The new office was officially launched during a press conference chaired by the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Alain St.Ange, in London.
The PR office is managed by the Tourism Board’s long-time PR contact, Lena Hoareau, who is now based in the Seychelles Tourist Office in London.
Mrs. Hoareau holds responsibility of the European PR Office, as well as the Seychelles-based News Bureau, which she has managed for many years.
The Bureau has been at the forefront of the destination’s strong visibility campaign initiated by the Seychelles Tourism Board two years ago and which has put the islands in the news all over the world.
The PR office will lend support to and assist the press and media with all queries on Seychelles. It will act as their focal point for information which at the end would enable them to have the right information when writing on or featuring the islands.
The office will also extend the distribution of news on Seychelles to new media contacts throughout Europe and in regions yet to be tapped into in terms of increasing visibility on the destination.
Press trips to Seychelles and press meetings will also be coordinated through the office.
The press conference in London was attended by the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Marketing Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, and the Seychelles’ Marketing Manager for the UK, Ireland, and Scandinavian markets, Marsha Parcou, who was also formally introduced during the event. Ms Parcou was appointed in April.
The invited guests at the event included the High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles in the UK, Patrick Pillay; the consul for Seychelles in the UK, Bernard Silver; the Seychelles Tourism Ambassadors in UK; and members of the UK trade and the press.
Addressing the press, Mr. St.Ange said that the STB needs PR representation in its main markets so as to support its media campaigns and provide better support to the international press and media.
“The Seychelles Tourism Board has provided a lot of support to the press and media over the years, and we have reached the stage where we need to be closer to the partners we work with so as to ensure continuous visibility of the islands,” he said.
The Seychelles’ tourism Chief Executive noted that the Tourism Board believes in forging relations with the press, because visibility opportunities remain a priority for the destination, especially as it wants the world to know about its unique selling points.
Seychelles has today earned the reputation of being one of the most exciting destinations in the world, and it intends to keep it that way, he said.
“Judging by the coverage the islands are getting all over the world, it is today clear that the press continue to be taken in by the beauty of Seychelles. On our side, we continue to be proactive and woo the press from everywhere, because we need to make people know that Seychelles remains the destination for all wanting a holiday in paradise,” Mr. St.Ange added.
Mr. St.Ange continued that the country’s efforts were clearly working because many markets were reporting that Seychelles was becoming the hotspot for their visitors and there was a marked increase in visitor numbers to the destination.
Referring to Seychelles tourism as a whole, Mr. St.Ange said that the industry is growing from strength to strength as the country has spent a considerable amount of time building the appropriate structures.
“The name Seychelles may conjure exotic images in anyone’s mind, but that does not mean everyone knows much about the islands. This is then our task: to create awareness however and wherever we can and take every opportunity to raise the profile of our islands by utilising the international media to the full,” he said.
Seychelles is today represented in all its main source markets, including UK, which produced over 12,000 visitors to Seychelles last year. The market is served twice weekly by national airline, Air Seychelles.
Flying options are also available through Dubai and Doha with Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways. Emirates will extend its 12 flights to daily double frequencies by the end of the year, whereas Qatar operates daily flights to the islands.
Two new airlines – Etihad and Ethiopian Airline – will also start operating on the Seychelles sector in November.