Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture uses World Tourism Forum in Lucerne to raise Seychelles visibility by STB
Seychelles' Tourism and Culture Minister, Alain St Ange, has said that he is very proud that visitor arrivals to our islands have been taken from stagnation a few years ago to new heights.
Speaking to the local press after attending the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, which was also attended by the international press, he said that the re-launch of an "open skies" policy, combined with the re-launch of our destination with a new marketing strategy has yielded a persistent rise in tourism arrivals - 16% so far this year- at a time when the world is experiencing a global economic recession.
Mr. St Ange said the Forum was preceded by a two-day " think-tank" which saw the participation of some eminent figures in the travel industry, including the vice-president of British Airways, the chairman of Kempinski and two tourism ministers including himself.
Minister in Lucerne
This was an occasion to discuss the challenges tourism destinations are facing worldwide and include air access, airline ticket prices and travel trade shows.
At the three-day forum, the issue of visibility and the need to keep tourism destinations under the spotlight was discussed.
Mr. St Ange said Seychelles was seeing a resurgence of tourism arrivals at a time when the world was experiencing an economic stagnation, because it has involved the Seychellois people and always kept the destination visible.
“We have persistently told the Seychellois that they are all partners in the tourism industry," he said, adding that this was in line with President James Michel's call to claim back our industry.
He noted that at every tourism fair as well as at press conferences, the marketing drive is to publicise our natural assets and unique selling points. These are our beaches, the ocean surrounding our diverse islands and unique fauna & flora. Mr St Ange said adding that over 50% of Seychelles' land area is also a protected domain. “As such, the Seychellois are the custodians of our environment."
“We are viewing tourism as a "people's industry" in which every Seychellois has a stake,” he said.
"Often, we tend to believe that everyone is aware of that but they need to be reminded, otherwise it can be quickly forgotten.
"The Minister said that because of our low marketing budget, we cannot afford to advertise on overseas television and in publications which are very expensive. But, he said, every effort is made to keep Seychelles in the limelight through press conferences at trade fairs and other international gatherings where Seychelles is represented.
Mr. St Ange said that one press conference he gave after the Forum in Lucerne was attended by the press from Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Germany is already a core market for Seychelles, while arrivals from Switzerland and Austria are increasing healthily.
He told the media that Seychelles is accessible as never before. He noted that there are more airlines now serving Seychelles than ever before. “We are just one stop away from most tourism markets."