Fruitful start of the year for Seychelles on the Indian market | 22 February 2020
The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) team hit India with a determined shock wave earlier this month as the organisation participated in the OTM (Outbound Travel Mart) 2020 in partnership with its national airline Air Seychelles at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, India from February 3 - 5, 2020.
Representing the tourism board, the team included Amia Jovanovic-Desir, the STB director for India, Australia and for South Asia alongside representatives based in India – Lubaina Sheerazi, Shakambri Soni and Priya Ghag. Air Seychelles was represented by its general sales agents based in India.
The two prime stakeholders of the Seychelles tourism industry marked their presence among the Indian travel fraternity, providing visibility to the destination as an ideal holiday destination with an easy access for the Indian market during the three-day trade fair.
OTM, which is considered one of the major fairs in the Mumbai region, was attended by over 15,000 visitors, providing an excellent platform for the STB team present to promote the destination and showcase its multiple attributes to the Indian public.
During the three days at the OTM, Mrs Jovanovic-Desir conducted a series of fruitful of meetings with the trade partners.
Additional sales meetings with prominent tour operators in Mumbai further solidified the STB sales visit to India.
The tour operators, ranging from boutique agencies such as Zion Vacations and Indiana Travels to big companies such as ARK Travels, FCM and Thomas Cook, have varying clientele and so the meetings allowed Mrs Jovanovic-Desir to gain insights into the destination’s performance as well as challenges faced in promoting the country in India.
As part of the feedback received during her visit in India, Mrs Jovanovic-Desir’s numerous new partners have expressed the interest to sell Seychelles to their clients. She mentioned that MICE is also a segment for the Seychelles on the Indian market.
Discussions were also oriented towards the need to increase availability of flights serving other key cities in India to Seychelles; several agents mentioned that this factor is widening the options for interest to our competitors Maldives and Mauritius and made a strong call to open up more flights access in order to obtain increase in visitor numbers.
Commenting on her Mumbai sales visits, Mrs Jovanovic-Desir stated her satisfaction to have renewed the tourism board’s relationship with the trade in Mumbai.
She further stated that this visit has allowed her to note the various ground realities to further formulate strategies for the India market.
“Seychelles saw a 4% increase in visitor arrivals from India with 14,338 visitors travelling to the country in 2019 compared to 13,918 visitors in 2018. The meetings at OTM and with trade partners in Mumbai provided a strong perspective for the single digit growth from India. One of our areas of investment on the Indian market will be B2B and B2C activities to boost the arrival figures in 2020,” said Mrs Jovanovic-Desir.
STB News Bureau