The Seychelles official delegation attending World Travel Market this week has left London saying that the high-level meetings held with airline and tour operator partners show that Seychelles is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the UK market. Tour operators have expressed their continued confidence in the Seychelles as a holiday destination.
Seychelles clearly remain a favorite destination for the British travelers, and the trade is more confident than ever before that the market will bounce back and regain its former glory as one of the top four markets for the destination. UK, like the rest of Europe, has seen their figures struggling since the drop of direct nonstop flights from Europe, but a market recovery is clearly underway as the majority of tour operators confirm that forward bookings are looking better than previous months.
The Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, who was heading the country’s delegation at the annual trade fair in London, has said that he was pleased to hear that the UK trade is continuing to push to sell the destination. “I am very happy to hear that the UK trade not only still believes in us, but that they are pushing harder than ever before for the destination. We have some new tour operators on board and several others who have expressed their desire to also start selling Seychelles, which means Seychelles has the appeal and still comes across as a preferred destination to many UK travelers” said Minister St.Ange.
“I am confident, as are the trade, that business will pick up on this market. We may not have a direct flight at the moment, but I must stress that Seychelles is more accessible than ever before in its history. I believe we shall once again find our real place in the UK market,” the Minister said.
Minister St.Ange has also described WTM 2012 as one of his best due to the high level of interest in the destination, particularly from the press and also other organizations and countries who want to cooperate with Seychelles in the field of tourism. “It is clear today Seychelles is in the press everywhere, and the more visible we become, the more the press wants to know about us. We have had some very important interviews and meetings with the world press at this year’s WTM, and this will continue to generate interest in the destination,” he said.
Minister St.Ange added that he also met with several of his counterparts and discussed possibilities for cooperation between the different countries.
Seychelles was again represented at UK’s biggest tourism fair by a team from the Seychelles Tourism Board and members of the trade, including hoteliers, Destination Management Companies, and Air Seychelles. Miss Seychelles … another world 2012, Sherlyn Furneau, also joined the delegation in her role as Ambassador for the Seychelles islands and it was an opportunity for her to learn more of the travel industry.
The Seychelles Tourism Board was represented by its Chief Executive Elsia Grandcourt; Seychelles Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin; Manager PR & News Bureau UK & Ireland, Lena Hoareau; Senior Marketing Executive for UK & Ireland, Maria Morel; and Marketing Executive Eloise Vidot, along with the Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert; and the Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Raymonde Onezime.
The Seychelles islands were showcased at a 160 sqm stand. The stand comprised a reception desk, manned at all times by the Seychelles Tourism Board staff, and a total of 15 tables allocated to hoteliers, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and Air Seychelles.
Headed by the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St.Ange, the delegation was comprised of the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, and her senior staff Philomena Hollanda who will be representing the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label in partnership with the UNDP Organization; Seychelles Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin; Manager PR & News Bureau UK & Ireland, Lena Hoareau; and Marketing Executives for UK & Ireland, Ms. Maria Morel and Ms. Eloise Vidot; along with the Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert; and the Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Raymonde Onezime.
The Seychelles delegation was also made up of representatives of fifteen trade partners of the Seychelles Tourism Board who want and who continue to believe in the British market. These included Mrs. Anna Butler-Payette of 7°South, ([email protected]), Ms. Cindy Vidot of Air Seychelles ([email protected]), Mr. Frank Wesselhoefft ([email protected]) & Ms. Tinaz Wadia ([email protected]) of Banyan Tree Seychelles, Mr. Ken Choo ([email protected]) & Ms. Johnette Labiche ([email protected]) of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Mrs. Foram Varsani ([email protected]) of Cerf Island Resort, Mr. Ash Behari ([email protected]) of Coco De Mer Hotel, Mr. Denis Verkhorubov & Ms. Evgenia Boyankova ([email protected]) of Coral Stand smart Choice Hotel, Mr. Guillaume Albert ([email protected]) & Ms. Blaisila Hoffman ([email protected]) of Creole Travel Services, Mr. Marc Schumacher([email protected]) & Mr. Michael Bell ([email protected]) of Hilton Seychelles Resort, Mr. Sanjay Nair ([email protected]) of Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Ms. Jessica Giroux ([email protected]) of Mason Travel, Danie Davids & Samia Sedggwick ([email protected]) of Paradise Sun, Ms. Marielle Morin ([email protected]) of Raffles Praslin, Ms. Clare Thompson ([email protected]) of Round Island Resort (Mahe), and Mr. Norbert Couvreur ([email protected]) of Beachcomber Sainte Anne Resort.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).