The Seychelles Tourism Board count down to the Seychelles Nature Trail event

The Seychelles Tourism Board and its partners gear up for the first edition of the Seychelles Nature Trail (SNT) event in a Press Briefing at its headquarters at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri this Thursday January 16, 2020.

In line with the STB’s mandate to increase the destination’s visibility, the most recent addition to STB’s calendar of event, will be taking place in May this year on Mahé.

The event aims at propelling the Seychelles’ engagement towards green tourism, enticing visitors to explore the destination’s lush biodiversity and reaches out to sports enthusiasts through the portrayal of Seychelles as a versatile destination and most definitely an ideal sports venue.

With the international event drawing closer, the STB, in close collaboration with the National Sports Council (NSC), hosted partners and press for an update on the latest development on the project.

The STB was represented by its Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis and her team including Regional Director for Europe, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin and STB representative in Reunion, Ms. Bernadette Honore and Ms. Winnie Eliza and Ms. Mavreen Pouponneau-2 Destination Marketing Executives based at Headquarters-working on the project.

Collaborating on the first project representatives from the Seychelles National Parks Authority, Absa, Cable & Wireless, SeyPearl and SkyChef were also present at this briefing alongside the STB and the NSC.

During her presentation, Mrs. Willemin provided an update in regards to ongoing registration and informed the partners on the active interest of international runners including two prominent French trail celebrities joining the SNT in May.

“We expected good participating numbers to the event as you know one does not have a chance to enjoy beautiful sceneries of paradise every day, we are pleased to announce some 200 international registrations to the event already and we are only in January! We urge our local trail runners to contact the NSC to join the event, which I believe will be a perfect challenge for them as they would measure their strength against international runners,” said Mrs. Willemin.

As a sign of gratitude for their ongoing support, the STB team further presented partners with Seychelles Nature Trail promotional materials artwork, which is currently being worked on for the promotion of the event.

For this first edition, the trail has combined several popular hiking routes, including Mont Le Niol and Congo Rouge area, into a 25km trail, which will finish in the Grand Anse Area.


Seychelles Tourism Minister, Didier Dogley expresses Satisfaction at Seychelles Tourism industry performance for 2019

During his opening address at the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Marketing Review on Tuesday January 14, 2019 at Eden Blue, Didier Dogley, Minister for Tourism Civil Aviation Ports and marine expresses satisfaction over the constant and gradual increase in numbers of visitors and receipt over the past 5 years

Minister Dogley stated that the latest figures released by Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) confirmed a provisional increase in revenue for 2019 from the tourism industry amounting to 576.4 million USD equating to a little over 8 Billion Seychelles rupees.

Congratulating the tourism partners present, the Tourism Minister reaffirmed that the success of Seychelles tourism industry is dependent on the collective effort of its stakeholders and partners.

He mentioned that according to tourism counterparts in Mauritius and Maldives, Seychelles considered as the best model in the region and referred to the local policies in place as one of the key contributors to the gradual, continual and sustained growth in both visitor numbers and receipt in revenue.

Minister Dogley further reminded the trade that the Tourism Master Plan-Destination 2023 launched in 2019 provides the guideline to safeguard the destination’s brand and image as an upmarket, selective and pristine tourism destination.

During his speech, he also prompted the assembly that the moratorium has enable the department to revisit and clean up a long list of accommodation projects of over 3000 rooms.

“We now know who the serious investors are and who are not and what measures we need to take to facilitate serious investors and clean up our investment systems. It has also provided room for us to empower Seychellois investors, many of whom have taken the opportunity to invest in small tourism establishments resulting in the majority of rooms being in the hands of locals,” said the Minister.

Minister Dogley mentioned that in 2019, the tourism department licensed 61 new tourism establishments of less than 25 rooms adding 243 additional rooms to the destination’s catalogue.

He also recommended that players in the industry including Ministry of Tourism, the STB, the local trade, DMCs, hotels and airlines join forces to ensure that Seychelles remain a prime destination in the region in terms of visitor’s satisfaction.

