STB holds meeting to discuss slow season and COVID-19 | 29 February 2020
Speaking to the press after the meeting, STB’s chief executive Sherin Francis noted that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategies to improve occupancy performance in months that visitor arrivals are low.
“The reason we had this meeting with our partners is to come up with strategies to push our destination during those months that we lack tourists,” said Mrs Francis.
She added that what came out of the meeting was that there are many airlines and hotels that provide promotional offers during those times, noting that what was agreed upon was to coordinate all offers under STB.
“We want hotels and airlines to come together and be on the same page regarding all offers,” said Mrs Francis.
She also noted that during the meeting they discussed the COVID-19 which is continuing to spread in Europe and has recently broken out in Italy.
“Italy has been put on the list of countries where we will not be accepting any travellers from that region, and as a tourism destination, we will definitely be affected since March and April is the most profitable month in terms of European arrivals and Italy is a big destination as STB recorded a total number of 7,000 Italians last year alone,” said the CEO.
“Due to the ban that has been placed on Italy, we will lose those visitors and this will result in direct loses for restaurants, hotels and other services that they may have used when in Seychelles,” she noted.
She added that during the meeting they discussed the short-term strategies that they will take to mitigate the situation and make up the loss that Seychelles will make during this period.
“We will also put out a positive message to the effect that Seychelles still remains a safe destination. We have seen instances where a country is safe but there is still a fear for travel, so this is why we need to send out this positive message,” said Mrs Francis.
She also noted that during the meeting they decided to focus their attention and resources on cities with direct flights to Seychelles as it is preferable among travellers.
Seychelles currently has direct flights coming in from London, Germany, France and Switzerland.
Ms Francis added that they will focus more attention towards these destinations.