Back to back trade fairs in March double Seychelles’ visibility


Seychelles takes part in trade fair in Reunion

The first of the trade fairs to be attended by Seychelles tourism representatives was the Foire Internationale de la Réunion held from March 3-11, with the aim of firming-up the seal of corporation with Reunion.

Seychelles had a 27m2 stand with the involvement of local partners Mason's Travel (Pty) Ltd, Creole Travel Services, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino Seychelles and Château St Cloud.

Before and during the nine-day event, several billboards depicting the beautiful Creole islands could be seen throughout Reunion. This prompted the Seychelles stand to attract a lot of interest from curious visitors wanting to know more about the destination.

Local Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and Welcome Vacances – a travel agent from Reunion – had on offer different packages for clients interested in booking a holiday or simply wanting to know more about the Seychelles destination.

Sharen Venus, the Seychelles Tourism Board senior marketing executive who attended the fair, noted that Seychelles’ presence at the Foire Internationale de La Réunion was very positive.

“There was a lot of interests, some clients had already booked their flight, looked for accommodation and some were in the process of planning to come visit the islands during the year,” Mrs Venus explained.

More importantly, Seychelles is getting huge recognition in Reunion after the island co-organised the second Carnaval International de Victoria with Seychelles held from March 2-4.

“The perception that Seychelles is a very expensive and luxurious destination, only for the rich, is slowly fading away. People are now aware that Seychelles is accessible, not only by direct flights but also in terms of all budgets. A great majority of visitors from Reunion who have been more than three times to Mauritius for their holiday now want a change of scenery and visit Seychelles,” Mrs Venus added.

Jacqueline Soopramanian, the Seychelles tourism ambassador residing in Reunion, was also present for the duration of the fair, showing her support and helping the Seychelles delegation at the stand. Together with Mrs Venus, they discussed different future projects, including potential educational visits to Seychelles.

Seychelles remains a potential destination for Reunionnais who can contribute to more arrivals, thanks for direct two-and-a-half hour flights and the fact that there is no time difference.

Seychelles’ representation at the Foire Internationale de La Réunion was followed by its involvement at the MITT trade show held in Moscow, Russia, from March 20-23.

The Seychelles representatives at the 2012 MITT trade show

The STB and its partners interested in further developing and consolidating the Russian tourist market for Seychelles, namely 7° South, represented by Anna Butler Payette and Victoria Grigoriev, and Hilton Seychelles, represented by Maria Eremina and Shakhzoda Akhmadjanova, were in Moscow with the intention of not only representing their companies but also Seychelles and its tourism industry as a whole.

It transpired from Moscow that the commitment and positive ethics of these partners have done Seychelles proud once again in Russia.

If tourism is the pillar of the Seychelles economy then emerging markets such as Russia will help strengthen its foundation.
Local companies 7° South and Hilton Seychelles made the journey to pay testament to this fact with their presence at MITT – a fair of growing in importance.

Bernadette Willemin, STB’s European director, noted that the local tourism board recognises the true potential that lies in Russia as an important emerging market with unprecedented purchasing power and MITT is thus a stepping stone to tap into that potential. “Coming here is not without benefit, as our visitor arrivals from this region would suggest. In the last years we have experienced a surge from this market of limitless potential. Already there has been an increase of 50% in the first two months of this year,” she concluded.

The STB will continue to solidify its foothold in the region ensuring positive growth of the industry and is determined to remain competitive in the face of ever-growing challenges.

Consequently, the regional office in Paris has assigned Karen Confait of the STB to look after this account alongside the European director in order to remain pioneers and above all for the betterment of our industry.

The STB echoed its appreciation to the members of the Seychelles tourism trade who have once again ensured that the destination remains visible in Russia and in the surrounding region.

The STB has been active in developing new markets with private sector tourism professionals wanting to pursue the policy of diversification for the islands. Russia is one such market where the STB has been investing into its development. The same goes for China, Korea, India, North and South America, and Africa.

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