Trade partners meet informally in Tourism Ball


Ms Grandcourt addressing guests at the Tourism ball on Saturday evening

This highlight of the Tourism Week, brought together hoteliers, tour operators, car and boat hirers and other stakeholders of the trade.

They were joined by Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St Ange and several other ministers, Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) chairman Barry Faure, Miss Seychellles … Another World 2012 Sherlyn Furneau and other tourism ambassadors as well as Friends of Seychelles Press.

The occasion provided a unique opportunity for stakeholders of the tourism trade and their partners to meet in an informal and convivial atmosphere, share ideas, get to know one another better while enjoying themselves at the same time.

STB chief executive Elsia Grandcourt said Seychelles is competing in an increasingly crowded tourism market.

She noted that travellers are today more discerning and looking for more eco-friendly destinations, hence the need for the STB, the marketing wing of Seychelles tourism, to keep them regularly informed on travel information.

Ms Grandcourt said that Seychelles is recognised as one of those countries having embraced the sustainable tourism label, ensuring at all times that the equilibrium between development and environmental conservation is maintained.
Noting that the cliché “Sun, sea and sand” is no longer sufficient, she noted that Seychelles also has several other attributes, such as the natural welcoming hospitability of the Seychellois and our unique culture, including the famed Creole cuisine.

The chairman of the Seychelles Tourism and Hospitality Association (SHTA) Louis D’Offay said the presence of several ministers shows the liaison that has developed between the Seychelles beauty queen Sherlyn Furneau unveil the poster for next year’s beauty pageanttourism trade and government.
“It shows we have been accepted on board as true partners,” he said, noting that government’s involvement must be for the betterment of the industry.

Mr D’Offay said 2012 has been an eventful year, when tourism in Seychelles has to face several major challenges, not least the withdrawal of Air Seychelles from Europe.

He said that while some foreign airlines had filled in the gap, Seychelles still lacks some direct links to Europe.

After noting that our tourism has recently been linked to some clichés such as “affordable Seychelles” and “accessible Seychelles”, Mr D’Offay said it is important not to let our islands become like the Caribbean of the Indian Ocean.

“We have an image de marque to defend,” he said, adding we also have a safety label to protect.
He noted that safety does not concern only the sea, but visitors have also to feel it on the beaches and at their hotels, where criminality is increasingly common.

The head of the SHTA said that faced with increasing competition, Seychelles needs to boost its marketing efforts.

He expressed the hope that the Finance minister will nevertheless be generous in budgetary allocation for tourism marketing in 2013.

After a video presentation on “Miss Seychelles … Another World”, girls were urged to “not merely dream the dream, but make that dream come true” by enrolling for next year’s pageant. Information is available on STB’s website and at all STB offices on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

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