The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) conducted the fifth edition of its Eastern Europe roadshow across Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary, from May 28 to 31, 2018.
Adopting a new format this year, STB hosted a combination of workshops and presentations in the capital cities of Warsaw, Prague, Bucharest and Budapest.
It was the first time that Romania’s capital city, Bucharest, was included in the Eastern Europe roadshow, replacing Slovakia’s Bratislava, which was featured last year.
STB’s delegation led by the Director for Scandinavia, Russia/CIS & Eastern Europe, Karen Confait and Marketing Executive, Rolira Young. They were accompanied by representatives of several local partners: AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa - Crystal Abrams; Banyan Tree Seychelles - Patricia de Mayer; Constance Hotels & Resorts Seychelles - Irina Kostic; Creole Travel Services - Blaisila Hoffman; Emirates Airline - Michaela Lechnýřová & Katarzyna Czajka; Kempinski Seychelles Resort - Rizwana Humayun; Mason’s Travel - Gerhard Bartsch; Coral Strand Hotel & Savoy Resort and Spa - Valeria Gavrikova and the H Resort Beau Vallon Beach - Vicky Jafar.
A great turnout was recorded throughout the roadshow, with some 50 to 60 agents in attendance in each city. The roadshow saw the participation of a mix of agents, working with both the leisure and Meetings Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) segments.
Hosted in centrally located venues in each city, the STB events started off with some networking followed by workshop sessions, then presentations where each partner had 5 minutes to showcase their products.The presentations focused on the highlights of each product and its Unique selling Proposition. The agents were also hosted to a 3 course dinner which allowed more time for them to interact with the STB representatives and local partners.
STB also conducted a quiz throughout each evenings, where the agents who could answer questions about the destination correctly were presented with some giveaways including local spices, beach bags, the famous Seychelles Takamaka Rum among other items. The evenings ended with raffle draw with two prizes, where two lucky winners won a 5 night’s trip to Seychelles with accommodation offered by the partners.
The STB Director for Scandinavia, Russia/CIS & Eastern Europe, Karen Confait, described the 2018 edition of the Eastern Europe roadshow as a success.
“Overall we have received excellent feedback from the agents, who appreciated the new format adopted this year, as they got the chance to also have one-on-one discussions. The presentations also gave everyone a chance to be more familiar with the products being offered by the partners and get inspired to promote and sell the destination,” said Ms Confait.
“We could clearly see the interest displayed by the agents in each city, including Romania where in spite of this being the first time included in the roadshow, we already see is as a market with good potential,” she added.
Generally, Europe has always been the Seychelles’ main tourism market, and arrival numbers from Eastern Europe have grown over the last few years. A 20 percent increase in visitors from that region was recorded last year, compared to 2016.
For this year, the Czech Republic has sent the most visitors to Seychelles, followed by Poland, Hungary and Romania, whereas last year Poland was the top market out of the four.
Improved air connectivity has helped to increase the figures over the last few years, with Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines flying out of this region.
Events such as the Eastern Europe roadshow are means by which the Seychelles Tourism Board continues to maintain its presence in the region and further boost awareness about the destination, as it plans to continue investing and developing in other markets showing potential, aside of the traditional markets.