Two Seychelles Ministers, Alain St.Ange responsible for Tourism&Culture, and Joel Morgan, responsible for Internal Affairs & Transport, jointly led a tourism and aviation delegation to Paris, France, where they called a press conference following a full house meeting with French tour operators selling Seychelles and airlines linking Seychelles to France.
The Seychelles official delegation comprised also of Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and Captain David Savy, the Chairman of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority. The CEO of Air Seychelles, Cramer Ball, accompanied by Cindy Vidot from his Marketing Department, also traveled to Paris for the Seychelles trade meeting.
The Seychelles press conference in Paris took place at Hilton Hotel and saw the presence of tourism trade papers and also main stream newspapers.
It was Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Director for Europe, who had the honor of welcoming everyone to the press conference and launching the Paris meeting. It was the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, who then took the floor to address the French press. “We are here to firstly say thank you to you members of the press. The continued success of our tourism industry, the industry that remains the pillar of our economy, is in a big way thanks to you. You have helped us with our visibility campaign, and you have year after year kept the world updated on the happenings in Seychelles,” Minister St.Ange said.
Seychelles has for the last couple of years been very press friendly. They launched an exclusive press club named “Friends of Seychelles – press” and members of this exclusive club are today living and working in the four corners of the world. The Seychelles Tourism Board has always been ready to work with the press fraternity and they ensure that throughout the year, press members are visiting Seychelles on fact finding missions.
“Seychelles is unique as a tourism destination. We have many unique selling points such as the diversity of our islands with both granitic and coral islands, we have clean and white sandy beaches, clean and clear turquoise blue seas, we have a weather pattern that has given us the name of the islands with perpetual summer, because Seychelles does not have winter months. We also have sailing, diving, big game fishing, trails and walks, and ornithology, unique fauna and flora, and a unique population with diversity that remains the envy of my countries. But all that you all know, because you are well briefed on the tourism industry,” the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism said.
Minister St.Ange went on to brief the French press on the state of tourism in Seychelles. He congratulated the Tourism Board European Team under the leadership of Bernadette Willemin. The Minister highlighted the continued growth in visitor arrival numbers but said that he was in France accompanied by Minister Joel Morgan who has the responsibility of Civil Aviation, because it was important to redress the negative visitor arrival figures from France.
“Today we are here to tell you that Seychelles has France as its main tourism market. France and Europe will remain the no.1 tourism market for Seychelles, and we are going to intensify our visibility campaign to ensure we remain the destination of choice for French and Europe holidaymakers. We also needed to be here to tell you so that you can tell the world that Seychelles is today accessible as never before. We have more airlines flying to Seychelles and with more frequencies than ever. We are also today proud of our accommodation network, and here we have the whole range from six and seven stars boutique resorts, the unique one island one hotel concepts, the large hotel resorts and the Seychellois-owned small hotel and guest house. This has been more evident since the Seychelles President invited the Seychellois to join in to ensure that Seychelles claimed back its industry that remained the pillar of the island’s economy. That was all part of Seychelles brand of tourism launched by the island’s President Michel,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister Joel Morgan, responsible for Internal Affairs and Transport, told the gathered press fraternity that Seychelles was open for business. “We have opened our airspace and will welcome any airline from France wanting to fly to Seychelles. We are happy with the continued growth in most of the key tourist markets of Seychelles, but we also remained conscious that we needed to be in France to reassure you all that we wanted to work with the French Tour Operators to get the French market back on line. Seychelles values the French Market, and we need to relook at the support required to get the market moving again. We were this morning reassured by the French tour operators that the interest for a Seychelles holiday continued to remain strong, but we also were reminded that we needed to mount a campaign to get the message on accessibility out to travel agents right across France,” Minister Joel Morgan said.
The two Seychelles ministers then answered questions from the gathered press.