As a result of the insecurity created in the minds of European tour operators by the cessation of services by Air Seychelles to Europe, Bernadette Willemin, Seychelles Tourism Board’s European Director based in Paris, France, and Monette Rose, the Board’s Manager in Italy, have quickly moved to dispel the fears of European tour operators concerning future air access to the islands.
“We have not waited for any calamity to befall us when it comes to tour operator confidence in Seychelles as a destination,” stated Bernadette Willemin, “…but have rather been proactive in moving to assure our partners of new possibilities that are being studied and of the positives in the situation.”
“The managers of the Seychelles Tourism Board’s offices in the four corners of the world remain very conscious of the fact that tourism is a people-centered industry and, as such, are constantly working on maintaining and improving their relationships with tour operator partners,” explained Alain St. Ange, CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board, as he congratulated his managers for boosting arrival figures in yet another record year, “…so there is nothing extraordinary about the fact that they should move to reassure and provide accurate information to their foreign trade partners in this way. It is all very much part of the job they do on a daily basis.”
Seychelles has moved on a proactive mode since the Air Seychelles decision to drop Europe from its flight schedule. The Managers of the Tourism Board of the islands based in France and Italy have been door knocking on their tour operators partners in a bid to keep them well informed of the developments being worked on from Seychelles with regards to air access. “Alain St.Ange, our CEO from the Tourism Board Head Office in Seychelles keeps us informed on the developments as and when they take place, and we immediately move to ensure that all our trade partners are duly kept updated,” said Bernadette Willemin from Paris, France.
“Keeping a positive frame of mind, speaking the truth, and remaining truthful to our country has been our motto when we met to strategize on our plan of action after Air Seychelles took France and Italy out of their flight schedule. Today, we are happy that our partners are standing with us and looking forward to the new announcements about air access to our Seychelles,” said Bernadette Willemin to the press in Paris.
For the UK market, Alain St.Ange moves to London this weekend to address a working lunch on Tuesday of UK tour operators and press. The UK is the third market being affecting by the Air Seychelles pull-out, and the Seychelles Tourism Board’s UK Team has been able to gather most of the main tour operators selling Seychelles, together with a large contingent of the British press, for an island creole lunch in the center of London. “We needed to meet our partners who have worked with us to turn this important market around. The UK market has been on the increase for Seychelles for the last year and a half, and this showed that our strategy in the British Isles was working. On Tuesday, we will say thank you to our partners and also discuss with them the way forward,” said Alain St.Ange.
Lena Hoareau, the PR&News Bureau Manager for Seychelles based in the UK, has been working closely with the British press since she moved to London some six months ago. “Getting so many members of the British press together for a Seychelles briefing was not always easy in the past; today, we have our very own contacts in the press fraternity. We are thankful that our CEO, Mr. Alain St.Ange, is traveling to London to address the press next Tuesday. This will echo the message of our appreciation and help consolidate the work we are doing in the UK for Seychelles,” said Lena Hoareau from London.