Seychelles Newly Appointed Tourism Minister meets Taskforce Representatives 

The newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, joined his first task Tourism Task Force meeting remotely from the Beau Vallon Bay Hotel quarantine centre this Friday, November 6, 2020.

The Tourism taskforce committee composed of relevant public and private sector representatives is mandated to oversee all issues relating to the re-opening of the destination during this period dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Radegonde thanked all the participants for their immense contribution to the restart of the tourism industry and his full support to the work of the committee emphasising the continuous need to balance public health safety considerations with that of getting our tourism industry back on track.

“I have been impressed by the work done by this committee so far. The assignment is not an easy one. It is balancing between economy and health. I very much look forward to bringing my contribution to ensure that Seychelles tourism emerges more sustainably from this pandemic. We need to bring confidence back. Let us embrace innovation and act decisively,” said the appointed minister.
During the meeting, committee members provided an update on the ongoing matters related to the decisions taken by the task force to date.

The appointed minister was briefed on the functioning of the classification of countries, PCR testing protocols, the progress on the setting up of the support assistance for the Seychelles Health Travel Authorisation software locally amongst other working points. 
The Tourism Task Force was previously chaired by the former minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr Didier Dogley.

Seychelles Brought Closer to Reunion Holidaymakers Through Webinars with Partners

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) office in Reunion conducted two virtual meetings with industry partners in the overseas department and region of the French Republic in the aim of reviving business from this market.

The Reunion market considered part of France is eligible to enter Seychelles under conditions applicable to visitors from Category 2 on the permitted list of countries as of October 1, 2020.

The STB team invited tourism stakeholders in Seychelles and their Reunion counterparts to join two webinar sessions set to provide clarity on procedures applicable in Seychelles for Reunion holidaymakers.

Responding to the STB’s invitation, several partners including Destination Management Companies (DMC) and Hotel partners with interest in the Reunion market joined the discussions.

On the DMC side, Seychelles was represented by 7 degrees South, Creole Travel Services and Masons Travel to explain the new features regarding their services while on the hotel side representatives from Hilton group and Le Laurier Eco Hotel attended the virtual meetings to showcase their properties and explain the different protocols in place.

Ms Bernadette Honore, STB representative in Reunion and Mrs Bernadette Willemin, STB Regional Director for Europe represented the destination tourism board and representatives from Air Austral were presented during both sessions in support of the initiative.

The main point of the agenda remained the wellbeing of clients from Reunion in the face of the new sanitary protocols imposed by the destination as part of its Safe Tourism policies.

The STB representative on the Reunion Island stated that these virtual marketing activities are crucial for the tourism board as the priority is to re-generate the demand of Réunion Travellers to Seychelles.

She further stated that as part of re-generating demand from the Reunion market, the engagement of Travel Trade professionals to restart selling the destination and Air Austral’s commitment of repositioning direct flights on Seychelles route are crucial.

“Keeping our partners engaged and providing the reassurance that Seychelles is a safe destination for Reunion visitors is the main reason behind the two webinars. As Seychelles is ready to welcome travellers to its shore, we felt the need to invite our partners to explain to them the travel protocol in place for category 2 on the permitted list of countries. We were pleasantly surprised to receive over 30 decision-makers of Réunion Travel Trade professionals in the city of Saint-Denis and Saint Gilles during two days,” said Ms Honore.

During the sessions, Mrs Willemin responded to various questions raised by the Réunion Travel Trade professionals and provided pertinent information regarding the travel protocols.

On their part, the Air Austral representatives offered an opportunity for discussions between Seychelles local partners, STB, Air Austral and the Réunion Travel trade professionals regarding the availability of flights for visitors from Reunion.

“The two sessions have been very satisfactory for the STB team as we have witnessed the enthusiasm of the Réunion Travel Trade professionals to restart selling Seychelles as a holiday destination and this is a positive sign for the market. The meeting also provided reassurance to our partners in Seychelles as it confirmed the commitment of Air Austral to provide direct schedule flights to Seychelles in mid-December. The timing of the re-opening of direct flights from Reunion is very encouraging for partners predetermining a growth in visitors from Reunion towards the end of the year,” said the STB representative in Reunion.

Ms Honore further stated the anticipation of an increase in the numbers of travellers from Reunion in December since the month sees the happening of the ‘été Austral’ holiday starting from December 19, 2020, to January 25, 2021 marking of the one longest vacation period for the market.

Richard Quest still on his Seychelles Quest!

After a successful visit on the island destination in February of this year, CNN’s renowned anchor and international business correspondent Richard Quest is back in Seychelles for about ten days.
This visit aims at reshooting sequences for his show “Quest’s World of Wonder” reflecting the current situation.

During his last visit, the British journalists touched by the warm welcome received and impressed by the beautiful creole culture of Seychelles commented about his experience of exotic islands saying, “Seychelles is an extraordinary place with a melting pot of people and incredible nature.”
The CNN press trip has been facilitated by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) in the aim of generating visibility for the destination.

