Seychelles Tourism Board presents Mid-Year Destination Marketing Strategy

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis presented the 2020 Mid-Year Destination Marketing Strategy to the destination’s industry stakeholders on July 17, 2020. 

The virtual presentation conducted via the ZOOM online meeting platform was held from the STB Headquarters at Botanical House, Mont- Fleuri. 

The Mid-Year Destination Marketing Strategy presentation follows a series of consultative meetings between the STB market representative based around the globe and the tourism stakeholders in Seychelles. 

The presentation, which reflected the deliberations of the past two weeks’ meetings stressed on the STBmarketing strategy to reposition the destination in the face of the current world situation.  

The strategy presented for the rest of 2020 by the destination’s Tourism Board emanates at an opportune time as Seychelles prepares itself to welcome commercial flights as of August 1, 2020. 

Focusing on safe tourism as part of the main component of the strategy, Mrs. Francis reiterated on the precautionary procedures being taken by the destination through the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Health and other local stakeholders. 

“STB’s main focus as we market the destination is promoting safe tourism to build the confidence of our visitors who envisage travelling to Seychelles. Based on market research and the various travel trends we see developing we are repositioning ourselves as being versatile and flexible to cater for various travel needs.” said Mrs. Francis. 

“I would like to thank everybody who has and continues to contribute ideas toward possible strategy the country should adopt, in this given situation, the strategy being adopted is one which is very flexible and we have to ensure that we re-adapt as the global situation evolves” she further stated. 

While she presented marketing tactics to promote the destination and increase its visibility, the STB Chief Executive emphasised on the destination’s plans to increase its online presence through the extensive use of the virtual platforms as part of its various publicity activities. 

 

 “The market intelligence insights gathered by our team has clearly shown that Seychelles still remains a top of mind destination for many people around the world. The bookings although slow remains consistent. From our market intelligence analysis, we see that there are an average of 20,000 bookings on the book for the months of July to December. The figure could be bigger as the source does not capture all the bookings to Seychelles, the challenge is not only ensuring that we retain those bookings and convert it but also build on that in the coming weeks and months” said the STB Chief Executive. 

Commercial flights to be welcomed to Seychelles in August 2020

The holiday destination confirmed the authorisation for commercial flights enter Seychelles as of August 1, 2020. 

The new lift in air travel restrictions on the destination comes an indication of the successful progression of the implementation of the first phase of movement restrictions effective as of June 1, 2020. 

As the destination tops holiday’s searches in the region, the availability of flights comes at an opportune time for visitors planning to find a peaceful and picturesque vacation. 

It is with the aim of ensuring the safety of visitors travelling to Seychelles for a holiday and the local population that a new series of guidelines has been issued by the Public Health Authority in Seychelles and the Tourism Stakeholders. 

The guidelines, which has been meticulously discussed by all the different parties within the Seychelles tourism industry, encompasses various information relating to travelling to Seychelles and the requirements for same to happen under the new normal. 

The document, which also includes the list of countries, has been made available on the department of tourism website since Friday July 3, 2020 and can be accessed via the following link: 

Prominent points of the documents are highlighted below: 

The following information emphasised Testing 

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding the flight to Seychelles remains mandatory for all visitors. 

  • Passengers boarding from medium risk countries are expected to conduct a PCR test within 72 hours of travel while passengers boarding from low risk countries are required to submit to an antigen test within 72 hours of travel. 

  • Airlines companies are strongly advised not to board any passengers or crew who are symptomatic of COVID-19. 

  • Any passenger who arrives in Seychelles without this proof will be turned back on the same aircraft.

 
  • Entry screening will be done upon arrival starting with completion of the health check form, symptomatic check, temperature scanning. 

  • Visitors may be required to undergo a rapid antigen test. 

  • It is compulsory for all visitors to provide travel insurance coverage. 

Reservation and Stay 

  • Visitors planning on a holiday in Seychelles are encouraged to book their accommodation and leisure activities through licensed tourism service providers that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. 

  • Upon disembarking in Seychelles all visitors will be required to provide proof of accommodation in an approved establishment for the entire period of stay and must show booking vouchers at the Immigration desk.  

  • In order to ensure safety of their visitors local service providers are expected to intensify their vigilance and hygiene measures within their premises and while providing their services.  

