Seychelles expects further growth from South African market


14-November-2011

The Seychelles delegation who took part in the South African road show

“Africa is important,” said David Germain, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) director for Africa, UAE and the Americas, as he led a delegation of Seychelles tourism trade partners on a road show around South Africa, conducting a series of workshops in the cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, from October 26-28.

The “Seychelles SA Road show”, as it is commonly known, is now in its third year and will be an annual event.

It is an opportunity for the travel trade in South Africa to learn more about Seychelles as a holiday destination.
They got updates about tourism-related products and services in Seychelles and met the professionals selling Seychelles face to face during the workshops.

“It is a winning situation for everyone involved,” said Mr Germain, adding: “It’s important to have such workshops and I’m happy to say that our entire audience was of quality and was serious and committed to sending more clients to Seychelles. This year, we had to change to bigger venues in all three cities due to increases in the number of participants.”

Several South African partners also joined the STB on this tour. Each exhibitor was given seven minutes to talk about their products or services, and the guests had to move from table to table when the time was up.
Johannesburg had the highest turnout of exhibitors at 16, but Cape Town pulled the highest number of travel agents with over 88.

South Africa’s legendary author Kingsley Holgate, who recently visited Seychelles, also joined the workshop in Durban and spoke for 10 minutes, conveying his admiration and appreciation for Seychelles and its people.

His visit to Seychelles was partly attributed to his latest book “Mama Africa”, the last chapter of which, entitled “Saving the best till last”, is dedicated to Seychelles.

The general feedback from travel agents after the workshops was that Seychelles has much more to offer than its blue seas and white sandy beaches, and that contrary to the commonly held view the destination is affordable and caters for all budgets.

“It was very important for the travel agents to understand that Seychelles is a cut above its competitors and that its pristine environment, which can be enjoyed nowhere else, is a key driver in all its marketing campaigns,” said Mr Germain.

Safety, tranquility and peace of mind, diversity of products, total freedom, unique food and culture, island hopping and niche markets are some of the other attributes that the delegation strongly marketed during the road show.

Mr Germain said this year’s road show was a much bigger success than last year and he is satisfied the new knowledge shared at the workshops will now help the agents to be more proactive when selling Seychelles, considering that the flight frequency between the two countries is also favourable.

Air Seychelles now flies twice a week to Johannesburg, on Fridays and Sundays, which gives South Africans the options of a one-week or four-day holiday in the islands.

There were also raffle draws in all three cities, giving agents the chance to win three star prizes which included six return tickets to the islands inclusive of accommodation. The prizes were sponsored by the STB, Air Seychelles and the various exhibitors.

Besides the STB deputy chief executive Elsia Grandcourt and the STB’s marketing executive Myra Fanchette, other local partners and exhibitors who took part in the road show came from Air Seychelles, Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel, Elite Club, SeyUnique, Thompsons Holidays, Holiday Factory, Exclusive Serenity, Holiday Tours, Constance Hotels, Beachcomber Group, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino,  Desroches Island Resort, Select Seychelles and Seychelles Connect.

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