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Far East a but a mere fours away now as Seychelles Tourism Board warmly welcomes direct flights to Sri Lanka

November 22, 2013 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

Seychelles and Sri Lanka now share even closer links, with the introduction of direct flights between Seychelles and Colombo.

Since the Mihin Lanka blue-tailed A 321 airbus with a white lotus leaf touched down at the Seychelles International Airport last Saturday afternoon – it is predicted that more visitors from that destination will soon landing on the Seychelles’ shores.

The first flight from Colombo to Mahé landed at 4.03pm after a 3 hour 43 minute journey – to be welcomed by many high officials in the country, including the Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Sherin Naiken and  the Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune.

Following the warm welcome Mihin Lanka passengers received at the Airport, Ms Naiken also revealed that the Seychelles Tourism Board was indeed very happy with this new development in local aviation, and that it would assist in ensuring the endeavour is a success.“Trends have changed over the last few years. Seychelles as a serious tourism destination is keeping informed of such changes and thus making the right adjustments needed to keep the industry alive,” said Ms Naiken. It is well documented that the small Indian Ocean Island state has depended on what it considered its ‘traditional markets’ in Europe to provide the lion’s share of the 200,000 visitors it welcomes annually. However the industry has had to look at alternative market – in addition to continually working with Europe to ensure the islands continue to receive its fair share of that market.

Ms Naiken explained that the Seychelles Tourism Board has been targeting the Far East for a few years now – and the flights cost and time effectiveness of Sri Lanka Airlines would be an added bonus to lure in new visitors from countries like Japan, China and India.

To recall, representatives from the Tourism Board were in Japan a few months ago, as part of the board’s mission to tap into the Far Eastern markets.“We know that the Japanese are considered as trend setters in that region, and we firmly believe that visitors from that country will entice others from neighbouring countries to come to Seychelles,” said Ms Naiken.

The first Mihin Lanka flight – which code shares with SriLankan Airlines – is the first step in successfully tapping the Far Eastern market. However, she also said the introduction of the new flight would also be beneficial for Sri Lanka as there will be people from Seychelles headed to Colombo. “Now with Sri Lanka being within reach, I believe it will be the new holiday destination for Seychellois,” she added. “All that is left to do is build awareness of the product locally, and it will practically sell itself,” said Ms Naiken.

Current popular destinations for the Seychellois tourist, forever in search for good shopping, are Thailand and Mauritius.

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