Eventful three days for Seychelles delegation at IFTM Top Resa 2019 | 14 October 2019
The 41st IFTM Top Resa, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, kicked off on October 1 and came to an end on Friday October 5.
As the industry’s leading business-to-business trade show, IFTM Top Resa is the only French event that brings together the whole tourism sector, featuring multiple segments over four days including, Leisure, Tourism, Business Travel, Group Tourism and Events.
The trade show gathered over 34,000 professionals, French and international buyers, tourism distribution and production professionals, journalists and media representatives, influencers, students and officials who all came to connect with the 1,700 exhibitors. Exhibitors included tourism boards, airlines, hotel groups, technology companies and start-ups.
The Seychelles delegation was led by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine,Didier Dogley, who was present at the Seychelles stand for the opening of the annual tourism trade fair.
French travel agents and press expressed immense interest in the Seychelles as a holiday destination, keeping the destination’s stand occupied during the first three days of the fair.
The Seychelles stand consisted of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) team, accompanied by seven trade partners who included 7° South (Corinne Delpech); Mason’s Travel (Alan Masons and Paul Lebon); Creole Travel Services (Guillaume Albert and Stephanie Marie); Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resorts (Bertrand Moussa); Banyan Tree Seychelles (Marie Gougeon); Coral Strand Hotel and Savoy Resort & Spa (Ekaterina Gritsenko); and Hilton Seychelles (Devi Pentamah).
The STB was represented by its chief executive, Sherin Francis; regional director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin; marketing executives from the France office, Jennifer Dupuy, Myra Fanchette and Valerie Payet; as well as marketing executive from head office, Christina Cecile.
Mrs Francis said: “This year’s IFTM Top Resa was once again an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with our French partners. We are happy that we have their renewed commitment to keep on growing this market further. Therefore, we are looking forward to another fruitful year of collaboration.”
Minister Dogley and Mrs Francis used this opportunity to conduct various meetings with travel trade professionals and give interviews to some high-profile media.
A press conference, with the presence of approximately a dozen journalists, was organised on the second day of the trade show. The delegation updated the media on the Seychelles tourism development, also on the 250 years Seychelles celebration plan. A detailed exposé about the country’s conservation environmental protection initiatives, including the Blue Economy and Blue Bond, was also presented.
The IFTM Top Resa is the turning point of the tourism season, coinciding with the launch of the tour operators’ winter brochures and various promotional campaigns by different industry players.
Mrs Willemin says IFTM Top Resa has once again fulfilled its role as one of the world’s major tourism trade fairs, both in terms of the number of visitors and exhibitors alike.
“Its main role as a forum for travel trade professionals has proven, once again, very fruitful, enabling participants to renew contacts and meet new interlocutors, discover or re-discover new tourism products and services,” said Mrs Willemin.
“At the same time, it must be underscored that stiff competition still characterises IFTM Top Resa and it is the presence therein that a given destination displays its assets to keep its market share, if not increasing it,” she added.
The French market is a significant one for the Seychelles, being the second leading market after Germany. Seychelles is still a favourite and safe destination for French visitors, as seen by the attention the Seychelles stand received during the trade fair.