Seychelles Tourism Board brings paradise to the 2020 New York Times Travel Show

On its mission to charm North American visitors, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) took part in the New York Times Travel Show from Friday February 24 to Sunday February 26, 2020 at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The Travel Show united over 175 countries including Seychelles under one roof where cultural and destination knowledge was passed on to over 35,000 attendees inlcuding tourism professionals and holidaymakers.

Taking full advantage of media, travel trade and consumer presence during the exhibition, Mr David Germain, the STB Regional Director for Africa and the Americas, met up with these key industry players of the North American Market.

These included the press and airlines such as Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, whose North American agents will be hosted in the Seychelles for a familiarisation trip in the coming months.

The show’s global platform ideally gave STB the opportunity to perform its mandate of increasing the destination’s visibility and awareness of its offerings to the North American Market. Especially with greater accessibility to the destination through Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Emphasising on the importance of the country’s participation, Mr Germain said “ this is the 7th time that the Seychelles participated at the New York Times Travel Show, an exhibition which brings together important African Travel Specialists in search of product and destination information about Africa and the Indian ocean islands. It is important to be present to consistently promote our islands in North America”.

The Seychelles dedicated stand visibly portrayed the exotic flora and fauna of the islands as well as its turquoise waters and vibrant marine life, catching the eyes of many visitors.

The STB staff present at the stand provided support and assitance to the travel trade to sell the destination on their end whilst enticing customers to experience the island life for themselves.

Visitors were captivated by the diverse activities of the tropical paradise; from diving with exquisite sea creatures and water sports to culinary experiences and discovering the creole culture through the arts.

The STB continuously increases the destination’s presence through participation in such travel fairs and conducting workshops for local travel and tourism partners in this market.

Seychelles Tourism Board strengthens MICE ties in Meetings Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress

In attendance in the region’s largest platform for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition (MICE), the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) alongside 7° South, a specialist Destinations Management Company from Seychelles, joins in the Meetings Arabia and Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress, where the islands showcased its potential as a destination for business and luxury travel.

The MALT Congress, held in the gorgeous Rixos Premium JBR Hotel in Dubai, was a 2-day event comprised of talks, panels, and various opportunities for buyers and destinations representatives to connect and establish business relationships.

Representing the destination at the event, the STB representative in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Fathallah, and Mrs. Janet Rampal, Assistant Groups & Incentive Reservations Manager of 7° South, took the opportunity to meet with various clients in order to enlighten them about the Seychelles.

Presenting the islands as an ideal destination with direct air connectivity and only 4 hours away from the Middle- East regions for business meetings and luxury travel, the team actively promoted the destination to various potential prominent buyers and organisations in the region.

During the meetings, discussions centered on MICE, key trends, sustainability and the many disruptors of business and luxury travel in the region, providing more insights on how to handle the Middle Eastern market. A striking point mentioned during the discussion according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is that the Middle East is one of the smallest, yet fastest growing regions in the world, with outbound travel quadrupling in the last 20 years.

“Seychelles is a very popular romantic destination among this market and so over the years, it became somewhat of a ‘myth’ that the islands are just for honeymooners or weddings, albeit, it really is a great romantic destination – but we are here to share with our trade partners that Seychelles is a great destination even for MICE and business travel. There are plenty of properties in Seychelles that cater to this market and we will continue to strengthen our partnerships with the region’s MICE experts,” mentioned Mr. Fathallah.

The MALT Congress awarded a certificate of recognition to the STB for their support to the 8th Annual MALT Congress.

Quest in the Seychelles

Words around the Island of Mahé spread like wild fire last week as English journalist and CNN International Anchor Richard Quest was spotted on the Islands.

Warmly welcomed by the tropical Seychelles atmosphere and the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Staff, Mr Richard Quest began his mission of discovering the essence of the utopia on Thursday February 20, 2020.

Placing the archipelago in the global spotlight, CNN’s renowned anchor and international business correspondent, along with his crew, filmed segments for his shows “Quest’s World of Wonder” and “Quest Means Business”.

