“The marketing of our country as a destination is not only an affair of the Seychelles Tourism Board but it is and remains a Seychelles affair. We need to see how we can be seen and respected as being good custodians of what we have been blessed with.
The Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange made these two statements while addressing members of the trade and the representatives of the Seychelles Tourism Board’s overseas offices yesterday morning at the annual mid-year marketing review meeting held at the Eden Bleu hotel.
Present at the meeting were the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Sherin Naiken, and high officials from the airlines, hotels, destination management companies and other sectors of the tourism industry.
The deputy chief of STB Nathalie Didon and staff of the organisation were also attended the meeting.
In his opening address, Minister St.Ange said as long as we keep maintaining a cohesive approach and work together in the existing public / private sector partnership that exists today, we will achieve greater success for our tourism industry.
“We need to continue to work together as a country to consolidate our tourism industry. The last six months has been promising, but we have more work to do for the coming six months, and we must all remember that nothing is static in the tourism industry. Our industry is volatile and needs tender loving care always. This is why we, as the Government, we need to keep working closely with members of the private sector trade. We all know that we have but one tourism industry, we do not have one for the private sector and one for the Government. What we have in one tourism industry for Seychelles” Minister St.Ange said.
The Minister also took the opportunity to congratulate the team working in the Tourism Board offices across the world adding that their hard work and the existing partnerships with the tourism trade partners has benefitted Seychelles.
Minister St.Ange also thanked the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association for their spirit of togetherness for the one cause. “The partnership we have is paying great dividend for Seychelles” the Minister said. “We know that there is a need for the trade to work even closer with the Tourism Board if we are to make an impact in the openings of new tourism source markets. We have received the comments about the needed work in China for example, but here we need to move forward together” the Minister added.
Minister St.Ange said that the Tourism Board’s overseas offices are doing Seychelles proud, but we also know that we must keep on innovating so as to better deliver for the country and its tourism industry.
“We will keep on working with members of the local and international press as they help us to remain visible and to bring more awareness on the efforts and the work that we do,” he said.
On her part Miss Naiken said the year 2016 started relatively well with positive signs of growth on all of Seychelles’ important markets, except for the South Africa, given the economic situation of the country and of course Russia were signs of economic rebound are being observed.
“The Tourism Board has remained committed with its activities, engaging both the trade and the consumers at various levels, doing what is within our means and what is within our reach,” she said. Even with the advent of technology and online booking platforms, we are not shy to say we are one of the few destinations which a good share of our visitors until today still coming on holiday to our shores through a tour operator or a travel agent, she added. “We are proud of our achievements and progress in the digital world. Only recently we tested our first fully interactive Seychelles guide. I am proud to announce that we have also launched our first ever virtual experience of Seychelles,” she said
“As a destination with so little resources, we remain committed with our press friendly strategy. Yes, keeping the press on your side, is a sure way of ensuring that the destination remains visible”, she added. Ms Naiken also reaffirmed the support and commitment of the Tourism Board towards members of the trade.
The CEO of the Tourism Board echoed words of thanks to her team for their hard work and devotion. She also thanked Minister St Ange for his unwavering support, adding that he is a man of vision, the man who has been able to grow our industry by over 100,000 visitors in just seven years.
During this year’s mid-year marketing meeting, managers of the Tourism Board’s various overseas offices gave presentations on their markets inclusive of the activities organised, achievements of the last six months and their plans for the remaining half of the year.