The 54-strong Seychelles delegation to the 2010 ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin, led by Vice President Joseph Belmont, left for Berlin last Friday happy with the progress made by the country since the launching of the “Affordable Seychelles” campaigned exactly a year ago at ITB itself.
The positive reaction by tour operators shows that Seychelles had reclaimed its place in the German market with forward bookings showing increases for the islands. Vice President Belmont, accompanied by his director of tourism marketing, Alain St. Ange, and the new Seychelles director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, took time during ITB to meet with different partners of Seychelles including the Emirates Group, Le Meridien, and Starwood Hotels Group among others. The Seychelles presence at ITB was managed by Edith Hunzinger, Seychelles manager for Germany, and her team, which is also made up this year with Christine Vel, presently in Germany following an intensive German language course.
Vice President Belmont and Alain St. Ange were also interviewed by RTL Radio, which had set up their base at the Seychelles stand at ITB, broadcasting live daily with competitions for a prize for a Seychelles holiday sponsored by Air Seychelles and Silhouette Cruises. The Seychelles director of tourism marketing, Alain St. Ange, used the ITB setting to also sign, in the presence of Vice President Belmont and members of the Seychelles Trade, an MOU with Cape Town South Africa to open joint marketing possibilities in the Americas and Europe.
During a Seychelles curry lunch at ITB, Vice President Joseph Belmont presented the list of the new appointments to the Seychelles Tourism Ambassadors program, which now has 60 representatives in 25 countries. “The once a Seychellois, always a Seychellois concept is echoing the Koste Seychellois concept launched by President Michel,” said Vice President Belmont.
Alain St. Ange on his part has reconfirmed that Seychelles tourism was on the right path for a successful year. “It is one year exactly since the government and the private sector had joined together to manage the industry, and this had delivered the expected results for the country,” St. Ange said. “We now need to consolidate this working partnership,” St. Ange concluded.
The number of visitors arriving to Seychelles has been on the rise ever since the tourism industry’s association, the SHTA and the STB, have entered into the new structures that saw Alain St. Ange take over as the country’s director of tourism marketing. The arrival tourist numbers are now at par with the record set in 2008.
ITB Tourism Trade Fair is one of the biggest tourism fairs in the world, and Seychelles has always maintained its presence at the fair.