In true creole hospitality, the STB assisted Mr. Quest and his crew during his stay by accompanying the team on their journey and facilitating logistics. Mr. Quest was also received by the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine; Mr Didier Dogley, Principal Secretary of Tourism; Mrs Anne Lafortune’ Chief Executive of the STB; Mrs Sherin Francis and Deputy Chief Executive Ms Jenifer Sinon.

In his “Quest’s World of Wonder”, the team were captivated by Mahé’s rich history, the Eden of Praslin’s Vallee de Mai, the towering boulder of La Digue and the exotic wildlife of Bird Island.

Delving deep into the roots of the Creole community in Seychelles, the team also had the chance to meet many locals around the islands and discovered the soul of the Seychelles through its people and culture.

Mr Quest also learned more about the country’s efforts in the battle to preserve the pristine paradise through sustainability and eco-friendly solutions, and the national pride of being a pioneer in the conservation community.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Quest said, “Seychelles is an extraordinary place with a melting pot of people and incredible nature.”

Speaking about the visit of Mr. Quest, Mrs Sherin Francis STB chief Executive mentioned that the destination visibility would definitely be given a boost.  

“As the tourism board we have are at several interval extended invitation to Mr Quest to visit Seychelles. We are happy that finally Seychelles will feature in his travel show. The show is widely watched worldwide and I am sure it will generate immense visibility for the destination and that is why we did not hesitate to extend our support since the day the planning of the visit started. We would like to thank all the partners who have been very cooperative throughout his visit and for the appreciation the public have shown towards him. He has sure left the country with very fond memories,” said Mrs. Francis.

Spotlight Africa Workshop, good debute for Seychelles in the African market

Seychelles featured at the Spotlight Africa workshop in Lusaka, Zambia at the Radisson Blu Hotel on February 12, 2020 through another successful partnership between the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and Houston Travel Marketing Services.

The event, which kicked off on the evening of February 11, with a networking cocktail at the Latitude 15 Hotel provided an ideal informal setting for the STB team to meet with some 40 top senior executives of Travel Agencies and several major local Tour Operators, updating them with the destination’s latest development.

Throughout the networking event, the destination’s representative Senior Marketing Executive, Mrs. Natacha Servina and Marketing Executive, Ms. Ingride Laurencine had the opportunity to establish networks and cultivate interest for the destination.

The one-day workshop saw the participation of over 20 companies where the STB team seized the opportunity to bring forward Seychelles as a must-see paradise destination, close to the Zambian market.

Intensifying their marketing strategy during the event, the team included one-on-one meetings with participants, allowing them to divulge significant destination information to many of the tour operators and travel agents present at the workshop.

As part of the event, the participants were engaged in an exciting raffle draw where they had the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including flights, accommodation, safaris and other interesting goodies.

Commenting on the event, the STB Team expressed their satisfaction at the turnout of over 110 attendees from 66 different travel and tourism companies.

“Our continuous presence at the Spotlight is because of the reputation we had created for ourselves on the Zambian market. We are currently working on increasing the visibility of our beautiful islands in that part of the world as Lusaka is a rapidly growing commercial centre, with a large expat community presence and the Zambian economy is currently thriving. We remain a dream destination for many people in the region as they are becoming more aware of the destination’s accessibility. Our focus remains on increasing the country’s visibility in the African region,” said Mrs. Servina.

The STB team shared a taste of the Seychelles with the participants through the sublime gift of a Takamaka Rum Chest, which included two bottles of the renowned rum made locally in the Seychelles Islands and Ms Lisa from Mukwa Travel and Tours won the prize. 

Seychelles Destination training provided to North American Travel Trade

Destination Seychelles hit the ground running in North America as the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) team conducted a “Seychelles product & destination” training session for 45 travel agents from the city of Chicago and the region.

