The Seychelles islands were represented at the Swahili International Tourism Expo which took place in Dar es Salaam last weekend, in a bid to boost visitor numbers from that country and region and support the recently-introduced direct non-stop flights by Air Seychelles between Dar es Salaam and Seychelles.
Representing the destination was Lena Hoareau, the Seychelles Tourist Office’s Manager in South Africa, and also the staff of the Air Seychelles representation company in Dar es Salaam.
The three-day fair is aimed at positioning Tanzania, Zanzibar, and East Africa as lucrative tourist destinations, by creating the right platform for tour operators and travel professionals to get new business opportunities.
The tourist board and Air Seychelles jointly tapped into the client base attending the fair to create awareness on Seychelles and also to let everyone know that the destination is very much accessible, with two flights per week to Dar.
Tour operators and travel agents were keen to learn about how they can better sell the destination, and also for those who are looking to start selling Seychelles in the near future, how they can go about approaching the right partners to work with.
Mrs. Hoareau said that the fair presented them with the ideal opportunity to reach important trade professionals who are already selling Seychelles but needed the push or to convince new ones who were not certain to include Seychelles in their portfolio.
“It’s no secret that Tanzania and East Africa boost some beautiful tropical beaches and exotic islands, and because of this, clients have a wide choice. In our case, we promoted our beaches as well but more importantly, we promoted everything else that makes Seychelles unique, different, and stand out from all our competitors.
“Seychelles has so much more to offer than the ultimate sun, sand, and sea holiday, and it always gives us great satisfaction to tell potential clients and visitors what they can do on a holiday in Seychelles, besides lounging in the sun on the beach,” she said.
Mrs. Hoareau said that there were queries on both high-end hotels and the more affordable options, which she said gave them the opportunity to create awareness on the different accommodation options available.
She continued that having direct flights between Seychelles and Dar was also a strong selling point during their promotion and interested many people.
“The fact that Air Seychelles has direct flights to Dar and it is barely two-and-a-half-hours away, was a big plus for us and Air Seychelles. It proved that we were very much accessible and only a stone’s throw away.”
Mrs. Hoareau thanked the Air Seychelles team in Dar for their support at the fair and also the Seychelles’ Honorary Consul in Tanzania, Maryvonne Pool, for her assistance and continued support towards the work of the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .