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Seychelles’ first road show in Italy a great success

Seychelles’ first road show in Italy a great success

The aim of the Seychelles road show in Italy was to furnish agents with adequate and appropriate tools to generate and increase sales to islands’ shores.

The long-planned Seychelles dedicated four city road show was conducted from the October 17-20, 2016. The cities earmarked and selected for this event were Milan, Florence, Naples. and Rome, and the choice was based on the strong demand from tour operators and travel agents to get in touch with the different products and services that are being offered to Italian visitors.

This event was materialized because of interest from trade partners and their firm belief in the destination, and the strong demand to bring their products to the Italian trade. The aim is to furnish the agents with the adequate and appropriate tools to generate and increase in sales to Seychelles’ shores.

The Seychelles delegation, headed by Regional Manager of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Italy, Monette Rose, was joined by partners from:

  • Alphonse Island Seychelles –  Amanda Lang, Marketing Manager
  • Air Seychelles – Christine Ozouf, Commercial Manager Europe and Sheryl Barra, Manager Communication
  • Etihad Airways – Petra Bramante and Sergio Matarazzo, Sales Representatives
  • Carana Beach, Indian Ocean lodge, Denis Island – Eric Goblet, Representative
  • Coco De Mer Hotels and Black Parrot Suites – Ash Behari, Director
  • Constance Hotels and Resorts – Barbara Gajotto and Michele Consigliere Representative Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Kempinski Resort – Simone Berti, Assistant Manager
  • Seychelles Tourism Board – Amia Jovanovic Desir, Senior Marketing Executive
  • Yasmine Pocetti, Marketing Executive

The hotels represented at this road show portrayed a good mix as it offered the agents the diverse choices that are being provided to the different market segments. It is to be highlighted that weddings and honeymoons do constitute a strong demand segment for the Italian market, indeed the hotels offering these facilities demonstrated these strong factors to the attentive agents.

Interestingly, it is to note that Italians are passionate sea lovers, and the concept of one island, one resort perfectly depicted this element by the representatives from these hotels.

The agents were also reassured that there is a range of hotels with adequate facilities to accommodate families with kids. Informing them of the variety of educational activities offered by these hotels was added knowledge for a lot present. For those who have a flair for the environment and conservation, their faces glittered, decoding the high interest to push for such a niche.

The events were scheduled in the evening from 1900 hours, combined with a seated dinner to entice the agents to attend. During the welcome aperitif, with typical segà music medley, guests had the chance to chat with the partners and have fun with the Seychelles dedicated photo booth for a souvenir picture of the event.

Many agents sacrificed over two hours traveling by train or the awaited football match of the city’s team to ensure that they did not miss such an event.

It is essential to mention that in all four cities the turnout and interest from the Italian trade surpassed expectations. Such positive comments and shared feelings were expressed by most of the hotel partners. Constructive suggestions were also aired by agents in some cities, and they expressed the need to also balance the sales of large and small hotels as well as guesthouses. STB would happily welcome some small hotels and properties, and the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (STHA) representative to join in similar promotional events next year.

After the presentations, local partners had the opportunity to exchange business cards, discuss their specific products, and answer questions posed by the agents in a pleasant atmosphere. For some new agents who have just started to sell Seychelles, this road show was a strong plus as it equipped them with essential information to better sell to their clients.

For the closure of the road show in the last city which was Rome, a special branded cake depicting the Seychelles beach atmosphere and STB logo was also offered to guests, and it was a great surprise for all the participants.

In order to make the road show more attractive and for the agents to attend actively, a live quiz was also organized in all four cities. The quiz questions were solely focused on the products presented by each partner, and their knowledge and information on the destination were tested in order to win great prizes to experience the Seychelles first hand.

Partner airlines, Etihad and Air Seychelles, sponsored eight return tickets for the lucky winners, while all the hoteliers offered complimentary accommodation ranging from bed and breakfast to full board accommodation on different islands of the archipelago. The agents participated very attentively, and the lucky winners were delighted to come and explore the Seychelles in person – their dream to set foot on the most beautiful paradise had come true.

All the trade partners happily concluded that the event was beyond their expectation, apart from some minor elements that STB will take into consideration in the planning of the next edition in 2017. The hoteliers really brought the agents throughout a vivid dream journey. Like one agent in Rome laughingly echoed, “I thought I was already in the Seychelles during presentations. Seychelles is really magical, mystical, and a must-visit destination.”

It was a great turnout, with a total of 325 tour operators and travel agents combined that attended the roadshow touching Northern, Central, and Southern Italy. Italian media partners were also present and ready to write about the event on the main trade papers of the country.

“It was an ideal and perfect platform, and it is no regret that we have partnered with the Seychelles Tourism Board on this dynamic, though hectic promotional event,” concluded some of the trade-represented partners.

This event has been the perfect conclusion of a training program started in May 2016 by STB Italy to train the travel agents and tour operators on the destination to help boost confidence in selling the Seychelles: four webinars were organized on the different aspects of tourism in Seychelles, from the different islands to honeymoons, eco-tourism, and attractions, with an average of 200 guests per session.

The Seychelles Tourism Board is sending an early invitation to partners to join in 2017 to realize the Seychelles road show again. “We highly depend on the support of the trade in Seychelles, and we invite the partners to join us under one common aim and objective – to bring the products to the Italian tour operators and agents,” concluded Monette Rose, Regional Manager, adding “The first time was a trial, but we are very happy that the entire event was a real success in all four cities. We have now ventured into it, and we are geared to plan ahead early and to reach and tap into prominent and potential cities which will generate a promising return on this core investment.”

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

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