Seychelles hosts trade and media partners to mega familiarization trip
Seychelles hosts trade and media partners to mega familiarization trip

Seychelles hosts trade and media partners to mega familiarization trip

The Indian Ocean Island nation of Seychelles has upped its efforts at becoming a leading destination for leisure and business travel as it hosts over 65 travel trade and media partners from around the world.

Dubbed the “Mega Familiarization Trip”, the inaugural hosting by the department responsible for tourism in Seychelles, Tourism Seychelles, invited these trade and media partners from over 15 markets from all six continents and hosted them from 29th November to 2nd December 2023.

The meticulously curated itinerary for the hosting was designed to enhance every moment of their journey across the island 115-island archipelago nation. This includes a three-night stay at the 5-star Constance Ephelia Resort, experience on Silhouette Island by Hilton Labriz, rum tasting, snorkeling, fishing, boat rides, sundowners, heritage experience at Mission Lodge, city tour of Victoria, market experience at Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, lunch experience at Marie Antoinette and a special Creole Rendezvous night at Cap Lazare Nature Reserve.

“This marks a historic milestone for our destination, and we are thrilled to conclude the year on such a positive note,” said Bernadette Willemin, Director General for Destination Marketing, Tourism Seychelles.

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Seychelles, like most other nations desiring to market their destination, takes part in tourism trade shows such as World Travel Market in London, ITB Berlin, Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Africa Travel Indaba in South Africa, to name a few. This inaugural hosting of trade and media partners from different markets, therefore, is a more practical and experiential approach to marketing the destination.

“The returns on our investment in this initiative are anticipated to bring substantial publicity across our diverse markets. The primary goal of this marketing endeavour is to provide travel agencies with firsthand experiences and comprehensive information about our destination, enabling them to more effectively market and promote it to their clients,” Bernadette Willemin noted.

She added at the official welcome event at the Cyann Restaurant at the Constance Ephelia Resort at Mahe that “this familiarization trip is intended to showcase aspects of intellectual discoveries, cultural discoveries, which our destination has to offer. It is not just a trip.  It is an immersive experience designed to deepen your understanding of our unique offerings.”

Tourism Seychelles spared no expense to give its guests the most wonderful experience as it hosted them to some of the best things the nation has on offer from accommodation, to tour packages, gastronomy, drinks and beverages and local Seychellois cultural experiences.

Thus, while it provided an opportunity for networking by the guests, the Fam Trip also showcased the breathtaking beauty and sleuth attractions that Seychelles has to offer those who wish to visit.

This was emphasized by Sherin Francis, Principal Secretary of Tourism Seychelles when she led a team of officials from Tourism Seychelles to welcome the 65 guests to the archipelago nation for the Mega Fam Trip.

“For those of you who have been here seven years, I know somebody who just told me seven years ago he was here, probably you did not get to experience this. But today, with, focus on product diversification, having more cultural experiences, we have also, encouraging our visitors to make time to discover more of the Seychellois culture,” she said.

 “The gastronomy, arts, dance, crafts, artisan, all this today are on offer, and you are able to experience and immerse yourself in more cultural experiences, activities, entertainment in general.”

Highlighting on the range of accommodation offering, the Principal Secretary said, “You would know we have a wide range of accommodation in Seychelles. We have beautiful resorts like this one, the Constance Ephelia, but we also have homegrown properties, self-catering apartments and guest houses. We want them to provide exceptional services, we want their products to be of higher standards, so that they can attract better kinds of visitors that will benefit the whole destination at the end of the day. 

She said the kind of visitors Seychelles is targeting to attract are those that would give high value such as visitors who “will want to go out and discover, and go out and do an excursion, go to a hiking, experience a cultural product, living more than just, the waste that it would probably produce like we all do when we travel and also lower impact.’’

Tourist destination

The engagement with travel partners and media from diverse regions further amplifies Seychelles’ ambition to be the tourism destination of choice for people seeking high value experience.

The breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches and diverse marine life couples with a very rich cultural experiences makes the destination an attractive option for travellers seeking a tropical and exotic getaway.

The “Experience Seychelles Mega Fam Trip” hosting got substantial backing from local partners, such as Constance Hotels & Resorts, Constance Ephelia Resorts, Hilton Seychelles, and Laïla, Seychelles, Creole Travel Services, Masons Travels, 7 Degree South, Summer Rain Tours among others.

These concerted efforts to build partnerships with travel agencies and media outlets within and outside reflects Seychelles’ comprehensive approach to destination marketing. The success of this hosting and other initiatives would help Seychelles’ ambition to position itself prominently among the world’s premier island destinations aiming at attracting high value visitors to boost their tourism drive. Tourism is the topmost contributor to the economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

According to the World Bank, Seychelles has a population of 107,000 inhabitants, three-quarters of whom live on the main island of Mahé and it has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Africa, at $ 15.8 billion (2022). Its economy is highly dependent on tourism and fisheries.

The Mega Fam Trip had representatives selected from 46 travel agencies and 19 press partners across the world. The participants came from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the Americas, the Middle East, China, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, and countries from the Indian Ocean, and Africa.

The Writer : Francis Doku

The writer is media professional with over two decades of experience in arts, tourism and travel writing and the executive producer and host of Africa Rising, a podcast on travel and tourism in Africa.

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