“The tourism industry is one that will always thrive if we know how to keep enticing people to visit our beautiful islands. Our pristine environment is critical to our success but one of the persistent challenges we face is that of providing value for money to our tourists. We surely do not need to be reminded that the international tourism arena is a very congested and highly competitive one with tourists now equipped as never before to sniff out the best deals via the plethora of social media and other forums available to them,” said Minister Dogley.


2019 a fruitful year for Seychelles Tourism Industry

The figures speak for themselves; 2019 was a very successful for the Seychelles tourism industry as the country sees a six percent increase in visitor’s arrival according to the latest figures presented by the National Statistics Bureau recently.

The information was communicated to the tourism stakeholders during the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Marketing Review on Tuesday January 14, 2019 at Eden Blue in the presence of the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr. Didier Dogley and the Principal Secretary for Tourism Mrs. Anne Lafortune.

The meeting also saw the presence of the Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr. Alan Renaud, the Chairperson of SHTA, Mrs. Sybille Cardon and the STB Board members.

The board’s presentation of the quantitative review stated that around 384,204 visitors arrived in the country from January to December 2019 compared to the visitor arrivals of the same period in 2018.

It also presented the leading markets to be Germany with 72,509 visitors, France in second position with 43,297, visitors followed by United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Italy, United Arab Emirates (UAE) counting 29,971, 27,289 and 24,609 visitors respectively and the sixth position, Switzerland with 15,300-recorded arrivals.

Speaking at the meeting, Mrs. Sherin Francis mentioned her satisfaction to see the numbers have exceeded the expectations. She explains that the target set by the tourism board at the beginning of January 2019 was at 4 percent.

“It is very satisfactory to see that the tourism arrival numbers and the receipts remain on the rise showing that the efforts to honour our core mandate are being accomplished. I would like to reiterate my gratitude to our trade in Seychelles and our international partners, as they have been an immense support in helping the destination remain visible while enticing potential visitors,” said Mrs. Francis.

According to the figures presented by the National Statistics Bureau, a general increase of 10 % has been recorded on the European market for the corresponding period in 2018 with an increase of 18 percent for Germany, 14 percent for Switzerland, 12 percent for UK & Northern Ireland, 12 percent for Italy and 9 percent in Russia. The American market also shows a significant increase of 9 percent in 2019.

During her presentation, Mrs. Francis also highlighted that one of the main area of focus for the year 2020 will be increasing the number of visitors in the months of May, June and September. She maintained that even if the figures are satisfactory, there is room for improvement as they are considered as low performance months compared to the rest of the year.

“2020 is a very prominent year for us as a country as we feature in the Dubai 2020 Expo and also celebrating our 250th anniversary as a country, as we market the country to our diverse audiences, we would also concentrate on the extensive promotion of our smaller establishments receiving lower occupancy,” added Mrs. Francis.

As the tourism, arrival figures have been increasing, so have the revenue for the country; according to the latest figures for 2019 a 3 percent growth in terms of income coming from the tourism industry has been recorded, this amounts to 576.4 million USD equating to a little over 8 Billion Seychelles rupees.

Also presented at the STB marketing meeting, on the digital side, the destination’s performance across all platforms on social media has increased by 5.6%, from 392,612 to 414,764 with 222.3% increase in impressions and 31.8% in engagement.

Seychelles wins KSA Arabian Business Awards’ Destination of the Year

Closing the year 2019 on a successful note, Seychelles bagged the “Destination of the Year” Award at the KSA Arabian Business Awards at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The event, which is organised by Arabian Business (AB), one of the most prominent business magazines in the GCC region honoured a number of top companies, institutions and business persons for their successes and excellence in their respective industries.

Seychelles, a small island destination in the Indian Ocean was recognised as the best destination of the year at the event.

Various prominent invitees from various fields within the Arabian Business Community attended the KSA Arabian Business Awards glamorous awarding ceremony as they were brought together to celebrate the awardees and to recognise their contributions to the business sectors.

Speaking after the event, Ahmed Fathallah Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) representative in Dubai stated that he is satisfied to see the increasing popularity of Seychelles as a destination.

