Seychelles explores possibilities to connect to Thailand


Minister St Ange in discussions with a high level trade delegation from Thailand

During the meeting, Mr St Ange addressed the issue of having connecting flights linking the main land Thailand with Seychelles.

''Seychelles is often referred to as the gateway to the African continent. With new dynamism in open air access, we should explore new grounds to connect Seychelles with Thailand and on to mainland Africa if needed. This request was conveyed to the high level delegation from Thailand for their consideration and for further discussion with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The availability of direct flights from Thailand to Seychelles, with the possibility of an onward flight to mainland Africa will bring potential visitors to the twin centre destination approach and open up new attractions to discerning passengers,'' said Mr St Ange.

Thailand is presently operating weekly direct flights bound to the African hubs of Johannesburg and Nairobi with a Boeing A340. With the recent pull-out of Seychelles’ national airline Air Seychelles from Singapore and before that from Thailand, the number of visitors’ arrival from these destinations to Seychelles has dropped.

The vice-president of the Thailand Board of Trade Phairush Boraphuchausor has welcomed Mr St Ange’s proposal of direct flights adding that ''the Asean community block is generating an increasing outflow of honeymooners for dream destinations into the Maldives''.

He said ''Seychelles also features as a honeymoon destination which is affordable and accessible for low and high-end visitors, offering the ideal dream packages for clients seeking a unique destination.''

Mr Boraphuchausor outlined that the proposal for direct flights linking Thailand, Seychelles and mainland Africa will be presented to the authorities concerned and the outcome will be briefed to Minister Alain St Ange.

He also took the opportunity of the meeting to extend an invitation for Minister St Ange to come to Thailand and meet the respective tourism bodies and airline to discuss this issue further.

Minister St Ange also spoke about the Routes Africa forum which Seychelles will host from July 8-10, 2012, which he said ‘‘will be an opportune platform for networking and open discussions on open air access''.

Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Elsia Grandcourt,  who was also present in the meeting, advocated the need to develop service and expertise-oriented exchanges in the tourism industry between Thailand and the STB.

''Thailand has ample areas of expertise in the tourism sector. Wellness and spa is an area which Thailand has excelled in, and Seychelles which has set the benchmark of becoming a specialised wellness and spa destination could use Thailand’s expertise and service-oriented business skills to develop this sector. Seychelles is not looking at competing with Thailand in these sectors but complementing on what both destinations have to offer,” she said.

Mr Boraphuchausor explained that Thailand’s private sectors also excel in tourism management, a sector which he said Seychelles could also benefit from, alongside wellness and spa.

Mr St Ange extended an invitation to Thailand to take part in the 2013 Carnival International de Victoria.
Thailand Consul Joe Chung Faye and his wife were also present at the meeting that took place at the STB’s head office in Bel Ombre.

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