Destinate is known for its thought leadership. Chief Destineer Mariëtte du Toit Helmbold is well-known in South African and international tourism circles for her strategic insights, public speaking and leadership, particularly in the spheres of tourism at large, responsible tourism, new markets, digital marketing, brand innovations and destination marketing.
PR & communications are fast evolving in today's increasingly globalised, inter-connected world. We help you to see opportunities and to market your destination or organisation in effective, punchy ways that get your message through.
Most of your customers are now online, or if not, will be soon. What they say about you and to each other is crucial. We are experts at guiding conversations and growing communities around tourism brands.
It's not enough to envision your future as an organisation or have a strategy – you need accurate roadmaps to get there. You also need the right vehicles and the right drivers. Destinate can assist with these aspects of organisational design and change management.
We offer strategic development and implementation. We don't like to develop a strategy and walk away – we prefer to assist with the implementation and to deliver tangible results.
In today's competitive world of international travel, developing and building brands that are unique and stand out from the crowd is more important than ever. We're there to help, with a hefty portfolio of international tourism brand-building experience behind us.
Destinate’s stable of clients past and present include Reunion Island Tourism, Stellenbosch Wine Routes – and the widely recognised Stellenbosch Experience global campaign, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Soweto Wine Festival, Franschhoek Wine Valley, Wellington Wine Route, the City of George, Vergenoegd Wine Estate, Durbanville Wine Route and Constantia Fresh 2016.
The agency has gained recognition globally for digital marketing campaigns like #Stellenblog for Stellenbosch, #72hrsSoweto for the Soweto Wine Festival, #gotoReunion for Reunion Island and a number of digital pop-up campaigns. Chief Destineer, Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold is also in demand internationally as a speaker on tourism, trends in marketing and the role of digital and social in destination and tourism marketing. South Africa’s first national wine tourism strategy is another project she has been working on for VinPro.
Since its inception in 2013, the innovative #Stellenblog campaign has been at the forefront of wine tourism marketing globally. The campaign forms part of the year-long Stellenbosch Experience campaign, which covers the greater Stellenbosch region, aiming to not only promote Stellenbosch globally as a leading wine tourism destination, but to showcase the depth of Stellenbosch’s offering beyond its quality wine.
This cross-platform marketing programme includes:
1. A themed annual communication plan
2. Digital marketing: A dedicated campaign blog-site and social media management
3. Trade Programme: The region is represented at ITB in Berlin, WTM Africa in Cape Town, Indaba in Durban and WTM in London
4. International PR Representative: Promoting Stellenbosch to top trade and media in key global markets, focused on Germany, UK, USA, Netherlands and the rest of Europe
5. Guest Relationship Programme (trade and media): Targeting specific trade and media to host them in Stellenbosch
6. #Stellenblog: The successful blogger campaign, hosting top international and national travel, and lifestyle bloggers in Stellenbosch for a week-long campaign
7. Winter Campaign: Value for money wine tourism packages compiled and promoted, with the aim to make the packages available to foreign trade in March at ITB
8. Domestic Tourism Focus: Using Stellenbosch’s events calendar to encourage more domestic travellers and families to visit and stay in Stellenbosch
9. Consumer Competitions: Hosted to drive interest and awareness through social media, print media and the web
10. Wine Tourism Roadshow, London: Hosted to coincide with a prominent wine show in association with WOSA (Wines of South Africa)
11. USA Media/Online Influencer Hosting Trip
In its inception year, the #Stellenblog campaign hosted international bloggers Keith Jenkins from Velvet Escape (Netherlands), Matt Long from Landlopers ((USA), Norman Roehlig from i-Ref (Germany) and Niamh Shields from Eat Like A Girl (UK). The week-long campaign saw the bloggers take up residence in a historic Sir Herbert Baker Manor House on a working wine farm, with 37,6million opportunities to see, 972 contributors to the conversation and 4,6million individual users reached within 6 weeks.
In its second year, the campaign hosted bloggers Michael Turtle from Time Travel Turtle (AUS), Rachelle Lucas from The Travel Bite (USA), Sarah Lee from Live Share Travel (UK) and Melvin Bucher from Travel Dudes (Germany) along with local South African bloggers Emma-Jane Harbour from Emmajanenation and Anna-Belle Mulder from She Said. This iteration of the campaign lead to 87million opportunities to see, 4,7 individuals reached, with 6 822 mentions by 1 993 contributors recorded.
The 2016 campaign (in April) hosted Kiersten Rich from The Blonde Abroad (USA), Marvin Schoenberg from Niedblog (Germany), Rob Lloyd from Stop Having A Boring Life (Canada) and Luiz Hara from The London Foodie (UK), along with locals Meruschka Govender from Mzansigirl and Twiggy Moli from Sleepless in Soweto. Just two weeks into the campaign, 4,7 million users have been reached and 59,5 million opportunities to see have already been recorded.
IN TOTAL, the #Stellenblog campaign has hosted 14 of the world’s top travel, food and lifestyle bloggers and been seen on well over 173 million social media timelines.
Destinate was approached to create a campaign in order to drive awareness and tourism from South Africa to Reunion Island.
