The wide reach of South African Airways (SAA) and Ethiopian Airlines is being used to tap new markets in Africa, according to David Germain, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Director for Africa & the Americas.
Speaking at the Seychelles Tourism Board ‘s Mid-year Review of market performances and to assess promotional efforts last Wednesday, June 19, at the Le Meridien Barbarons Beach Hotel in the presence of Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange and the Seychelles Tourism Board CEO, Elsia Grandcourt, Mr. Germain said that the African market looks promising.
He noted that from January to June 2013, Seychelles received a 13% hike on the corresponding period last year in visitor arrival figures from South Africa. Mr. Germain went on to say that the Seychelles Tourism Board is projecting to double visitors from the South African market by December 2013.
Mr. Germain said that the Seychelles Tourism Board has selected four new African markets for special attention: Nigeria, Angola, Botswana, and Namibia, and said that the wide reach of South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, which both have several weekly flights to Seychelles, will be particularly helpful in tapping these markets.
He noted that populations for all those countries are opting for vacations outside the continent. Mr. Germain also noted that the Indaba Exhibition in May this year was particularly beneficial for Seychelles with the participation of many African and American operators.
M.r David Germain said that the Seychelles Tourism Board’s marketing strategy with its increased PR activities, is paying off in terms of more visibility for Seychelles. He said Seychelles has been featured on some TV channels, and 73 newspaper articles. More press and media visits to Seychelles are planned. Mr. Germain said this year, some road shows are planned to target special markets such as Port Elizabeth and East London.
At this point, Minister St.Ange said his South African counterpart is due in Seychelles in August, accompanied by a high-level delegation and four TV channels. He said this will constitute a golden opportunity not only to showcase Seychelles, but to see how their local agents can also meet the South African tour operators who are selling Seychelles.
Mr. Germain also said that the average South African visitor is budget conscious, with the average considering any package (include air fares) above 12,000 to 15,000 rands as too expensive.
On South America, Mr. Germain said the Seychelles’ share market is still small, especially coming from Brazil where the Seychelles Tourism Board appointed tourism representation in the Brazilian economic powerhouse of Sao Paolo last April. He added that the market has strong potential and South African Airways can help tap that with its daily flights to the Brazilian cities, adding that the Tourism Board is also targeting Argentina, Chile, and eventually Paraguay.
Mr. Germain said that the recent codesharing agreement concluded between Air Seychelles and SAA can mean easy access to their islands.
On North America, Mr. Germain said that four airlines: SAA, Ethiopian, Emirates, and Etihad, which fly to US cities virtually every day, mean easy connections to Seychelles, which can be reached in less than 24 hours.
He noted that the North American market to date has grown by 6% to 2,193 visitors.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .
PHOTO: David Germain, Director of Marketing for Africa the Americas and Middle East, giving an overview of the market’s performance at Seychelles Tourism Board Mid-year Review at Le Meridien Barbarons Hotel / Photo from Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture