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Seychelles Tourism on the road in South Africa

The Oakfield Expo is dubbed the Gauteng’s favorite bridal show where high-quality exhibitors attend, and couples get to meet South Africa’s leading wedding specialists in the beautiful and romanti

The Oakfield Expo is dubbed the Gauteng’s favorite bridal show where high-quality exhibitors attend, and couples get to meet South Africa’s leading wedding specialists in the beautiful and romantic gardens of the Oakfield Farm.

It was from the prestigious Oakfield Bridal Expo at the end of January, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s (STB) office in South Africa attended the Travel Expo and the World Leisure Holiday roadshow last week.

Located in close proximity between Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Oakfield Farm is one of the most sought-after wedding venues, and according to the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Manager for South Africa, Lena Hoareau, it was an excellent backdrop to promote the destination.

“It was a beautiful venue, with stands both inside and outside in the magnificent gardens, which set the stage for a different atmosphere, as opposed to the usual vast exhibition centers. We had a busy two days with lots of serious and genuine inquiries,” she added.

“I am happy to learn that some of the queries have actually converted into firm bookings after I touched base with the partnering tour operators a few days after the show.”

The following weekend, the Seychelles Tourism Board moved to the heart of Johannesburg for South Africa’s biggest travel fair – the Travel Expo. The expo is organized by the Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the largest travel outlets, pushing sales for Seychelles on the South African market.

Over 100 travel exhibitors were present at this year’s expo, presenting exclusive deals for the two days.

From domestic to international travels, visitors hunted the best deals on offer as they booked their next holiday and in some cases, their honeymoon.

The island destinations were a hit on that weekend, and the Seychelles stand was always full with consumers getting all the information they needed in order to make the ultimate decision of where they should go.

“We always like exhibiting at Travel Expo, because it is full of buzz and excitement as consumers try to find the best deals of the weekend. Once they are happy with a particular deal, they can book then and there at the show itself. With several of the island destinations offering attractive packages, we get a lot of questions as to why someone should go for Seychelles and not another island like Zanzibar or Mauritius,” said Mrs. Hoareau.

“Such queries allow us to talk about Seychelles’ uniqueness and what it has to offer as opposed to its competitors. And I am glad to say it was another successful expo for us, and we registered several bookings in the post-expo days.”

Right out of the Travel Expo, STO SA took to the roads for the World Leisure Holidays roadshow, starting off with 2 workshops in Johannesburg followed by Pretoria, Durban, and Cape Town.

Mrs. Hoareau said over 500 agents attended the 4-city roadshow, and it allowed the office to present Seychelles’ products to a lot of new agents. Other exhibitors were destinations, resorts, and hotels offered by World Leisure.

STB shared a table with Air Seychelles on this roadshow, as the airline talked about its services and network, with the highlight being the introduction of the new Durban flights starting on March 30.

“This annual roadshow allows World Leisure to introduce all its products in the Indian Ocean [region], and it is a great platform for us to capture the hundreds of travel agents, increasing their awareness on Seychelles. The workshop format allows you to have one-to-one contact with agents, and you are able to answer their questions then and there as you do your presentations,” said Mrs. Hoareau.

The tourist office continues with its calendar of marketing activities as it targets the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) segment next week with the Meetings Africa (MICE) Fair in Johannesburg and the wedding/honeymoon niche with the NWJ Bridal Fair in Durban.