Seychelles has won the Island Holiday Destination of the Year, awarded by the China Travel & Meetings Industry Awards for Business Travel. Mr. Jean-Luc Lai-Lam from the Seychelles Tourism Board-China office, personally received the award together with Seychelles’ tourism representatives in China Li Huanhuan and Chenyun.
The China Travel&Meetings Industry Awards for Leisure&Business Travel hosted by Travel Weekly, which was the first travel industry media to incorporate online coverage and magazines for exclusive professional perspectives on the tourism industry, has over the years won industry-wide recognition and praise for their spirit of fairness, justice, and innovation.
“With increased focus in the Chinese market in recent years, this shows that the Seychelles Tourism Board’s approach has gained the islands due recognition in the right quarters. Seychelles is slowly but surely taking its place in China amongst one of the world’s most sought-after destinations for both the Chinese leisure and business travelers,” said Mr. Lai-Lam.
Upon receiving the excellent news of the award, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, congratulated her team for their dedication and hard work and wished to also thank the trade partners both from China and in Seychelles for their trust and believing in the potential of the Seychelles destination or the Chinese market. Receiving such an award today is the result of the groundwork started two years ago when the now Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, was at the helm of the Seychelles Tourism Board. Now that Tourism and Culture is under one portfolio, the Minister is confident that Seychelles stand to benefit in multiple ways as he focuses on further building on the long-standing relationship dating 150 years between Seychelles and China.
“We cut our shirt from the cloth we had, as we moved systematically in China. It was President James Michel who personally led the first drive into China, which resulted with signatures of several MOUs with Chinese tour operators. This same approach was maintained by myself as the island’s Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture. The Seychelles Minister responsible for Transport also personally headed discussions with Chinese Airlines, and the CEO of the Tourism Board was present at many workshops and tourism trade fairs to get the name Seychelles more known. Today it is pleasing to see the recognition we are receiving by China Travel. It shows that we moved into this big potential market with intelligence and perfect planning,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Seychelles, Maldives, and Tahiti were short-listed among the top 3 Luxury Island Destinations of the Year by a panel of senior experts from the tourism and MICE industry, basing their decision on first-class products and excellence in service with professional standards, outstanding performance with a competitive advantage in the industry and a wide range of industry or public visibility, superior strategic development strategy and clear market insight, outstanding product innovation and R&D, strong relationship with consumers and partners, and finally superior business execution.
“Being short-listed amongst the top 3 by the expert judges not only shows good progress in our campaign for Seychelles, but also the confidence that the Chinese trades have in Seychelles as a number one destination for the market,” added Mr. Lai-Lam.
“What gives us even more confidence as a destination towards the work being done, is that the final say went out to the public/travelers themselves to cast their votes online, and coming out as number one confirms the potential for Seychelles in China,” added Mr. Lai-Lam
“Achieving this award today is also due to the excellent cooperation and support that the local trades in Seychelles are always providing, and we look forward to working closer together in order to increase our presence and grow the number of Chinese travelers to our shores,” added Mr. Lai-Lam.
Year to date, Chinese tourist arrivals is at a 126% increase compared to last year.