cape Town Tourism. Mariette is in demand internationally as a tourism strategist, facilitator and speaker on tourism, destination management and innovation in marketing.
Annareth Bolton, the CEO of Stellenbosch Wine Routes for nine years, joined Destinate in December 2015. She has vast experience in wine and domestic tourism, PR, marketing and events.
Asanda Maku has a wealth of experience in television and production and is a seasoned television presenter, actress and model with several TV successes under her belt.
Thabo Malo specializes in travel management, tourism development and guest relations. He has worked for Cape Town Tourism, Tourvest, Kuoni Private Safaris, And Beyond as well as South African Tourism.
Our international PR representative, based in Germany, is Beate Pechmann, a well-connected PR expert with more than 15 years’ work experience. She worked at various London PR agencies and is passionate about hospitality, with a first degree in hotel management from Germany.
A network of specialist service providers support the team with digital marketing, social media, creative, content and event management.
Frank Kilbourn, FORMER CHAIRPERSON, SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM
“As CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariette not only ran the organisation very effectively, but managed to take the brand into the digital era with the purposeful use of social media.”
MEC Alan Winde, WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
“As CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette was integral in defining a brand for our destination, setting a vision for our tourism industry and taking our offering global.”
Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO, NELSON MANDELA BAY TOURISM
“The results of working with Destinate meant the launch of a new blog and digital strategy for Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, and we feel that this has been very successful as a new tool in increasing our online and social media presence.”
Annemarie Ferns, CEO OF STELLENBOSCH 360
“Being results driven, Destinate – through the strategic thinking of Mariette – has contributed to Stellenbosch running its most successful marketing campaign to date, placing Stellenbosch on the world map.”
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, FORMER MINISTER OF TOURISM, SOUTH AFRICA
“Through your input and conduct, you have always shown that you understand a leader to be someone who unites others behind a shared goal, develops trust and seizes all opportunities.”
Peter Stuart, MANAGING DIRECTOR, VERGENOEGD WINE ESTATE
“Mariette, Annareth and their team of Destineers were appointed in December 2015 to carefully and strategically steer the historic but “forgotten” Vergenoegd brand and wine estate into an authentic destination offering unique experiences, consistent quality wines and exceptional service. The results were the following: 189 visitors in December, 265 in January, 1163 in February and 2253 in March and more than 20 million views of our duck parade video on social media platforms in April! A great result for Destinate and the new Vergenoegd.”
Destinate’s stable of clients, past and present, include: Reunion Island Tourism, Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch Experience global campaign, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Soweto Wine Festival, Franschhoek Wine Valley, Wellington Wine Route, Durbanville Wine Route, City of George, Vergenoegd Wine Estate, Walkerbay Xtreme, Open Africa, West Coast Peninsula, West Coast Fossil Park, The Cape Collection, Glen Carlou, Graham Beck, Nederburg Auction, The President Hotel, Le Wine Chambre, Mpumalanga Tourism, Shoprite Holdings, H&M South Africa, Mango House Seychelles, Vinimark Wine Company, Swellendam Municipality, Constantia Fresh and Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival.
The agency has gained recognition globally for digital marketing campaigns like #Stellenblog for Stellenbosch, #72hrsSoweto for the Soweto Wine Festival, #WeOpenAfrica for Open Africa and #gotoReunion for Reunion Island. Mariette developed South Africa’s first national wine tourism strategy for VinPro and WOSA as part of the WISE initiative and Destinate led the first phase of the implementation thereof.
In November 2017, Destinate launched the Joburg Wine Club to grow the local wine market. The Club brings a series of prestigious wine events to the right consumers during the course of the year. The events are unlike any other wine event or festival and is complemented by PR and media promotions, consumer competitions, wine tourism travel packages, interesting wine selections and sales.