“We saw more than a 183% increase in tourist arrivals in from India in 2015 within just two years of opening our office here. The feedback from the private sector about the market is very encouraging, and we are positive that we will be able to keep the momentum intact,” said Ms. Sherin Naiken, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, commenting on the successful participation at the Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) trade fair recently held in Mumbai, India.
The Seychelles Tourism Board, with its partners from the private sector, successfully concluded its visit to India to participate in one of country’s biggest travel trade fairs, the OTM 2016. Participating in the fair was extremely significant to reinforce and reassure the Indian trade that the country continues to remain a key emerging source market for Seychelles. The private sector from Seychelles was very well represented by the DMCs and hotels including -7 Degrees South, Mason’s Travel, Savoy Resort and Spa, Raffles Praslin Seychelles, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Constance Hotels and Resorts Seychelles, and Air Seychelles.
The Tourism Board’s strategy to focus on Asia to decrease reliance on the European market has worked very well, with India and China being at the forefront of contributing to phenomenal growth in tourist arrivals to Seychelles. The flight connectivity to the islands from India has increased with Air Seychelles launching its fifth direct flight from Mumbai in January this year and Qatar Airways reintroducing its Seychelles service from mid-December 2016, with seven flights per week. Emirates, Etihad, Sri Lankan, and Kenya Airways also connect the major Indian cities to Seychelles from their respective hubs.
Though considered as mainly a honeymoon destination, India office’s strategy to promote Seychelles beyond just beaches and focusing more on its diversity of islands and their flora, fauna, terrain, activities, culture, and food has led to traction from other traveler segments, including families, small MICE groups, and adventure enthusiasts. The tourist office was also instrumental in getting Bollywood back to Seychelles after close to two decades, with the song Rehnuma from the upcoming film Rocky Handsome starring John Abraham and Shruti Hassan shot in the stunning locales of Mahe Island.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .