STB assesses Indian market potential


During one week, the delegation -- comprising Elsia Grandcourt, STB’s chief executive, and Bernadette Willemin, director for Europe -- travelled around Delhi and Mumbai to meet different partners from different travel and tourism sectors.

The first stop was at the Seychelles high commission in Delhi whereby the STB delegation had a consolidation of Seychelles in India meeting with its ambassador Waven William and first secretary Jean Claude Adrienne.

It was a great opportunity for the high commissioner to update the STB team on how the destination is perceived on the Indian market. The two government organisations then joined forces in the Indian capital and together held various business meetings with the common objectives of attracting more business towards the shores of Seychelles. 

The STB team then headed to Mumbai, (formerly Bombay) – the most populous city in India and the fourth most populous city in the world. Mumbai is also the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra.  Known as the commercial and entertainment capital of India, this is where the STB held the great majority of its meetings with media representatives, tour operators and public relations officers and representation companies.

“It was important to meet different stakeholders at this initial stage in order to get a better and wider view of this market and its outbound travel trends. The STB is looking at appointing a representation company in India by the second quarter of this year and one-on-one meetings were vital in order to appoint the right company capable of delivering for the Seychelles tourism,” said Mrs Grandcourt.

In addition, she noted it was about time that Seychelles taps into the Indian market and this, in line with the destination’s global strategy of market diversification, while maintaining and nurturing its core business.

Mrs Grandcourt said India is one such area with great potential. Despite the global economic slowdown, she said, the Indian consumers are travelling like never before and research carried out by some of India’s largest tour operators indicates growing interest in unique, engaging experiences and new destinations. This gives Seychelles many options to tap into this market be it for the FIT, luxury, ad-hoc groups, sports tourism or Mice segment.

It goes without saying that there are challenges to be overcome as far as awareness and visibility of Seychelles is concerned on such a vast territory. The destination is almost a well-kept secret on that market and STB’s immediate plan is to develop a trade partnership both in Seychelles and in India to effectively promote Seychelles in order to get a bigger share of this market.