“These achievements continuously inspire the STB team at Headquarters and in the offices abroad including myself to keep on intensifying our efforts in promoting the destination and arranging more events as a way of acknowledging and thanking our valued partners across the media, trade, consumer and corporate sectors. Our success is a tribute to the combined efforts not only of our team, but our valued trade partners as well,” said Fathallah.

The 115 island holiday destination remains a heaven on earth paradise for many people around the world and more especially with the GCC region, not only its proximity, but also its beautiful exotic features including its sandy white beaches, warm turquoise waters and diverse unique flora and fauna.

The United Arab Emirates is currently the fifth leading market with a number of 24,112 visitors having visited the destination in 2019.


Seychelles Tourism Board staff movement for 2020

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s Management and Board would like to inform all its partners and stakeholders of the following staff movement to be effective January 1, 2020.

In line with the STB’s mandate to promote the destination and in views of increasing the effectiveness of its operations, the following overseas rotations and appointments are to be noted;

Mrs. Lena Hoareau will be stationed in the STB Office in Paris, as the new director for Russia, CIS & Eastern European markets, Mrs. Hoareau moves from the STB office in South Africa where she has been in post since July 2015.

Moving to STB Office based UK; Ms. Karen Confait will replace Ms. Christine Vel, for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavian markets while Ms. Vel will be taking on the South Africa and Other Africa markets after being posted in the UK for the past 2 years.

Effective April 2020, the STB office in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will see the departure of its current Director Mrs. Edith Hunzinger, who is retiring from her 12-years position on that market. Mrs. Hunzinger will be replaced by Ms. Josephine Damrow as Director for the German and Austrian markets and Ms. Judeline Edmond for the Swiss Market.

Ms. Judeline Edmond has been appointed as Director for Switzerland will be based in the STB Paris office. Ms. Edmond’s was formerly a Sales and Marketing Manager at Crown and Champa Resorts in Maldives.  

Ending her service with the STB, Ms. Aliette Esther will be leaving the position she has been occupying for the past 8 years as the Tourism Attaché at the STB Abu Dhabi office. The Abu Dhabi territory will now be added to the Middle East portfolio overseen by Ms. Stephanie Lablache based at the STB Headquarters in Seychelles.


Seychelles Tourism Board Partners with Esquire Middle East Awards to Celebrate the Industry’s Best

In line with its marketing strategy to increase the destination’s visibility, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) collaborated with ITP’s Esquire Middle East, the leading men’s magazine in the Middle East, for their ninth annual Esquire Award held at the One & Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court in Dubai.

The STB Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sherin Francis, and STB Representative based in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Fathallah attended the award, which is a celebration of the outstanding achievements of men and women across the Middle East over the past year.

The One & Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court provided a magnificent ambience and picturesque views for the event, from the photo ops, to the center stage, and to the dinner, which successfully added a glamourous factor to the event.

Observed as one of the most stylish awards night of the Arab region, the ceremony was filled with star-studded award winners, and for sure, some of very prestigious invitees on the Middle East region.

“As the GCC region continuously provides positive reception to Seychelles as a destination, it was only natural for us to come onboard this project, which not only supports the region in their endeavors for expanding their horizons but also provides a center-stage for our holiday paradise. Events like this prove and celebrate that as time goes by, the region starts to be more well-known and flourish for the creative potential of Arab creators, visionaries and innovators – which opens doors for more collaborations in the future and of course more exposure,” mentioned Mr. Fathallah, who worked closely with the event organisers.

The STB Representative in Dubai Ahmed Fathallah was given the honour to present three of the prestige Esquire awards, namely the ‘Humanitarian Award’ to Kashif Siddiqi and Bacary Sagna, ‘Comedian of the Year’ to Ahmed Helmy, and Comeback of the Year to Anthony ‘The Mooch’ Scaramucci.

The Esquire Middle East Awards event, acknowledges the brilliance of creative talents in art, film, music, fashion, and literature in the region, as well as the new comers in the said fields.

With the fantastic food and drinks from the One & Only Royal Mirage, and the great music and atmosphere, the attendees agreed it was a wonderful night to never forget.