In recognition of the importance of the media to Seychelles in its ongoing campaign to raise its tourism profile and win market share in both traditional and emerging markets, the Seychelles Tourism Board has launched a special program: “Friends of Seychelles – Press.”
This newly-formed coterie of media members consists of members of the international press who understand the Seychelles islands, what makes them special, and who also identify with the unique brand of tourism it offers to visitors.
“We are not, and never will be, a mass tourism destination,” explained Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, “because this is not Seychelles and will never blend in with our commitment to the protection of our patrimoine and our unique environment and ecosystems.”
St.Ange opines that the recent success that Seychelles Tourism has enjoyed is very much due to the press coverage it has received. The formation of “Friends of Seychelles – Press” is an acknowledgement of that fact and the need to recognize that the “press” is actually made up of committed individuals who spend much time behind cameras and laptops producing great work and hugely expanding our knowledge of the world in which we live.
“Friends of the Press – Seychelles” is a program that also echoes the philosophy behind the Seychelles Brand, which is a particular style of tourism unique to the islands and which brings all of its attributes into play: the islands’ stunning natural beauty; a climate of perpetual summer; the diversity of the Seychellois people; the islands and their amazing flora and fauna; and the Seychellois Creole culture.
“Let’s not forget that our style of tourism is very much a personalized one that is all about treating people with respect, not as mere statistics,” St.Ange qualified, “and so this new group very much falls in line with our philosophy of recognising people’s value and the contributions they make, at a very personal level.”
The first group of “Friends of Seychelles – Press” will receive their certificates from Seychelles Minister Peter Sinon at the Seychelles Economic Forum held in Brussels. Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Director for Europe addressed the Seychelles Forum and explained the new “Friends of seychelles – Press” program and said that the accreditation of members for this program would be ongoing because many of the selected press personalities could not be in Brussels for the special evening.
Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, publisher, eTurboNews, and Dr. Wolfgang Thome, eTN correspondent in Uganda, were among the 25 members receiving the certificate.
The group “Friends of Seychelles – Press” is expected to have about 25 members, and they will have their own monthly newsletter to keep them updated on ther happenings in Seychelles. It is also hoped to plan a reunion of all these dedicated press personalities in the new year.