The Seychelles Discovered Road show – its 7th series, 14th edition took place recently in Canterbury, Kegworth and the Chelmsford areas in the UK from the 27th October to the 30th October 2015.
It was the first time that this popular roadshow, carried out by the Seychelles Tourism Board’s UK Office in conjunction with the support of the Seychelles Private Sector Trade, were present in these tons. As these are smaller towns and not normally on the beaten track, they are only very occasionally supported by other tourist offices and trade. The fact the Seychelles brought their products to the doorstep of these agents – was immensely appreciated and well supported.
“These are important catchment areas that provide high profile clientele to the destination and it was most important that we took the time and made the effort in penetrating these regions and servicing these agents with the information of our islands and products, and in turn enabling them to recommend and sell the destination further, with more confidence and facts – said Miss Tinaz Wadia – Manager of the Seychelles Tourism Board’s UK Office.
The participating delegation was made up of: Tinaz Wadia and Eloise Vidot of the Seychelles Tourism Board’s UK Office, Christine Ozouf, Kofi Mable of Air Seychelles and Etihad, Crystal Abrams – Banyan Tree Seychelles, Ash Behari – Hotel Coco de Mer and Black Parrot Suites, Anna Pothin of the Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa, Besse Etienne – Denis Island Private, Indian Ocean Lodge and Carana Beach, Shamita Palit – Le Meridien Seychelles, Marie – Victoire De Kergolay – Enchanted Island and Natalie Read and Jon Schofield – The Cruise Portfolio / Crystal Cruises
The support from the local Seychelles Private Sector Trade was immense and with so many popular, participating hotels, together with the airlines, Air Seychelles and Etihad, as well as the Seychelles Tourism Board’s UK Office, gave the agents an insight into the destination, that they did not have before. Many of them had sold the destination previously, but after attending the events, are now better equipped and have more confidence in recommending and most importantly, converting their enquiries into solid sales. Many of them perceived the destination as being expensive, but after attending the presentations and gathering the information, were convinced that the destination is an affordable one, which offers a vast array of various accommodations at prices that range across the board. “This was an important achievement in convincing the agents the affordability of the destination and ultimately motivating them to sell to all levels of establishments, from guest houses to five star properties” said Miss Wadia.
She further went on to say that with unrest and turmoil in some of the other popular destinations around the world, the UK tourist is looking to travel to alternate destinations that are safe and easy to access. The Seychelles Islands has a reputation to be a safe and stable destination to visit, and more and more enquiries are coming in to the agencies from clients wishing to travel to our islands based on these credentials.
Furthermore, with the convenient air accesses from various points in the UK, the number of flights coming into the various hubs connecting with the Seychelles is on the increase and access to the destination is so much more convenient and frequent.
The UK market has had remarkable increases in passenger numbers to the destination and so far this year, has enjoyed a 33% increase – year on year. This has been made possible, by powering events such as these – in taking our islands and the products they offer, directly to the doorstep of the agents, as well as the support of the local hoteliers and airlines, in participating in such events, creating more awareness of a destination that is safe, easy to access and affordable to visit.