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Seychelles bets big on India; to piggyback on the giant for the world

August 11, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A big delegation of Seychelles Tourism and trade representatives wooed Indian trade to promote the beautiful island country at the first mega road show in Mumbai and New Delhi this week. Opening of trade, flight connections by Air Seychelles and joint marketing with India are on the NTO’s agenda.

Mr Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture said: “We’re officially launching Seychelles in India. India is one of the biggest potential markets for Seychelles. We’ll work with the trade with the help of the press. Indian population is strong in Seychelles as they control a lot of our economy. Tourism is the pillar of our economy and we value it.”Mr. Alain St. Ange, Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture and Ms. Sherin Naiken, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board at the press meet by Seychelles Tourism Board

Seven percent of Seychelles population is Indian and Indian cuisine is commonly available in the 115 islands nation.

Ms Lubaina Sheerazi, Head, Blue Square Consultants, representative office of Seychelles Tourism Board in India, said: “We are targeting honeymoon, luxury, adventure and experiential travelers and are leveraging various mediums to reach out and engage with them. We will also be conducting road shows, destination trainings, participating in trade fairs and scheduling familiarization trips as part of our strategy.”

Air Seychelles is scheduled to launch tri-weekly flights out of Mumbai from 1 December. The airline had suspended its brief tenure of services to Southern city Chennai in 2011.

Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, Head Blue Square Consultants, Representative Office of Seychelles Tourism Board  at the press meet by Seychelles Tourism Board

Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, Head Blue Square Consultants, Representative Office of Seychelles Tourism Board at the press meet by Seychelles Tourism Board

There is no visa requirement in Seychelles for an Indian visitor. 30 day visa-on-arrival can be renewed for another month.

India provides a big workforce for construction industry in Seychelles, with 70 to 80 Indians travelling every week.  Thinly populated (90,000) island country wants to simultaneously boost trade to make the air route profitable.

Mr St. Ange said: “We import most of our goods and intend to open trade with India, which is just four (flight) hours away. We’re a secure and disease free eco-friendly nation just on the other side of the Indian Ocean.”

The team met Indian Tourism Minister in New Delhi to discuss mutual co-operation. “We’ll have to have a twin centre approach with the ‘giant’ and the ‘dwarf’, Incredible India and the Another World to promote worldwide. Two together will be a new destination with Seychelles complimenting India’s multiple cultural attractions with clean, crowd-free beaches”, said Mr St. Ange.

2381 Indians visited Seychelles in 2013. The number is expected to cross double by 2015.

The team’s commitment to India is expected to bring it back in December and again in February.

Written by : Anand & Madhura Katti

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