The main tour operators and press of London have been thanked for their underlying support towards the Seychelles tourism industry and urged to continue to give their support to this tourism island destination as it bids to grow its number of visitors from that market for another year.
This was through a dedicated Seychellois Creole lunch hosted in London on Tuesday, January 24 where the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange, said that “no destination can survive alone and needs committed partners.”
The lunch, held at the Sanctum Soho Hotel in London itself, was held to thank tour operators and the press fraternity for believing in Seychelles and for making their best to promote and sell the destination.
It was also an occasion to renew discussions and get the partners to commit to another year of business with the islands. The press was called upon to continue to cover the islands and help to reach out to potential travelers all over the country.
“The Seychelles Tourism Board has always believed in, and has always found ways to work, with the press, because we know that as a small destination, which is still trying to stay at the top of every potential traveler’s mind, we need the visibility and to be constantly seen in the press,” said Mr. St.Ange.
He thanked all the press present and said the Seychelles Tourism Board, through its PR and News Bureau office in London, will always give them the support they need whether that be information for their articles or to arrange press trips. “Today I will say what I always say to the press all over the world – we need you, and we invite you to come and see for yourselves, the exceptional beauty of our tourist tropical islands, and then you can write about it and let others know that what we have is for real,” he said.
The Seychelles’ tourism head noted that the UK market enjoyed an 8 percent increase in visitor arrivals last year, and he thanked the tour operators, airlines, and hotel partners for driving the sales and creating business for the islands. “It is a business where we support each other, and we, as the ones driving the destination’s marketing, we know that we cannot exist on our own. We need you partners to receive their clients, take care of their bookings and other needs, and we need you to ensure they have the best holiday ever,” said Mr. St.Ange.
He explained that partners must feel that their efforts and devotion are being recognized and appreciated for the business they bring to the country. “The UK market was slow for a number of years, but I’m happy to say that we have pulled out of the downward trend and that we are now working hard to keep the positives. Thank you to everyone who has helped and continues to help the country,” Mr. St. Ange said.
The Air Seychelles pull-out from Europe, including UK, is just one of the challenges that the market will face during the new season, but Mr. St.Ange said that partners must find alternatives and continue to inform clients of other options. “Today we have Emirates that now serves Seychelles 14 times a week; Qatar Airways daily, Etihad Airways four times a week; Kenya Airways with their cooperation with KLM and Air France fly twice a week to Seychelles; and from April 1, Ethopian Airlines will fly to Seychelles via Addis Ababa four times a week,” Alain St.Ange said.
The lunch served included a fresh grilled bourgeois (red snapper) fish, octopus, and chicken curry among other Seychelles Creole delicacies.