Two Seychelles Ministers made a visit to Paris, France, to meet with French tour operators selling and promoting the islands in the presence of all airlines connecting Seychelles with France.
Mr. Joel Morgan, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Internal Affairs & Transport, and Mr. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture, accompanied by Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Capt. David Savy, the Chairman of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, addressed a full house of French tour operators selling the islands. Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s European Director opened the meeting welcoming the tour operators and thanking them for being true partners and friends of Seychelles.
Seychelles Minister St.Ange used the meeting, which was attended by the CEO of Air Seychelles, and the French Managers of Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, Ethiopian, Condor to retrace the Seychelles past successes on the French Market. “We value the French Market, and we want it to remain our number one market. Seychelles has strong historical links to France and Seychelles remains a destination that remains attractive to the French holiday makers. We speak French, we are a safe tourism destination, we have diversity, we have a climate that provides the island with perpetual summer. We have the best in beach holidays with white and clean sandy beaches and clear and clean turquoise blue seas,” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister also spoke about the drop in visitor arrival numbers since the pull out of Air Seychelles from France. He acknowledged that the Seychelles government and his Ministry were conscious of the challenges the tour operators faced since the pull out of Air Seychelles, but he said that it was important to recognize the current situation and emphasized that Seychelles was today but one stop away from any destination in the world. “This is because of the new hub situation. We have more flights to Seychelles than ever before and frequencies available were showing results for Seychelles which is recording an 8 percent increase in visitor arrival numbers over the same period as last year. We also can today place on record that Seychelles is accessible as never before with the range of hotels and guest houses now available. We have the whole range of accommodation, and Seychelles is open for business as never before,” Minister St.Ange said.
Mr. Joel Morgan, the Seychelles Minister for Internal Affairs and Transport, also addressed the gathered tour operators saying that the Seychelles had opened its skies. “There is no aviation if we do not have tourism, and there cannot be tourism without aviation. We are open for business and remain open for any airline wanting to look at flight to and from Seychelles,” Minister Morgan said.
The Seychelles Minister also addressed the position of the island’s tourism industry by analyzing the visitor arrival numbers and pinpointing areas recording growth before touching on the shortfall being recorded from France.
The addresses by the two Seychelles Ministers were followed by an open and frank session of questions and answers from floor. The Seychelles delegation said as they boarded their flight back to Seychelles, after their one day working visit to France, that they were over satisfied with a job well done. They appreciated the propositions made by the French tour operators, and they said that they would ensure that the island’s President and the Cabinet of Ministers were updated on the positive feedback from the French travel trade.