The delegation at the event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from May 1-4, 2023, was led by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, and was accompanied by Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, the Director General for Destination Marketing for Tourism Seychelles, and Mr. Ahmed Fathallah, Tourism Seychelles representative for the Middle East.
The group of tourism professionals from Seychelles was comprised of 9 private sector companies namely; Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort, Eden Bleu Hotel, Hilton Seychelles, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, and Savoy Seychelles Resorts & Spa 7 Degrees South, Luxury Travel, Masons Travel, and Ocean Blue Travel.
Mrs. Francis and Mrs. Willemin took part in a total of 11 international media interviews to broaden the visibility of the island destination, including those with Al Ekhbariya TV, one of the most important Saudi Arabian TV channels, Breaking Travel News, and Internet media moguls Travel & Tourism News and Destination World News.
Seychelles was represented in 3 sessions, speaking about Responsible Tourism.
On the first day, while speaking on a panel discussion on “responsible hospitality for a better world” with other CEOs from around the world, Mrs. Francis shared her thoughts and the destination’s long-term vision on the subject. “As a small destination dependent on tourism, sustainability has deeper meaning for us as the survival of our nation depends on it and therefore, practicing sustainable tourism remains one of our primary objectives for the destination,” she said.
Continuing along the same line during another session under the theme “green technology for responsible tourism” session, Mrs. Willemin, the Director General for Destination Marketing, said, “Green technology for responsible tourism means we must be creative and resourceful to reduce environmental footprint and preserve cultural heritage.”
Mrs. Francis also participated in a panel discussion on Maritime Tourism – Practical Solutions and Amazing Developments, alongside Mr. Will Bateman, CEO and Founder of CCell Renewables, and the Honorable Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Deputy Minister of Tourism in Indonesia, where she discussed the opportunities the Middle East market presents for the island while preserving maritime prosperity.
The Director General for Destination Marketing expressed her satisfaction with the event’s success, stating: “The four days have been excellent and very fruitful for Seychelles, as it was clear that there was a lot of market interest in expanding the business. We noticed a notable rise in interest in the destination from a number of significant major media outlets sites. We are grateful that we were able to seize every opportunity to showcase our product in all of its facets and provide further information about Seychelles and the island’s strategic tourism development objectives and priorities.”
Mr. Ahmed Fathallah, Tourism Seychelles representative on the market, added that Seychelles’ participation in the Arabian Travel Market is a great way to keep Seychelles in the minds of potential business partners.
Tourism Seychelles and Emirates Airline signed their annual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the 2023 ATM, reaffirming their commitment to the growth of Seychelles as a destination.