The International Tourism Travel Fair of Paris saw the Seychelles Ambassador accredited to France tour the Tourism Travel Fair and stop at the Seychelles stand where he took time meet all the Seychelles delegates who had traveled to Paris to represent their country.
Ambassador Shamlaye demonstrated how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could support the actions of the Ministry of Tourism and its Tourism Board by being responsive to the plans of actions of the tourism industry and by offering his support where and when needed.
The large Seychelles delegation which was in France were mostly this year private sector representatives who were determined to work with the Tourism Board to claim back the French market, which had been suffering since the cessation of direct nonstop flights between Seychelles and Paris. The island’s Minister for Tourism, Alain St.Ange, had personally led the smallest ever government delegation to the French Trade Fair as he traveled with only Amia Jovanovic, the Tourism Board’s Senior Marketing Executive responsible for the French Market. “We preferred to let the committed private sector members to lead the Seychelles presence at this show. Many had expressed themselves publicly on the need to re-find ourselves in this market, and that was the opportunity for the private sector to take the lead.” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister was joined in Paris by the Seychelles Tourism Director for Europe, the Seychelloise Bernadette Willemin, and by Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort&Casino represented by their Area Director of Sales, Johnette Labiche; Creole Travel Services represented by their Sales&Marketing Manager, Eric Renard; Desroches Island Resort represented by their Sales&Marketing Manager, Sarah Jensen; the Kempinski Seychelles Resort represented by their Director of Sales&Marketing, Sanjay Nair; Le Meridien Seychelles (Fisherman’s Cove&Barbarons Beach Hotels) represented by Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove General Manager, Mathieu De Tonnac; and the Sales&Promotion Manager of Starwood Indian Ocean William Vincent, Mason’s Travel, represented by their Sales Manager, Paul Lebon; the Sainte Anne Beachcomber Resort&Spa represented by their General Manager, Norbert Couvreur; the Round Island Mahe Jebel Ali represented by their Director of Sales, Clare Thompson; the Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel represented by their General Manager, Denis Verkhorubov; their General Manager and their Director of Sales&Marketing, Evgenia Boyankova; Select Seychelles represented by their French Representative, Isabelle Turon-Lagau; and Cyndy Vidot from Air Seychelles accompanied by a colleague from Etihad Airways..
In Paris, Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said that the French market remains by far the most important tourism market for Seychelles. “It is a duty for me to join those members of the island’s private sector who remain committed to the French market. The Seychelles Tourism Board has done a lot in France to keep the market stimulated. A number of travel agents have been on educational visits, the popular annual Seychelles dedicated workshop cum road show through France was again held, press visits with partner airlines are continuing, press coverage including TV coverage of the 2012 Carnaval International de Victoria is still making news in France, the program for continued training of travel agents is ongoing, and more. Seychelles will continue to work to receive its fair share of that market that knows us well, that enjoys the spectacular beauty of our Seychelles, and that feels at home in our islands where French remains one of our three national languages,” Minister Alain St.Ange said in open discussions with the French press.
The Seychelles Minister thanked Ambassador Bernard Shamlaye for his understanding the importance of his support for the work being undertaken by the Tourism Board. “You are here offering your support whilst appreciating the complexity of this volatile industry. The Tourism Board will always call on you when needed, and the Tourism Board will involve you at major events they organize when it is felt that your presence will raise the level of importance of the events,” Minister St.Ange said as he thanked Ambassador Shamlaye for his visit to the French tourism Trade Fair grounds.