The challenge: Historically, Reunion Island has not been actively promoted to the South African market and as a result the awareness and knowledge about the island have been limited in the South African market. Destinate’s challenge was to create awareness in South Africa, mainly through digital marketing.
Destinate developed and launched an all new blog with dynamic content targeted at the South African audience (http://blog.welcometoreunionisland.com/) in association with Flow Communications in 2014. It was used as a launch pad for the new #gotoReunion digital campaign, which would see a number of high profile online and traditional media hosted on the island and their stories shared with the world. Destinate also provided additional PR and strategic destination marketing support to Reunion Island for the South African market.
Our next challenge was to promote Reunion Island, an Indian Ocean island, as an alternative destination to Mauritius - an Indian Ocean island which has long been promoted to South Africans as an “affordable package destination for the South African market”.
The solution: Through an innovative, multi-approach campaign, Destinate positioned Reunion Island as the island with “so much more” to offer the South African traveller. We pushed two attractive aspects of travelling to Reunion 1. the island’s short flight from Johannesburg (4 hours) and 2. the island’s visa-free policy for South Africans.
In stark contrast with other islands' package offerings, we positioned Reunion Island as the off-the-beaten track Indian Ocean island for romantics, active and culturally inclined travellers. The island for the traveller who wants to eat where the locals eat and spend their day being active. Where visitors are encouraged to get out of their accommodation before sunrise and explore the mountains, waters, waterfalls and volcano until well after sunset. We positioned the island as a place to hike, explore and experience, rather than a place to just lie passively on the beach all holiday.
During the campaign period, Destinate implemented a multi-channel digital presence to promote Reunion Island in South Africa and beyond.
We generated and shared relevant, English-language content in order to promote the many aspects of the island.
Through a dedicated blog, an arsenal of social media channels, two successful blogger campaigns, a series of media hostings, trade shows, road shows and trade hostings, we targeted audiences across platforms in a tailor-made format that resonated with each unique community.
We created highly shareable digital content, in order to appeal to a variety of travellers, from honeymooners, to families and adventure-seekers. We implemented the #gotoReunion hashtag and seeded it across social media, encouraging visitors and locals to share their unique experiences with their friends and followers.
Over the campaign period, the #gotoReunion hashtag was picked up and used by over 7 900 individual Twitter users.
The #gotoReunion was seen on 85,860,027 Twitter timelines.
The hashtag was used in over 30 900 Tweets.
The #gotoReunion hashtag reached a total of more than 11,9 million Twitter users.
More than 30 400 images were tagged with #gotoReunion on Instagram.
Two high-quality destination videos were shot for the island, showcasing the immense beauty and unique aspects of the destination and tapping into the power of user-generated content.
More than 350 unique, English-language blog posts were shared on the www.blog.welcometoreunionisland.com site. These posts ranged from inspirational image galleries to useful information on what to expect on the island and how to get there. We published at least 4 blog posts per month (often more than 8 per month) covering travel tips, outdoor & nature, heritage, food, attractions, adventure and activities.
Daily content was shared in English on the Reunion Island social media channels.
More than 17 of South Africa’s top bloggers, digital storytellers and online publications were hosted on the island.
Reunion Island was represented at trade shows including INDABA and WTM Africa, with some of the world’s top bloggers attending meetings at the stands to learn more about the destination.
Print coverage was secured in top travel and lifestyle publications, including Getaway Magazine and GQ Magazine.
The #72hoursSoweto campaign was hosted around the Soweto Wine Festival, in order to promote the festival as a weekend, rather than a day trip. Historically, Soweto has been positioned as a “township tour”, and Destinate’s challenge was to position it as a destination; a place to submerge yourself in an emerging creative culture, a place to eat, party and get off the bus.
The goal was to position the destination as Africa’s most exciting city, to expose South Africans to the vibrant Soweto scene, and to use the festival as the central platform around which to Soweto as a destination.
We invited top local influencers and digital storytellers to experience a 72 hour stay in Soweto during the weekend of the Soweto Wine Festival. We introduced them to locals, street art, fashion scene and nightlife.
The campaign influencers we worked with were a mix of digital influencers and on-the-ground Soweto trendsetters. The group included: Natalie Roos, from Destinate and Tails of a Mermaid, Sfiso Dlangamandla, from LoCrate Market, Kate Els, from IndiKate, Innocent Mukheli and the team from I See A Different You, Andy Carrie, prominent local Instagrammer, Heather Mason, from 2Summers, Husain van Roos, from Soweto bike scene Fixin Diaries and Ngoako Mailula (Bravo), local party starter from His n Hers Jams.
The campaign resulted in a series of pre- and post event blog posts and a flurry of social media activity. With an uncharacteristically small investment of just R120 000 ($8000), the campaign had an AVE of more than R2,2M ($150 000) on social media alone.
The #72hoursSoweto hashtag reached more than 9.9 million people during the festival period (3 days), with only 8 influencers seeding the hashtag. More than 447 individuals engaged with the conversation, and more than 1800 Tweets were posted over the festival weekend.