Seychelles tourism industry moves onto Middle East and South Africa


The first few weeks of May is set to be a busy time for the Seychelles tourism industry with its upcoming participation in the Arabian Travel Market 2010 (ATM) and INDABA in Dubai and South Africa, respectively.

Seychelles will first be attending the ATM 2010, which starts on May 4 and ends on Friday, May 7, at the Dubai International Convention Centre. The islands will be represented by a tourism delegation consisting of representatives from the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and four companies – the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino, the Sunset Hotel Group, and the Seychelles-based destination management companies, 7degrees South, and Creole Travel Services.

The ATM is the one of the main travel and tourism events in the Middle East and, for Seychelles, it is one of the most important trade fairs in that region, as the Middle East remains a potential market with considerable opportunities for the country.

This market fared quite well last year despite the economic crunch, with only a slight decrease from a total of 7,119 visitors in 2008 to 6,855 visitors in 2009.

The Seychelles Tourism Board, together with trade partners, has been working hard to tap into this market and boost visitor arrivals from the Middle East, and ATM serves as the ideal opportunity for Seychelles to further cultivate and consolidate itself there.

Apart from bringing exposure to the destination, representatives from the Seychelles Tourism Board will be at the event to introduce the new mini-campaign, “From the Big Five… to the Best Five!,” which is the promotion of Seychelles’ best five unique selling points aimed at visitors to African wildlife destinations. They will also be extending their support to Emirates Airlines for its interest in the destination, as well as meeting with various companies of this industry.

After the ATM fair, Seychelles will be represented at INDABA 2010 by a big delegation in Durban, South Africa, from May 8-11. This delegation will be comprised of representatives from 22 companies and the Seychelles Tourism Board’s team.

INDABA is considered to be Africa’s top travel show, which is of great significance to Seychelles, especially now that the destination has, over the last year, embarked on a number of joint ventures and intensified its marketing campaigns in South Africa and its neighboring countries.

South Africa continues to be a promising market for Seychelles. Considering 2009 was one of the most difficult times for the tourism and travel industry, the South African market performed favorably well, showing only a small decrease from 8,219 visitors in 2008 to 8,208 visitors in 2009.

The delegation attending the INDABA fair will be raising the country’s profile among South African travelers. The Seychelles Tourism Board’s team will also be promoting the mini-campaign, as well as meeting up with its various partners in this region at the Seychelles stand.

In a meeting with the delegations of both trade fairs, Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles director of tourism marketing, who will be leading the delegations at both trade fairs, has echoed the importance of having Seychelles present at this two trade fairs.

“ATM and INDABA are key in establishing Seychelles as a destination in the Middle East and South African markets. Our presence there will enhance the various marketing efforts that have already been undertaken to develop these markets and most importantly spread the name of Seychelles,” said Mr. St. Ange.