  • Daily monitoring by designated Health and Safety officers in accommodation facilities for the first 14 days after arrival of a guest. 

  • Local service provides will be required to keep a trackable movement log of their guests for the first 14 days after arrival of a holiday in Seychelles.

SEYCHELLES LEVERAGES DESTINATION LIVESTREAMING THROUGH MAFENGWO DURING THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

Adding some tropical flavour to the Dragon Boat Festival in the midst of the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Seychelles was featured on the popular Chinese travel website; Mafengwo

The livestreaming covered Mr. Rex Yang a 33 years old Chinese citizen and his family who were stranded on the paradise destination of Seychellessince January. 

Mr. Rex acquired his celebrity status on the web as he recorded his extraordinary holiday experience in the Indian Ocean paradise destination during the lockdown and posted on the Chinese social media called Weibo. 

His video posts went viral and received positive coverage in China with over 160 million views, propelling the beautiful pristine destination to the Chinese social media users. 

On the occasion of the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated on June 25, 2020 the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) together with the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in Beijing worked alongside Mr. Rex and Mafengwo.com to launch the first Seychelles’ live streaming project.

The live streaming took place on the third most populated island of La Digue, with tens of thousands of viewers watching and interacting with Mr. Rex in real-time.  

The viewers online had the incredible opportunity to see Anse Source D’Argent, one of the most beautiful and renowned beaches in the Seychelles. They were taken on a cultural tour to the different activities and historic sites of La Digue, such as feeding the giant tortoise, visiting the old traditional colonial houses and vanilla plantation at L’Union Estate.

Enhancing the viewer’s experience, the audience got the chance to virtually savour the Seychelles smoked marlin salad and Takamaka cocktail through a step-by-step culinary and mixologist class at Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort & Spa.

Mr. Jean- Luc Lai Lam, STB representative in China, stated that the project was a great success. 

Keeping our marketing strategies close to the current virtual trend, we wanted to captivate our Chinese audiences by creating more awareness about Seychelles as a unique destination on the market. Our aim is to remain visible by generating interest from potential visitors through the amazing use of technology specially now,” said Mr. Lai Lam  

He also added that the 72 minutes livestreaming project is worth advertising value of RMB 3.36 Million (USD 474,768) for the destination, generated over 39,000 clicks and interactions and 138,000 viewers at Mafengwo

Tencent-backed Mafengwo is a travel website in China for user-generated reviews and other travel-based content.  Mafengwo has 130 million registered users. The website of Mafengwo has 3.50 million daily Unique Visitors (UVs) and Mafengwo APP has 8 million daily active users. 

Mr. Rex and his family left the beautiful Seychelles on Friday June 26, 2020. 

Seychelles promotes safe travel in an effort to restart tourism

As the world shifts into a new era where health and safety has become the highest priority, the Seychelles Islands takes steps to ensure these essential prerequisites are central to their tourism strategy.

 

Although the Seychelles International Airport has been open to commercial operations since the June 1, 2020, it has only been available to private planes and chartered flights, as part of the first phase of easing travel restrictions. The second phase will commence in August, where the airport will be opened to scheduled flights. 

 

During an interview with BBC, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis outlined the Seychelles tourism industry’s strategy to regain momentum, which involves encouraging safe travel and safe stay. 

 

While talking about re-opening and building travel confidence, Mrs. Francis explained that mandatory testing before travel, safe travel in general should be promoted across all destinations as this is the only and sure way that travel confidence will pick up.

 

Additionally, other risk filters include, when travelling to and staying in Seychelles, airlines to adopt safe travel practices whilst local establishments will continue to maintain safe practices during the visitors’ entire stay including safe check-in and daily symptom and temperature checks.

 

Mrs. Francis also highlighted how the Seychelles’ exclusivity as a destination is ideal for the new trend in tourism where Seychelles could be an ideal choice for travellers who wish to stay away from crowded tourist attractions and instead focus on reconnecting.

 

“This pandemic has created the need for people to reconnect with themselves, their soul, their family and most importantly the environment; the strongest connection that we share. 

Covid-19 has indeed helped to re-shaped travel trends. Being an isolated destination, has worked in our favour whereby the world is now looking for isolation to provide for their personal safety. “

 

The archipelago of 115 islands, over half of which can be explored, presents voyagers with an array of features to explore and activities to enjoy. From the towering granite rocks of La Digue island to the diverse wildlife of Bird Island and Cousin Island, tourists need not worry about the dangers of exposure to the pandemic as they lose themselves in the treasures this tropical paradise has to offer. 

