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Keeping Seychelles visible and relevant in South Africa

Keeping Seychelles visible and relevant in South Africa

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s (STB) office in South Africa has recorded an increased interest in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) market in the last year, reason why it wants to aggressively pursue this growing segment.

The romance niche is another segment which is doing very well on this market and the office has attended three bridal shows since the start of 2017.

STB’s manager for South Africa, Lena Hoareau, said they are very encouraged by the queries they get for MICE and that since the start of 2017, the office has helped several tour operators with destination knowledge and connecting them with the right people and companies in Seychelles.

Mrs. Hoareau said Seychelles is a great destination to tap and there is a lot of willingness in the market.

“New tour operators are looking into introducing the destination where large groups are concerned and we are very encouraged by the queries we get. Through our follow-up and support, we know that some of them whom we have helped in the last three months have already planned familiarization trips to Seychelles for destination experience and to visit the different hotels, facilities and activities on offer,” she said.

Mrs. Hoareau was speaking after the recent Meetings Africa exhibition in Johannesburg where Seychelles was presented as an ideal destination for incentives and meetings.

STB’s office in South Africa partnered with the national airline – Air Seychelles – and met both local and international professionals from the MICE industry.

Straight from Meetings Africa, staff of the STB office in South Africa travelled to Durban for the NWJ Bridal show, which is the Kwazulu Natal’s largest wedding and function exhibition. The annual show features the A to Z in planning of a wedding – from venues, cakes, wedding planners, bridal and bridesmaids’ gowns to the ultimate honeymoon destinations.

Seychelles – with its azure waters, magical sunsets and lavishness of tranquility, created the perfect setting for honeymoon and the stand was one of the most frequented at the show.

Thompsons Holidays had prepared some great packages for Seychelles for this show which made the Seychelles’ stand very busy as excited couples flock to gather as much information as they can on the destination.

“Seychelles is a destination in trend at the moment in all markets and though the current conversion rate of the Rand to foreign currencies can be a critical factor in decision making, it did not deter the future weds,” said Mrs. Hoareau.

She added that the couples understood that even if they had to invest a bit more towards a honeymoon in Seychelles as opposed to some of its competitors where cheaper packages are readily available, it would be worth it for a special occasion as important as their honeymoons.

“There are a lot of heavily discounted packages flooding the market but the majority of couples visiting our stand made clear to us that they are not looking for mundane holiday experiences but instead somewhere unique, and which will offer them a truly memorable holiday for their honeymoon.

“Seychelles fits the bill for everything they are looking for and we gladly assisted with all their queries. We hope we can now get some firm bookings,” said Mrs. Hoareau.

Assisting at both fairs was marketing executive Gretel Banane from the STB headquarters.

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