Anticipated to be placing the archipelago in the international spotlight once again, Mr Quest and his team members landed in Seychelles from Dubai on the Emirates Airlines flight early this Thursday, October 29, 2020.

Similarly, to visitors coming from a country placed on the Category 2 list of permitted countries to enter Seychelles, the trio is expected to follow protocols applied to this group including being in isolation at their hotel for the next five days and start his working mission as of November 4, 2020.
The CNN team will be exploring the treasures of Seychelles and will be visiting the Islands of Mahé and Praslin.

Speaking about the second visit of Mr Quest this year, Mrs Sherin Francis STB Chief Executive stated it is crucial that the country remains visible at all times so as to stay top of visitors minds and more so during these challenging times for the industry. “We are delighted to receive Mr Quest in Seychelles again. This visit comes at an opportune time where publicity is of the utmost importance and is a definite advantage for our destination proving to the world that Seychelles is indeed the safe destination our STB team is promoting and we are looking forward to seeing Seychelles on the CNN network,” says Mrs Francis.
As part of reviving the local tourism industry to its full glory, the Seychelles stakeholders have designed and continuously are implementing intensive safety measures to ensure the welfare of visitors and the safety of the local population.
The appearance of Seychelles in the CNN TV programme will be the pinnacle of visibility for the destination across all continents on the CNN network and social media. 

The programme is the first of a series of exposure Seychelles is expected to receive on the network leading to 2021.

“Experience Seychelles: Our Home, your Sanctuary” Campaign goes live in Paris

Keeping the beautiful island destination visible in Metropolitan France, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has launched an above the line advertising campaign in the French capital, Paris as part of its communication plan for the autumn-winter promotional season.

The campaign, launched in mid-October will roll for four weeks and involves the deployment of striking pictures of the destination as a means to entice the French market to visit the islands.

Initially scheduled for April, the campaign was postponed to October and is targeting visitors on a long-term period extending to 2021.

The STB office in Paris has opted for a dynamic and earthly medium of communication, as it will allow us to reach out to a significant percentage of active workers in selective business firms with high-income brackets employees, areas in Paris and La Défense.

Some hundred taxis, branded on both sides will be circulating in the capital city Paris and suburban areas. During the last two weeks of October and first two weeks of November, the taxis will be transporting the branded visuals of the destination with the tag line: “Seychelles, Our home your sanctuary”.

Equally part of the campaign, the STB team in Paris has extended the marketing stunt to corporations in the French capital, as it remains a strategic place used by regular holidaymakers. Allowing passers-by to dream, destination Seychelles will be featured in 275 ten seconds inspirational spots at 166 sites for 2 weeks to push the potential clientele to choose our destination for their forthcoming holiday.

Speaking about the campaign, Mrs Bernadette Willemin, STB Regional Director for Europe, stated that despite the current situation in several European cities, the efforts put into the campaign are essential for the survival of the destination.

She stressed that even though not all the prerequisites for travel are in place at the moment, it is important that Seychelles must remain visible
She further stated that it was a strategic decision to have an important part of the campaign stretched over the area of La Défense for it is Europe's largest purpose-built business district.

The business zone is composed of 560 hectares (1,400 acres) in area, 72 glass and steel buildings (of which 19 are completed skyscrapers), 180,000 daily workers, and 3,500,000 square metres (38,000,000 sq. ft.) of office space.

“This is a period whereby European cities tends to be grey and foggy; hence the contrasting impact of our visual depicting sunshine, warm and vivid colours which could not go unnoticed even during the peak and rush hours,” said Bernadette Willemin.

Additionally, she added that the objective of this campaign is to remind the public that Seychelles is ready to accommodate the visitors and that our islands are considered one of the safest destinations to travel to now.

This campaign complements other promotional activities B2B or B2C currently being undertaken in France and also other markets across Europe ensuring that we keep the momentum going and keeping the Seychelles top in the mind of the people so that when travel resumes in earnest they will aspire to choose our destination.

Seychelles to welcome travellers from African countries as of Monday, October 19, 2020

Taking a step forward in the recovery of its tourism industry, Seychelles is now inviting travellers from several Sub-Saharan African Nation for a safe travel experience in the destination.

After intensive preparations for a safer travel experience for visitors, Seychelles has been welcoming tourists back on its shores since June 1, 2020, through chartered and private flights and officially reopened to scheduled flights as of August 1, 2020.

With travellers’ wellbeing and that of the local population at heart, the Seychellois authorities have put in place rigorous protocols to ensure safe travel and stay for its visitors.

Ten African countries with a continued decline in infection rate including South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda and Zimbabwe have henceforth been added on the list of permitted countries – Category: one as of Monday, October 19, 2020.

Conditions applicable to visitors from these countries joining the Category -1 Permitted countries that are deemed low or medium risk are less rigid than for other visitors coming from countries listed as Category 2 or other higher-risk countries.

