Margie Whitehouse has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer at South African Tourism, with effect from Monday, March 2. She replaces former CMO, Jan Hutton, who resigned last year. Whitehouse has over 25 years’ marketing experience within both the public and private sectors. Margie’s career began when she joined the Unilever management graduate programme in 1988. She holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree, with an Honours degree in Marketing from the University of Cape Town.
Margie has developed brand consultancies, helping both start-up and established companies to innovate and build strong brand identities. In 1999, she built Freedthinkers, where she worked as CEO until 2005, assisting brands such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Technology, FirstRand, Nando’s, Investec, MTN and Moyo. Whitehouse has served on the SAA board, chairs the WPGA (the Women’s Professional Golf Association).and presently sits on the board of HospiceWits, in order to give back to society.
Commenting on Whitehouse’s appointment, South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima, said: “Margie is the ideal candidate to drive the brand promise of destination South Africa, both domestically and globally. Her extensive knowledge of the African continent also bodes well for her new role, as Africa is an important market for us. We have bold plans to continue expanding our footprint on the continent. Her myriad experiences in the marketing field make her ideal for this strategic role. She is a well- rounded marketing specialist whose insight will ensure that South African Tourism’s marketing initiatives can compete with the best in the world.”
“I am delighted to be joining South African Tourism,” said Whitehouse., “especially at a time when tourism is such an important contributor to the economy of our country. A research-informed, integrated marketing strategy, innovative use of technology, and a clear understanding of the ever-evolving needs of travelers, are only some of the critical requirements for successful destination marketing. With this in mind, I look forward to working with the team at South African Tourism, as well as various stakeholders, to strengthen South Africa’s brand further and continue growing tourist arrivals to our beautiful country.”