Ambassador Shamlaye shows support to country’s tourism


(From l to r) Renette Nicette (from the Seychelles embassy), Bernadette Willemin, Ambassador Bernard Shamlaye, Johnette Labiche and Daniella Payet-Alis

Ambassador Shamlaye demonstrated how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could support the actions of the Ministry of Tourism and its tourism board by being responsive to the plans of action of the tourism industry and by offering support where and when needed.

The large Seychelles delegates who were at the 2012 Top Resa were mostly private sector representatives who were determined to work with the tourism board to claim back the French market which had been suffering since the cessation of direct non-stop flights between Seychelles and Paris.

The island’s minister responsible for tourism, Alain St Ange, had personally led the smallest ever government delegation to the French Trade Fair as he travelled with only Amia Jovanovic, the tourism board’s senior marketing executive responsible for the French market.

“We preferred to let the committed private sector members to lead the Seychelles presence at this show. Many had expressed themselves publicly on the need to re-find ourselves in this market, and that was the opportunity for the private sector to take the lead,” Minister St  Ange said.

The minister was joined in Paris by the Seychelles tourism director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, and by representatives of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Creole Travel Services, Desroches Island Resort, the Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Le Meridien Seychelles Hotels, Mason’s Travel, the Ste Anne Beachcomber Resort & Spa, the Round Island Mahe Jebel Ali, the Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel, Select Seychelles and Air Seychelles accompanied by Etihad Airways.

In Paris, Minister St Ange said that the French market remains by far the most important tourism market for Seychelles.

“It is a duty for me to join those members of the island’s private sector who remain committed to the French market. The Seychelles Tourism Board has done a lot in France to keep the market stimulated. A number of travel agents have been on educational visits, the popular annual Seychelles dedicated workshop cum road show through France was again held, press visits with partner airlines are continuing, press coverage including TV coverage of the 2012 Carnaval International de Victoria is still making news in France, the programme for continued training of travel agents is ongoing and more,” he said in open discussions with the French press.

“Seychelles will continue to work to receive its fair share of that market that knows us well, that enjoys the spectacular beauty of our Seychelles, and that feels at home in our islands where French remains one of our three national languages,” added Mr St Ange.

The minister thanked Ambassador Shamlaye for understanding the importance of his support for the work being undertaken by the tourism board.

“You are here offering your support while appreciating the complexity of this volatile industry.

The tourism board will always call on you when needed, and it will involve you at major events they organise when it is felt that your presence will raise the level of the events’ importance,” said Minister St Ange as he thanked Ambassador Shamlaye for his visit to the French tourism trade fair grounds.

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