STB Regional Director for Africa & the Americas, Mr. David Germain, took advantage of his presence in the City of Chicago, Illinois, for the Travel and Adventure Show, during the weekend of February 8, 2020 to February 10, 2020.

The chosen agents for the training included partners who are already involved with selling Africa and the Middle East, placing Seychelles as a unique destination in the region providing a perfect escapade designed for pristine nature and cultural diversity.

The Luncheon training session was held on Thursday February 7, 2020 at the Maggiano’s Restaurant, North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654, USA.

The participants present at the event acquired updated information about Seychelles as a multifaceted destination, which includes a variety of recreational activities involving nature and its diversity of products. During the meeting, participants had the opportunity to ask questions regarding Seychelles in general.

Mr. Germain stated his satisfaction after the successful event and mentioned that the training Seminar is a very efficient tool to boost the confidence of the travel trade in North America to better understand and sell Seychelles.

Mr. Germain said: “We have seen the importance of those training sessions as it provides the STB with the perfect platform to introduce the agents to the archipelago. For the past 3 consecutive years since the STB initiated the training seminars in the various cities in the Americas, on the side-lined of its main event, the participants have not only increased in numbers, but the STB have also noticed the increased awareness of Seychelles in North America”

He further mentioned that, feedback from agents regarding the training included their appreciation at the commitment of the STB for the North American market.

“There is currently a very positive trend in bookings to Seychelles from North America at the beginning of this new year, and this is being boosted by more training seminars where travel agents in North America continue to obtain vital tourism related information about the archipelago, and support from the Seychelles tourism board, to better sell Seychelles” said Mr. Germain.

The total number of visitor’s arrivals from the USA in 2019 amounts to 10,870 visitors representing an increase by 10 percent for the same period in 2018.

Seychelles as a destination needs no introduction to the affluent North American travellers today. In the last decade, the beautiful exotic destination has made a name for itself and the current visitor arrival figures from the Americas to the island destination confirm that the North American market is one with great potential.

Seychelles brings a tropical twist to the International Mediterranean Tourism Market.

The Seychelles Islands graced the Israeli city of Tel Aviv with its vibrant presence at the 26th edition of the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) from February 11, 2020.

Several representatives of the archipelago were present at the event; Mrs. Monette Rose, Director for Italy, Turkey, Greece, Israel and the Mediterranean on the behalf of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB); Air Seychelles Israeli representative Ms. Amit Clayton and Ms Anastasia Zelkova on behalf of Savoy Resort and Spa.

The Seychelles designated stand attracted participants and visitors with illustrations of the Islands’ exotic environment through images of the unique boulders, crystal clear waters, unsoiled beaches and lush vegetation.

The annual event, which took place at the Expo Tel Aviv in the presence of 265 exhibitors and potential holidaymakers, was a perfect opportunity for the Seychelles delegation to meet with key industry players in the region for networking and increasing the destination’s visibility in the Mediterranean market.

Mrs. Monette Rose, STB Director for Italy, Turkey, Greece, Israel and the Mediterranean present at the IMTM, extensively provided information about the Seychelles as the perfect holiday destination offering a diverse range of activities for holidaymakers with direct air connectivity.  

“STB’s first participation at the IMTM was crucial for tapping into this promising market. According to our market intelligence gathered regarding the travel trends in the region, 70% of Israelis went on vacation overseas at least once, during 2018 representing an increase of 20% compared to 2017. The IMTM presented a unique opportunity to reach at one go tour operators, travel agents, corporate partners, individual travellers and potentially new trade partners,” said the STB Director for Italy, Turkey, Greece, Israel and the Mediterranean.

She further mentioned that since its adoption of the ‘Open Skies’ agreement with the EU, Israel has seen a wave of airline companies bringing over 20 million travellers through the Ben Gurion Airport. With this steady growth of incoming and outbound travel, more and more locals are encouraged to travel and discover new destinations.

The Israeli market holds great prospect for the Island destination especially after the introduction of direct flights operated by the national carrier, Air Seychelles, in November 2019.