“It is vital for the European market that Air Seychelles non-stop weekly direct flights remained profitable. Air Seychelles and the government of Seychelles have understood your needs and have responded to your call for non-stop direct flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Seychelles. We need to work together to consolidate these flights and ensure the flights are there to remain.” This statement was echoed by Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, in Paris during a meeting with key tour operators selling Seychelles as a holiday destination.
The meeting chaired by Minister St.Ange together with Carlos Antunes, Air Seychelles General Manager for Sales & Distributions, and Bernadette Willemin, Director of Seychelles Tourism Office for Europe, was aimed at understanding the challenges of tour operators and seeing what can be done better to help them sell Seychelles more with Air Seychelles.
Carlos Antunes said the launching of Air Seychelles weekly non-stop direct flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Seychelles was a strategic one.
He reassured the tour operators, Air Seychelles is strongly committed to working with them to develop air connectivity between Seychelles and Paris.
Bernadette Willemin added that the tour operators play a vital role in the success of the Seychelles tourism development.
“We are so grateful that you’ve always remained one of our true partners who we can count on. The Seychelles products are mainly sold through the distribution channels, and it is vital that we continue to strengthen this partnership for the benefit of our common goal which is more French visitors to the Seychelles,” added Bernadette Willemin.
During the meeting, tour operators hailed Seychelles’ decision to re-open direct weekly non-stop flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Seychelles and Air Seychelles decision to place its HM flight code on Air France’s domestic flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and six of the largest cities in France, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nice, and Toulouse.
The tour operators strongly recommended Air Seychelles increase its code share agreement to cover Air France flights to other large cities in France.
The tour operators sought more clarifications on Air Seychelles’ need to expand its catchment areas in other cities in France.
Air Seychelles said it “strongly relies on Air France to allow the company access to other catchment areas in France and other cities.”
The meeting was also the opportunity for Minister Alain St.Ange to update the French tour operators on the situation of the tours industry in Seychelles. The Minister spoke about the commitment of the Tourism Board and the government to work even harder than ever before to ensure that Seychelles claims its fair share of the French tourism trade. Other points raised by tour operators included when construction work will be completed at Seychelles International Airport and Seychelles policies regarding building new hotels.
When ending the meeting, Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, assured the French tour operators that a delegation from the Seychelles Tourism Board and his Ministry will be in Paris in early 2016, to meet with all tour operators selling Seychelles to map out the way forward for the French market.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.