A delegation from the Seychelles Tourist Board (STB) moved from ITB in Berlin, Germany to Russia to attend the MITT fair in Moscow. Presentations to and interaction with over 150 Russian tourism operators and travel agents was organized by the Seychelles Tourism Ambassador in Moscow on behalf of STB, and according to the STB director of tourism marketing Alain St. Ange, this made their mission a success story, having been able to count on the support and assistance of a Seychellois on site ahead of their arrival.
The interest from Russian operators was, according to a press release sent to this correspondent, “simply phenomenal” and with flights by Air Seychelles (nonstop once a week) and Emirates (soon to be daily) from Moscow via Dubai to the Seychelles, connectivity for sun seekers is assured and sufficient seats are available to cater for the fast-growing traffic.
Russia is an emerging market of high potential and value for the Seychelles, and visitors from Russia, like all other nationalities arriving in Mahe, do not need a visa as long as they meet the conditions for their stay, i.e., return air ticket, a confirmed hotel reservation, and sufficient funds. This makes holidays there attractive compared to other island or beach destinations where a visa has to be applied for in advance and at often substantial cost, leave alone the hassle one often has to go through to get a visa processed through embassy staff often acting as if they are doing the applicants a favor.
STB also held a raffle during the main presentation last week, and the lucky winner will now fly to the Seychelles, courtesy of Air Seychelles and participating hotels and ground handling agents.