The mid-ocean tropical islands of the Seychelles has moved with new vigor its drive to attract tourists from China. Until late last year, it was mainland China that had been the focus of their approach, but now it was Hong Kong and Macau that saw Seychelles move in with more determination.
The Seychelles Ambassador to China, Mr. Philippe Le Gall; Mrs. Cheng Ning Ning Diana, the Seychelles Consul General for Hong Kong; Alain St.Ange, the island’s CEO of the Tourism Board; and Jean Luc Lai-Lam were joined by an impressive Seychelles tourism private sector group interested to develop the Chinese market and who had made the trip to Hong Kong: Stephen Kwong of Air Seychelles ([email protected]), Lindy Cadeau of 7 Degrees South DMC ([email protected]), Guillaume Albert of Creole Travel Services DMC ([email protected]), Sun Weiwei of Mason’s Travel DMC ([email protected]), Dereck Savy of Elite Club Limited DMC ([email protected]), Freddy Karkaria of Select Seychelles DMC ([email protected]), Carol Tsang of Constance Hotels Experience ([email protected]), Peter Pomeroy of La Reserve Hotel ([email protected]), Robert Payet of Le Duc de Praslin Hotel ([email protected]), Ahmed Kamal of Le Meridien Hotels Seychelles ([email protected]), and Amanda Lang of Desroches Island Resort ([email protected]).
The different meetings between the Seychelles private sector professionals wanting to develop the Chinese market and the Hong Kong and Macau tour operators showed the clear interest by the Chinese travel trade to open Seychelles to their potential holiday makers. Last year, Seychelles received a marked increased in visitor arrival numbers from China with Ethiopian Airlines operating even a special flight with a group of 152 holiday makers. Since then, regular smaller groups have been traveling to the paradise islands through the Middle East airlines. It has been confirmed by the Chinese tour operators that Ethiopian Airlines is already holding bookings for more groups on their three first flights after they start their Seychelles service from April 2.
The honeymoon and wedding niche markets from China has also seen Seychelles as their new destination. The Bride’s Magazine of China was even in Seychelles to cover the wedding of a young influential Chinese couple.
Alain St.Ange has thanked the Seychelles trade working with them to open the Chinese market. He said that the Tourism Board appreciated the support of those who had taken the trouble to join them in their drive alongside the Seychelles Embassy to open Seychelles to China potential holiday makers. “Seychelles remains a dynamic country and knew that it had to work to diversify it tourist key markets if it was to consolidate its tourism industry. We shall keep on working on our European Markets, but we have to move to diversify our markets at the same time. We shall work with the private sector group who have now committed themselves to working with us to open that potential market,” Alain St.Ange said’
It was at one of the workshops in Hong Kong that Alain St.Ange, in the presence of Mr. Philippe Le Gall and Mrs. Cheng Ning Ning Diana, MOUs were signed with twelve of the main tour operators in Hong Kong and Macau to work with them to promote Seychelles.