A Seychelles delegation attended the Access Luxury Travel Show (ALTS) workshop in Prague on March 15 to 16, promoting the island destination in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) as visitor numbers from the region continue to show steady growth.
Tourism Seychelles was represented at the two-day event in the Czech Republic capital, by its Director for Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe, Mrs. Lena Hoareau accompanied by Ms. Maryna Serhieieva from Summer Rain Tours, Ms. Johana Cerna from Constance Hotels and Ms. Serena Di Fiore from Hilton Resorts.
With the aim of re-starting tourism events after two lack-luster years and to give destinations and tourism businesses the platform to promote their products post Covid, the workshop brought together buyers from the CEE region, notably the host country, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
There was a greater representation of Tour Operators, niche and luxury travel agencies, MICE agencies and other TOs specializing in golf and weddings, than in previous years. That meant a bigger exposure for all exhibitors and a good opportunity for them to get back on the market.
Speaking about Seychelles’ participation at ALTS, Mrs. Hoareau said it felt good to be back at this workshop and to be able to meet the partners face-to-face again.
“Two years ago, this ALTS workshop was the last event we attended as the COVID-19 virus rapidly crept upon us. A few days after that edition, most of Europe went into lockdown. Therefore, it felt good to be back, to see the dedicated partners again and to start discussing business,” she said.
She added that the workshop saw high levels of attendance and the excitement of re-starting business was very apparent amongst the participants and exhibitors alike. There was an obvious eagerness to increase business opportunities and to get people to start booking holidays again.
“The Central and Eastern Europe region has been performing very well for us since we re-opened our borders last year and these markets have been crucial in the recovery of the Seychelles tourism industry. The region was able to fill the gap left by the traditional markets and we hope as we increase our promotion in that part of the world, we will experience a more significant growth from there,” said Mrs. Hoareau.
The workshop was held on a scheduled-appointment basis, with one-on-one opportunities, where hosted buyers were able to book meetings with the exhibitors they wished to see and conduct business with. Seychelles, one of several destinations at the event, registered two full days of over 40 meetings as tour operators yearned to learn more about the current travel-friendly entry conditions and additional information they could use to increase their sales to the island destination.
Mrs. Hoareau said that being well represented with a destination table with the support of a local Destination Management Company and two hotel partners highlighted the destination’s intention to grow its market share across Central and Eastern Europe.
Additionally, great emphasis was put on the friendly travel conditions for visitors which is already an advantage as Seychelles search for new growth in both figures and revenue.
The CEE region has remained resilient during the pandemic and produced a remarkable 52,317 visitors to Seychelles in 2021.