The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) hosted its annual appreciation evening for the year 2017, to acknowledge trade partners in China that have been working to promote Seychelles as an ideal travel destination among Chinese travellers. The event was held in Shanghai on January 18, 2018.

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s Chief Executive, Sherin Francis, Director for China Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, Senior Marketing Executives, Elsie Sinon and Sam Yu, Chinese tourism partners, invited guests and Seychellois students in Shanghai, were present at the event.

China – although relatively new, remains an emerging and valued market, which the Seychelles Tourism Board is working to develop to its full potential.

The STB Chief Executive, Sherin Francis stressed on the importance of choosing and working with the right partners to grow the number of Chinese visitors.

She highlighted some major joint activities organised during the year 2017, in particular, the repositioning of the Seychelles Islands in China and the follow-up workshop in Seychelles to identify and address challenges faced when selling the destination to Chinese tourists.

“I might even say that we have become a large family with similar interests, targets and goals, and the pursuit of these goals has turned Seychelles and China into solid partners for several years now, growing our business from a few hundred Chinese tourists to several thousand – 12,006 to be precise, in a relatively short time,” Mrs Francis said, while addressing those present at the appreciation evening.

The event also featured a lucky draw for airline tickets, hotel accommodation, and vouchers to be used in Seychelles, among other prizes.

The prizes were sponsored by AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, Changjiang Travel, Constance Ephelia, Emirates Airline, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Mason’s Travel, Qatar Airways, Savoy Resort & Spa, SEYHI Travel, Six Senses Zil Pasyon and the Seychelles Tourism Board.

During her trip to China, Mrs Francis also met with representatives of 8 Continents/Dong Luxury Travel, which is one of China’s leading travel agency focusing on discerning and high-end travellers.

Discussions centred on closer collaborations between the two parties in 2018, to increase the number of travel savvy visitors from China to Seychelles.

The Seychelles Tourism Board team also met with representatives of Thomas Cook China to explore possible cooperation.

Thomas Cook China is a joint venture between UK-based tour operator giant, the Thomas Cook Group and China’s Fosun Group, which took control of the French holiday group, Club Méditerranée, commonly known as Club Med.