Fruitful start of the year for Seychelles on the Indian Market

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) team hit India with a determined shock wave earlier this month as the organisation participated to the OTM - Outbound Travel Mart 2020 in partnership with its national airline Air Seychelles at the Bombay Exhibition Center in Mumbai, India from February 3, 2020 to February 5, 2020.

Representing the tourism board, the team included Mrs. Amia Jovanovic- Desir, the STB Director for India, Australia and for South Asia alongside with representatives based in India Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, Ms. Shakambri Soni and Ms. Priya Ghag and Air Seychelles was represented by its General Sales Agents based in India.

The two prime stakeholders of the Seychelles tourism industry marked their presence among the Indian travel fraternity, providing visibility to the destination as an ideal holiday destination with an easy access for the Indian market during the three-day trade fair.

OTM, which is considered one of the major fairs in the Mumbai region was attended by over fifteen thousand visitors, providing an excellent platform for the STB team present to the destination and showcase its multiple attributes to the Indian public.

While at the 3 days at OTM, Mrs. Amia- Jovanovic Desir conducted a series fruitful of meetings with the trade partners.

Additional sales meetings with prominent tour operators in Mumbai further solidified the STB sales visit to India.

The tour operators, which included boutique agencies such as Zion Vacations and Indiana Travels to big companies such as ARK Travels, FCM and Thomas Cook, have varying clientele and so the meetings allowed Mrs Jovanovic-Desir to gain insights on the destination’s performance as well as challenges faced in promoting the country in India.

As part of the feedback received during her visit in India, Mrs. Jovanovic- Desir’s numerous new partners have expressed the interest to sell Seychelles to their clients. She mentioned that MICE is also a segment for the Seychelles on the Indian market.

Discussions were also oriented towards the need to increase availability of flights serving other key cities in India to Seychelles; several agents mentioned that this factor is widening the options for interest to our competitors Maldives and Mauritius and made a strong call to open up more flights access in order to obtain increase in visitor numbers.

Commenting on her Mumbai sales visits the STB Director for India, Australia and for South Asia stated her satisfaction to have renewed the tourism board’s relationship with the trade in Mumbai, she further stated that this visit has allowed her to note the various ground realities to further formulate strategies for the India market.

“Seychelles saw a 4% increase in visitor arrivals from India with 14,338 visitors traveling to the country in 2019 vis-à-vis 13,918 visitors in 2018. The meetings at OTM and with trade partners in Mumbai provided a strong perspective for the single digit growth from India. One of our areas of investment on the Indian market will be B2B and B2C activities to boost the arrival figures in 2020,” said Amia Jovanovic- Desir.

 

The Seychelles brings “Sun and Sea” to Belgium Trade Fair

Sunny Seychelles made a magnificent appearance through the participation of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) at the 62nd edition of Salon des Vacances, which was held from February 6, 2020 to February 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.

The salon des Vacances, a consumer event targeting the public, is the largest tourism event in Belgium with over 100,000 visitors, 800 exhibitors and 70 countries including Seychelles.

In the spirit of providing key attention to the small island destination, the Seychelles stand was rightly located at the entrance of the destination’s pavilion where the STB team met with visitors to inform them about the destination.

The STB team tasked to increase the visibility of the destination in Belgium included Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, the STB Regional Director for Europe and Ms. Myra Fanchette, STB Marketing Executive from the STB France Office, who for four days actively provided information about the destination and its potentials.

Centred around the theme ‘Sun & Sea’, the stand, which was illustrating vibrant scenes of the Island destination’s exotic beaches and lush mountains, did not miss dazzling the Belgian visitors attending the fair complementing the presentation efforts made by the team.

Her Excellency Ms. Beryl Shirley Samson, Seychelles Ambassador in Belgium, paid a visit to the Seychelles stand making the event 62nd edition of Salon des Vacances a special one.

The event allowed the STB team to perform STB’s mandate to increase the destination’s visibility and raise awareness about its offerings through the distribution of information to potential holidaymakers.

One particular aspect of the fair, which complimented the STB’s interest in participating in the event, were the themes chosen for this year; one of which was eco-tourism which is a major focus in the Seychelles, especially with increased severity of climate change.

Seychelles is an active advocate for sustainability and conservation in the Indian Ocean, and promotes eco-tourism on its shores as part of its ambition for a sustainable future. The Salon des Vacances, in Belgium undeniably provided a platform to sensitise both exhibitors and visitors about the destination’s firm environmental stands while giving the STB an opportunity to educate a wider audience about the beautiful pristine environment.

