The Creole Tropical Islands of the Seychelles are in London for the 2010 edition of World Travel Market (WTM), the UK tourism trade Fair. The Seychelles, which saw a total revamp of its tourism industry following the innovative launch of a dynamic private/public sector partnership followed by the move which brought President James Michel to personally take over the portfolio of the tourism industry.
Today, but a year and a half since the reorganization at the Tourism Board, the Seychelles tourism industry is clearly a success story with 2010 expected to see an all-time record in visitor arrival numbers. The country’s new tourism vision, the “Seychelles Brand,” is currently being defined by the ongoing consultative meetings with all sectors of the tourism trade. The new style of Seychelles tourism, which is people centered, has seen Seychelles recognize press individuals who know Seychelles, who understands Seychelles, and who have become friends of Seychelles as part of a program entitled “Friends of Seychelles – Press” at the same time as Seychellois residing in the four corners of the world being recognized as “tourism ambassadors” for the voluntary work they have been doing to spread the name of Seychelles. These innovative ideas are part and parcel of the drive to consolidate the Seychelles tourism industry.
The Seychelles presence at the 2010 WTM Tourism Trade Fair in London is seeing a 50-strong delegation promote the islands and the new “Seychelles Brand” of tourism. Representing the Seychelles government in London was the Secretary of State, Mr. Barry Faure, who is also the chairman of the Seychelles Tourism Board, who was accompanied by Mr. Alain St.Ange, the CEO, and Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, the director for Europe of the Tourism Board.
The UK Office Tourism Board team, headed by Mrs. Fiona Lane, organized a Seychelles evening at Altitude 360 at Millbank Tower hosted by Mr. Justin Etzin, the Seychellois businessman who is also the island’s consul general in the USA. Both Mr. Barry Faure and Mr. St.Ange addressed the evening, which was also an opportunity for the winners of the Seychelles Underwater Festival, “SUBIOS,” competition, Tony Baskeyfield for the best underwater photo, and Chris Ashton for the best underwater video to receive their trophies, and for ten new members of the “Friends of Seychelles – Press” program to also receive their certificates.
The Seychelles evening was attended by some 150 members of the European press and tour operators.
The feeling at WTM 2010 was one considered positive for the Seychelles where most tour operators were reporting a steady growth in booking patterns and encouraging 2011 booking levels. Alain St.Ange said that the Tourism Board used WTM to also sell the 2011 Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria” and that he could now confirm participation of more countries.