The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) office in Reunion conducted two virtual meetings with industry partners in the overseas department and region of the French Republic in the aim of reviving business from this market.
The Reunion market considered part of France is eligible to enter Seychelles under conditions applicable to visitors from Category 2 on the permitted list of countries as of October 1, 2020.
The STB team invited tourism stakeholders in Seychelles and their Reunion counterparts to join two webinar sessions set to provide clarity on procedures applicable in Seychelles for Reunion holidaymakers.
Responding to the STB’s invitation, several partners including Destination Management Companies (DMC) and Hotel partners with interest in the Reunion market joined the discussions.
On the DMC side, Seychelles was represented by 7 degrees South, Creole Travel Services and Masons Travel to explain the new features regarding their services while on the hotel side representatives from Hilton group and Le Laurier Eco Hotel attended the virtual meetings to showcase their properties and explain the different protocols in place.
Ms. Bernadette Honore, STB representative in Reunion and Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, STB Regional Director for Europe represented the destination tourism board and representatives from Air Austral were presented during both sessions in support of the initiative.
The main point of the agenda remained the wellbeing of clients from Reunion in the face of the new sanitary protocols imposed by the destination as part of its Safe Tourism policies.
The STB representative on the Reunion Island stated that these virtual marketing activities are crucial for the tourism board as the priority is to re-generate the demand of Réunion Travelers to Seychelles.
She further stated that as part of re-generating demand from the Reunion market, the engagement of Travel Trade professionals to restart selling the destination and Air Austral’s commitment of repositioning direct flights on Seychelles route are crucial.
“Keeping our partners engaged and providing the reassurance that Seychelles is a safe destination for Reunion visitors is the main reason behind the two webinars. As Seychelles is ready to welcome travelers to its shore, we felt the need to invite our partners to explain to them the travel protocol in place for category 2 on the permitted list of countries. We were pleasantly surprised to receive over 30 decision-makers of Réunion Travel Trade professionals in the city of Saint-Denis and Saint Gilles during two days,” said Ms. Honore.
During the sessions, Mrs. Willemin responded to various questions raised by the Réunion Travel Trade professionals and provided pertinent information regarding the travel protocols.
On their part, the Air Austral representatives offered an opportunity for discussions between Seychelles local partners, STB, Air Austral and the Réunion Travel trade professionals regarding the availability of flights for visitors from Reunion.
“The two sessions have been very satisfactory for the STB team as we have witnessed the enthusiasm of the Réunion Travel Trade professionals to restart selling Seychelles as a holiday destination and this is a positive sign for the market. The meeting also provided reassurance to our partners in Seychelles as it confirmed the commitment of Air Austral to provide direct schedule flights to Seychelles in mid-December. The timing of the re-opening of direct flights from Reunion is very encouraging for partners predetermining a growth in visitors from Reunion towards the end of the year,” said the STB representative in Reunion.
Ms. Honore further stated the anticipation of an increase in the numbers of travelers from Reunion in December since the month sees the happening of the ‘été Austral’ holiday starting from December 19, 2020, to January 25, 2021 marking of the one longest vacation period for the market.