As part of their promotional activities, the STB team seized the opportunity to promote the destination as a multifaceted place through adventure activities such as water sports and hiking. In the recent years, the country has hosted several sporting events such as FINA and the Eco-Friendly Marathon, attracting participation from all corners of the globe. The STB has also launched the SNT Trail, calling nature lovers to hike some of the scenic routes of the tropical paradise.

“We wanted to showcase the diversity and variety of our products, and the fact that Seychelles has something to offer each traveller. We thus brought to the fore our attributes including our unique flora and fauna, world class diving and fishing, exceptional cruising within our archipelago, the Seychellois culture among others while ensuring that the visitors to our stand got to know about the wide range of hotel infrastructure available, catering for all tastes and budgets,” said Mrs Willemin.

She further added, “We were surprised to see a good number of the visitors coming to see us who had already travelled to our country and were satisfied with the experiences on the ground. They were thus the perfect ambassador for the ones who were at our booth for information.”

The Fair features amongst eight travel shows, which the STB office in France has attended in numerous places around France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, since the beginning of 2020 to promote destination Seychelles.

 

The Seychelles extends its golf game over in Reunion at the SFR Golf Tournament

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) joined forces with its industry adherent specialized in golf, Constance Lemuria Resorts to extend the destination’s reach across the waters to the SFR Golf Tournament held at Réunion’s reputed ‘Bassin Bleu’ Golf Course in Saint Gilles les Bains.

The SFR Golf Tournament started in December 2019 and its finals were held on February 2, 2020 in the presence of the President of the Golf League Jean Marie Hoarau and SFR team.

Seychelles was represented through STB Senior Marketing Executive for Réunion and Indian Ocean, Ms. Bernadette Honore.

The STB’s participation remains in line with its marketing strategy to increase the destination’s visibility through participation at pertinent event.

In the recent years, Seychelles has pulled focus on the beautiful island destination and its versatility to offer diverse experiences to its clients through its active collaboration with the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) and the Staysure Tour through for the MCB Tour championship, which takes place on Praslin at Constance Lemuria’s picturesque golf course.

During the golf event, STB seized the opportunity to promote the destination and its various features, through brochures and interactive activities, STB divulged information about the island destination and its offerings to visitors. 

The golfers present were also provided with extensive information on golf as a desired visitor’s experience bringing up the Constance Lemuria Resort’s 18-hole golf course that spans over an area of 5,580 metres and a breath-taking view of the white sandy beach of Anse Georgette as professional golf course.  

In the course of prize-giving ceremony, Finalists were also given the chance to win a two night stay for two at Constance Lemuria Resort Praslin, boat transfer tickets through the inter-island ferry company Cat Coco and entrance to the renowned Vallée de Mai UNESCO world heritage site; sponsored by STB and Constance Lemuria Resort.

Ms. Honore expressed STB’s gratitude for being included in the event, stating it is the ideal platform to promote Seychelles as a sports destination, a marketing angle which has become more significant in the healthy conscious climate of today.

“The Constance Lemuria Golf course is already well known amongst golfers in Réunion, some were even present at the event and shared their positive experiences. One of our marketing priorities this is year is to reach out to new potential markets, one of which is the golf community”, added Ms. Honore. 

Participation in events such as these allows the STB to fulfill its mandate of increasing the destination’s visibility, encouraging the presence of more visitors.

Seychelles sparkles at the Bride Show in Dubai

The exotic, pristine destination was set to conquer the hearts of brides-to-be, as the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) participated in the Bride Show Dubai 2020 earlier this February, where the islands showcased its potential as a romantic wedding destination and the wide range of possibilities for couples and newly-weds.

The STB representative in Dubai Ahmed Fathallah and Marketing Executive Ms. Winnie Eliza from the STB Headquarters were present at the show on behalf of the destination to entice the various visitors to the romance in beautiful destination.  

Paradise-like Seychelles also dubbed the ‘islands of love’, where romance is as natural as all the physical attributes which conspire to provide tender and romantic experiences, is regarded as by many as simply  ‘out of this world’.

“It is a perfect opportunity for Seychelles to increase its visibility in the UAE through the Bride Show in Dubai as plenty of residents of the region dream of having their marriage and/or honeymoons in Seychelles. Using the STB’s participation, we make this dream become closer to reality; we have showcased more of what the islands can be for this segment in The Bride Show. The positive reception in the region continuously inspires the team to intensify our efforts in promoting the destination,” mentioned Mr. Fathallah.

He further stated that the Bride Show in Dubai is a popular event amongst residents of the UAE, expatriates and Emiratis alike, sees the participation of some 20, 000 participants annually.

Visitors to the STB enjoyed the picturesque booth that captured the essence of the islands; they were also treated to some gift bags containing exhaustive information regarding Seychelles as a wedding and honeymoon destination.

The STB representative in Dubai further mentioned there is an increasing number of Dubai residents who are choosing to celebrate their special moment in the Seychelles islands as it represents the ideal of romance in paradise.

After four fantastic days of fashion, jewelry, beauty, glamour and more at the Middle East’s leading wedding and lifestyle event, plenty of brides-to-be and couples definitely went with some great ideas and inspiration for their big day- hopefully heading to the Seychelles!

Seychelles showcased at ‘Voyages et évasion’ event in Réunion

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) joined forces with Réunion a Travel expert, Anthurium Tourisme to promote Seychelles as an ideal destination for group travellers.

The objective of the event was to promote the different destinations and hotel properties proposed by the travel agency Anthurium Tourisme to their clienteles in Réunion. 

The event dubbed ‘Voyages et évasions’ held in the city of Saint Gilles, gathered around 70 invitees from prestigious companies such as Citroen, Banque Française Commerciale to meet with industry professionals including airline companies, Tourism offices and hotels representatives from Réunion and Mauritius.

The event, which was staged in the format of round robin B2B workshop by the organisers, offered an ideal platform for networking with key clienteles and companies present.

The STB’s participation at the event is in line with its marketing mandate and Bernadette Honore, STB Senior Marketing Executive for Réunion and Indian Ocean held the destination’s flag high at the event as she keenly presented Seychelles to the various guests who attended the ‘Voyages et évasions’.

Encouraging the invitees to not leave the event empty handed, Anthurium Tourisme tailored for the special offer packages displayed at each table.

Whilst the STB followed suit through an interactive marketing format combining destination promotion with a quiz session to test the knowledge of the guests about Seychelles in the aim to drive interest to the destination.

Speaking about the STB’s participation at the event, the STB representative in Reunion mentioned that the event provided excellent visibility for the destination. 

“The Seychelles presence at an event such as ‘Voyages et évasions’ contributed in giving more visibility to the destination vis-à-vis prestigious companies in Reunion. We have seen great interest as some participants have already planned a group holiday to Seychelles this year.

We are anticipating more holidaymakers from the market as the other participants who not yet decided on their next stop holiday were interested to know more about Seychelles. There were also so an increased interest from companies having trail clubs, which will not make it this first edition of the Seychelles Nature Trail event, regarding the 2021 edition,’’ said Bernadette Honore.

The event provided a significant boost to the destination’s visibility in Réunion especially towards potential visitors who belong to the group travellers for leisure segment.

‘Voyages et évasion’ closed with a cocktail evening for the invitees of Anthurium Voyages.

Seychelles Key Sectors meet in view of preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai

Key partners representing various sector of the Seychelles economy met at the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Headquarters, Botanical House at Mont Fleuri, for a video conference call with the Expo 2020 team in Dubai.

The meeting saw the presence of Ambassador Jean-Claude Adrienne, head of the Seychelles' mission in the United Arab Emirates, who is also the Commissioner General for the Seychelles at Expo 2020, who was accompanied by members of the Expo team.

The participants attending the meeting on Seychelles’ side were the STB Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis; Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) CEO, Mr. Galen Bresson; Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA) CEO, Ms. Angelic Appoo and Mrs. Sybille Cardon Chairperson of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA).

Various representatives including members of the STB team, Air Seychelles, the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), the Seychelles International Financial Services Association (SIFSA), the Department for Tourism, the Department for Blue Economy and the Seychelles Chef Association were also present.

The meeting consisted of a presentation to the participants about the Expo 2020 concept, explaining the site including the facilities available for the visitors and the expectations of the visitor’s experience throughout the 6-months of the Expo.

Each representative present also had a clearer insight about the various opportunities to be made available to Seychelles as a country aside from the widespread opportunity for visibility as a country.

Discussions were also held on the various collaborations between the different organisations within the country.

The spearheading team for the Seychelles participation at Expo 2020 has mentioned that further discussions will be conducted with other organisations, including ministries and department’s agencies and private sectors, in the coming months.

Taking place from 20 October 2020 until 10 April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai will be first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

For six months, the Seychelles will be represented through the participation of various national entities and NGO has to showcase the country’s natural lush environment, the opportunities for investment and its achievements towards Sustainability and Nature conservation.

The first world expo took place in 1851 in London and has since been a platform for countries to showcase their achievements and culture to the rest of the world. Expo 2020 Dubai is expecting to welcome25million visits over its 173 days of operation, with 70 per cent of its visitors anticipated to come from outside the United Arab Emirates.