Africa’s “East3Route” pans out new marketing approaches that includes the Seychelles

The “East3Route” grouping of African countries was initiated by President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the King of Swaziland, and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique way back in 1998.

Africa’s “East3Route” pans out new marketing approaches that includes the Seychelles

The “East3Route” grouping of African countries was initiated by President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the King of Swaziland, and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique way back in 1998. The leaders of South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique wanted to see a platform for promoting eco-tourism development, for capitalizing on the region’s exciting topographical landmarks, and for emphasizing the existing blend of cultural and historical heritage.

Seychelles and the Kwazulu Natal Provincial Government of South Africa, two members of “East3Route,” are now mapping out new marketing approaches that will include the Seychelles.

Delegates of the Kwazulu Natal Provincial Government joined a Seychelles delegation headed by Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, on Friday, October 16, at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Offices at the National Cultural Centre in Victoria for the “East3Route” Linkages meeting.

With the admittance of Seychelles on the “East3Route” grouping in February 2013, Seychelles joins South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique to become the fourth member of “East3Route.” “East3Route” marketing packages have been encouraging people to visit African territories of South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique, and they are now looking at new avenues to include Seychelles and to ensure that all the four countries involved are benefiting from their involvement in the grouping.

Mr. Smanga Sethene from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Kwazulu Natal Provincial Government of South Africa said “East3Route” will have a leg dedicated to Seychelles.

“Tourism is a key industry in the Seychelles. The ‘East3Route’ tourism marketing initiative will bring immense benefit to Seychelles. We’re now going to encourage people from Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland to choose Seychelles as one of the destinations of choice for their next holiday season,” Mr. Sethene.

Smanga Sethene also confirmed that “East3Route” will start marketing Seychelles in the coming month.

“We’re going to market a Seychelles route because Seychelles is now part of us. The ‘East3Route’ grouping will be dedicating October 13-19 to market Seychelles as part of the ‘East3Route’ marketing package in Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa. After that, we’re going to have a dedicated excursion which will take place in Seychelles,” Mr. Smanga Sethene said.

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Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, said the “East3Route” grouping should will out with a clear mechanism to position South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, and now Seychelles in the global tourism arena.

“We need to find the extra attractions that we have, and nobody else has. We are the islands of Africa positioned just outside the continent, and working closer together using the ‘big five’ concepts of mainland Africa with the Seychelles’ sun, sea, and sand marketing branding, we can easily find ways to pan out a new marketing approach,” Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, said.

Seychelles sees the partnership with “East3Route” as an innovative move for Africa. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, also spoke about the “East3Route” approaches of community-based tourism as the way forward.

“We saw the program for the decentralization of tourism as also being important for Seychelles. We’ve seen the vehicles allocated to member states to decentralize tourism for community-based projects. It is something that we can look into to see how we can convey our own desire to see the venture to also benefit Seychelles. In our call for Seychelles to claim back its tourism industry, we spoke about the need to get the Seychellois more involved. It is important that we get more of our people implicated in our country’s tourism industry,” Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, said.

An “East3Route” linkages meeting ended on key points among which is the need for Seychelles to be present at the Swaziland Investment Forum in October. It was also proposed that the “East3Route” excursion ends in Seychelles instead of Kwazulu Natal Provincial Government of South Africa. “East3Route” will use their presence in Seychelles to showcase its branding at the 28th edition of Festival 2013.

PHOTO: Alain St.Ange, Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, chairing the “East3Route” linkages meeting in the presence of Mrs. Mpume Sibiya, Kwazulu Natal Tourism Public Relations Coordinator, and Mr. Smanga Sethene, Head of the Tourism Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

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