Tourism Seychelles has kicked off the year with a two-week series of consultations as of Monday, January 24, 2022, with its local and international partners on its marketing strategy for the year.
The annual consultative event, which this year is taking place virtually, in the form of an online webinar via the ZOOM online meeting platform, is aimed at gathering views and comments from the local trade partners on the destination’s marketing strategy.
One of the most valued events for tourism representatives in Seychelles and abroad, the meeting reunites partners to discuss various pertinent issues relating to the marketing of the destination for 2022.
The destination, which recorded 182,849 visitor arrivals in 2021, an increase of 59% compared to 2020, earned according to provisional figures issued by the Central Bank, an estimated USD 309 million and a per visitor spend of USD1,693. It is aiming to attract between 218,000 to 258,000 visitors and a per visitor spend of USD1,800 in 2022.
Attending the gathering, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, who along with Principal Secretary for Tourism Mrs. Sherin Francis delivered keynote addresses.
In his address, the Minister for Tourism urged partners to keep their focus on enriching the destination’s profile.
“Let us look at what products and services we offer to our visitors. It is no secret that the aspirations of our visitors and travelers have changed. The call of sea, sun and sand is no longer sufficient on their own. This presents a major opportunity for Seychellois. We want to encourage new ideas and new entrants into tourism. The government creates the environment and facilitates diversification, but it is you entrepreneurs and businesses who must show the appetite for it,” said Minister Radegonde.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism reminded all participants the Tourism Seychelles team remains committed to its target of driving Seychelles’ economic recovery while keeping with its sustainability goals.
“While we recover from the shock of the pandemic, let us not forget we are also in a race towards our survival. Seychelles is a nation where two of us out of each household earn a living from the tourism industry and where this very industry depends on its natural beauty and an ideal climate. We must not lose sight of the need to keep sustainability central in our agenda,” said Mrs. Francis.
She further mentioned that the team effort invested in by all the partners including the government and other agencies has enabled the destination to recoup about 50% of its 2019 business, which remains the countries best year in terms of tourism arrival numbers.
The consultations featured presentations from the Director-General for Destination Marketing Mrs. Bernadette Willemin and the Director-General for Destination Planning and Development, Mr. Paul Lebon.
On her part, Mrs. Willemin has mentioned that the visitor’s arrival figures for 2021 have been very encouraging. She mentioned that amidst the challenges the destination is facing due to the global sanitary issue, the team will be focusing its efforts in increasing the reach of the destination through various strategies.
“In a nutshell, we are focusing our marketing efforts in diversifying our portfolio taking into consideration key sources of customer segments but also diversifying our other markets without neglecting our investment in our traditional markets. We believe that Seychelles has a beautiful story to tell and for that we would need to deliver better, to personalize our marketing to ensure we reach our audiences with the right information and at the right time,” said the Director-General for marketing.
Over the next two weeks, the Tourism Seychelles marketing managers, and representatives from across the globe will present their plans and strategy for the year 2022 to members of the local trade in small groups or one-on-one meetings.
All sessions are being hosted by the Director-General for Marketing Mrs. Bernadette Willemin who will be assisted by the respective market manager and representatives. The meeting will end on Friday, February 4, 2022.