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8 February 2013

Cape Town Tourism CEO resigns

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, has resigned after nine successful years at the helm.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold. Mariette du Toit-Helmbold.

I am confident that the organisation is stable and sustainable with a very capable team and a committed and progressive industry board – Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, CEO, Cape Town Tourism.

Under Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold’s leadership, Cape Town Tourism has won critical acclaim as a visitor services and marketing organisation.

When she joined the organisation in 2004, she was widely praised for her change management and project management initiatives that culminated in bringing the then fragmented tourist industry in Cape Town under one roof.

Under her stewardship, Cape Town Tourism has achieved many milestones. Among these are securing the destination marketing mandate for Cape Town in 2008; the creation of the first digital tourism marketing strategy for Cape Town in 2009; an urban tourism marketing strategy and campaign that incorporated the first ever global media partnership between Cape Town, Durban and National Geographic in 2011; and the three city partnership between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in association with South African Tourism in 2011.

‘It has been an exciting, fast-paced few years and I have been proud to lead Cape Town Tourism through a fascinating and challenging era for tourism,’ she said. ‘I am confident that the organisation is stable and sustainable with a very capable team and a committed and progressive industry board. Cape Town Tourism’s reputation is established globally as one of the best practice examples of a tourism destination marketing and private/public partnership tourism organisation. I leave behind a legacy I am immensely proud of.'

Du Toit-Helmbold said the renewal of Cape Town Tourism’s mandate from the City of Cape Town, and confirmed funding for three years, had been a highlight of her career.

She added that tourism was one of the sectors best positioned to deliver on job creation: ‘Tourism creates prospects for entrepreneurship. It is one of the largest employment sectors in South Africa and a fast entry vehicle into the workforce for young people and women in both urban and rural communities.'

Du Toit-Helmbold leaves Cape Town Tourism at the end of July 2013, but will continue to support the organisation until its AGM in October 2013 when she hands over the reigns to a new CEO. She plans to become an independent tourism and marketing strategist working on tourism and marketing strategy initiatives nationally and internationally.

Sabine Lehmann, chairperson of the Cape Town Tourism Board, described Du Toit-Helmbold as ‘a fearless and passionate leader for tourism and a champion of all things Cape Town’. 'Her energy, optimism and creativity will be missed by her team and by our board. We wish her every success in her next chapter,’ she said.

Du Toit-Helmbold said she would remain involved and committed to growing the tourism sector in Cape Town and beyond.  ‘Tourism and Cape Town are my first loves. It is an exciting time to work in tourism. I look forward to applying my passion and what I have learned to continue working with government and the industry to make a positive difference,’ she concluded.