 

There has also been a surge in domestic tourism since the pandemic outbreak as the tourism industry began to discover the spending power of the local tourists. Hotels and tourism establishments have increasingly been offering residential rates which have attracted many of locals, especially during the weekend periods. Mrs. Francis expressed how important the role of the local population is in keeping the tourism industry alive and how it should remain a continuous trend as part of the destination’s recovery strategy. 

 

Mrs. Francis has also been participating in a series of webinars where the main agendas have been centred around restarting tourism and establishing protocols and measures required to ensure the safety of travellers, which is to be adopted by the various Tourism Boards of the region. 

 

During her meeting with the CEOs of the different Africa National Tourism Authorities/Boards held on June 17, 2020 and the UNWTO virtual forum with National Tourism CEOs on June 30, 2020, Mrs. Francis again emphasised on the importance of rebuilding confidence in traveller through enforcing safe travel. It was also suggested that travellers can be reassured of their safety by countries making testing kits easily available and accessible to all travellers.

 

The STB Chief Executive is set to participate in the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum & Awards (ATLF) where there will be further discussions in regard to safe travel. 

Seychelles Tourism Board kicks off its 2020 Marketing Strategy Consultations

The first meeting set for the 2020 Marketing Strategy Consultations organised by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) was conducted on Tuesday June 26, 2020 from the STB Headquarters at Botanical House, Mont-Fleuri.

Hosted by STB Chief Executive; Mrs. Sherin Francis, the meeting was attended by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine; Mr. Didier Dogley, Principal Secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, Destination marketing staff from STB headquarters at Botanical house, STB representatives around the globe and also registered the participation of around 75 trade partners.

The session was an ideal opportunity for Mrs. Francis to provide a general overview of the current situation in Seychelles as the country will enter the second phase of its borders opening on August 1, 2020 with the arrival of commercial flights.

The session was primarily aimed at setting the foundation for the in-depth consultations as STB representatives and trade partners prepare to discuss how to jointly reposition individual source markets.

Mrs. Francis also shared an update of the various measures currently in discussions by the task force, which has been set by President Danny Faure earlier in June, a task force, chaired by Minister Dogley in regards to the relaunching of Seychelles as a destination for potential visitors in a safe manner.

During her overview presentation, Mrs. Francis also mentioned the various efforts of the STB team in keeping the destination visible during the confinement period where travels were restricted in Seychelles.

She further mentioned the part of the recovery measures being driven by the local industry revolving around domestic tourism and concluded with an insight on market intelligence data and researches showing the growing interest for the destination as well as other various points of focus for the marketing of the destination this year.

The series of virtual consultative meetings will be ongoing for the next two weeks and will culminate with the STB Strategy Marketing Meeting on Friday July 10, 2020.

Seychelles Tourism Board sets virtual meetings as part of its 2020 Marketing Strategy Consultations

One of most valued events for tourism representatives in Seychelles, the STB Marketing Strategy Meeting, traditionally uniting local tourism partners under the same roof to discuss various pertinent issues relating to the marketing of the destination will be taking place this year in July. 

This year, in view of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected tourism and travel worldwide the meeting will take place differently.  

Omitting the usual forecasting functions of the meeting, it will focus around relaunching the destination from fall 2020 and beyond; instead of looking at the year ahead for continuity in business. 

The series of virtual consultative meetings have been set between Wednesday 24, 2020 to Friday July 3, 2020 and will culminate with the STB Strategy Marketing Meeting on Friday July 10, 2020. 

The series of meetings will allow members of the tourism trade to join in various sessions hosted by the market representatives to allow them to discuss and input on individual market strategy. 

From the STB Headquarters, a special session will be dedicated for discussion on communications strategy and content creation.  The output of the work and the plans being worked on by STB management will be presented on July 10, 2020. 

The meeting will be assisted by key stakeholders including the high officials from the tourism ministry the STB staff and management from STB Headquarters, STB representatives from across the globe.

Tourism trade partners operating in Seychelles wishing to participate in the meetings will be required to register for all the sessions via a link to be communicated to them next week. 

The meetings will take place via zoom and will be in the form of a webinar.