Travellers, coming from Category 1- Permitted countries will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 PCR test no older than 72 hours before departure alongside their approved Health Travel Authorisation (HTA) for entry and will not be subject to the restriction of movement during their stay.

Visitors are encouraged to observe sanitary measures while visiting Seychelles. Visitors from the Category 1 list of permitted countries will be able to enjoy their holiday activities such as sightseeing and tours, island hopping and excursions under specific guidelines.

Mr David Germain, the Seychelles Tourism Board Regional (STB) Director for Africa & the Americas mentions that this new addition to the permitted list is an opportunity for Seychelles and will contribute to rebound the tourism industry.

“Seychelles, given its proximity to Africa, and being a Covid19 safe destination, with certified establishments and services, is the perfect place for a holiday for the African travellers, safe and isolated the archipelago is one of the purest and most environmentally intact destinations on earth, come and experience Seychelles, our home, your sanctuary,” he said.

Adding more good news for the African market, Seychelles’ national airline, Air Seychelles has announced that it will resume its flight schedule from Seychelles to Johannesburg, South Africa effective November 7, 2020. Air Seychelles will operate one weekly flight on Saturdays in November and from December; the airline will offer three flights per week with the addition of flights on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Speaking of the addition of the ten African countries to the permitted list, Ms Christine Vel, the STB Director for Africa, mentioned her enthusiasm to have the destination available for African travellers again.

“We are overly excited to be opening our borders again to the African market. For the past few months, we have been building on our visibility on the market and we have satisfyingly had lots of interest and enquiries. Knowing the demand is there, we are confident that with flight availability, and permission from the authorities for these travellers to enter Seychelles the interest will keep increasing,’’ says Ms Vel.

Seychelles has so far, recorded an exceptionally low number of cases and there has been no community transmission, deaths nor any infection amongst health care workers.

Local Tourism Stakeholders in Seychelles Launch the ‘Tourism Wi’ Campaign.

Core industry stakeholders in Seychelles join forces in a seductive operation targeting the population with the restart of tourism in the Indian Ocean destination.

The ‘Tourism Wi’ campaign, developed by the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA) in collaboration with the marketing body of the destination, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), the Tourism Department and the Seychelles Training Academy (STA) was launched at the STB Headquarters at Botanical House on Monday, October 19, 2020.

The campaign centres around sensitising the public about the vital role, which the tourism industry plays for the country and the reason why we all need to unite to support its restart.

Speaking at the launch in the presence of Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Anne Lafortune, the representatives from SHTA Mrs Louise Testa and Martin Kennedy, Mrs Sherin Francis stated it is important to sensitize both the public and the local stakeholders as the country is at a very important and very delicate crossroad which the restart of its primary industry.

“With the increase of international flights in Seychelles, tourism arrival numbers are growing slowly. This past Sunday, October 18, 2020, the destination has registered 401 visitors disembarking on our shores. The numbers might not be as big as what we used to record in a day but it remains significant for us as a destination. Seychelles is well known for its warm and welcoming people. Today, more than ever this is one essential appeal of our promotional campaign,” said Mrs Francis.

On her part the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Anne Lafortune, stated; “The Tourism industry stakeholders are working tirelessly to ensure that the destination remains safe and that everybody does their part follow the health protocols because when tourists see that we are a safe country, they will want to visit. The STB team has doubled its marketing efforts for Seychelles to remain visible and attract visitors. This campaign makes sure that our efforts are being supported by everyone.”

In addition to educating the public about the industry’s importance and the drastic strain the pandemic has imposed on the Seychelles economy, the campaign also raises awareness about Seychelles as a Safe Tourism destination, highlighting the safety measures taken by the various industries for the protection of visitors and the population.

SHTA representative Mrs Louise Testa stated that the SHTA has been committed to being part of the campaign as tourism is a key sector of the economy.

“We hope that the campaign will help our citizens to recognise the importance of tourism not only to our economy but also to them and their families. SHTA has worked closely with the Seychelles Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism in order to produce a campaign, which supports economic recovery, safe health practices and personal protection. We have to get behind economic recovery as a nation. We are facing some difficult times ahead and increasing our foreign exchange inflows by welcoming more tourists will help reduce the severity of any problems in the future,” said Mrs Testa.

The first stage of the campaign, which started running in the media as of Friday 16, 2020 will be visible over multiple platforms including local press, including television, radio and newspapers, as well as social media platforms of both STB and tourism-related partners.

The campaign engages the locals, building their confidence in light of the arrivals of tourists into the country. Furthermore, it emphasises the importance of preserving the creole hospitality for which the Seychellois people are praised for, a treasured trait, which is cherished now more than ever as people seek refuge from the storm of the pandemic.

The second phase of the campaign is set to begin on Friday, October 30, 2020, and terminates Friday, December 4, 2020.