Friday, 8 November 2019

Industry News

Seychelles strengthens GCC reach through a four-city roadshow

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), through its office in Dubai, in partnership with Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways, has embarked its fourth edition of the Four-City Roadshow staged in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Doha Qatar in October this year.

The roadshow comprised of a strong delegation including the representative of the STB Office in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Fathallah; STB Marketing Executive from Headquarters, Ms. Winnie Elisa and   the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles Tourism Attaché, Aliette Esther.

His Excellency Ambassador Jean Claude Adrienne, Seychelles Ambassador based in Abu Dhabi attended the roadshow in the same city.

Several partners from the Seychelles tourism industry supported the 4- day event in the various cities, which provided an increased visibility to the archipelago while promoting their brands and services.

These included AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, Constance Hotels, Hilton Hotels, MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa, Le Duc de Praslin, Castello Beach Hotel, Valmer Resort, Raffles Seychelles, The H Resort on the accommodation side.

Luxury Travel, Masons Travel, and Vision Voyages and Coco Charter represented the destination management companies and operator’s side.

In each city, the GCC roadshow gathered a roster from Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways team both official partners for the roadshow.

The four-city roadshow, which aimed at enticing the participants to learn more about the destination, recorded the presence of over 200 top trade partners. 

The event, targeted top trade partners in each city where all participants were given the chance to network with the exhibitors and understand the dynamics of the destination including Seychelles being a unique product as a multifaceted holiday destination, the diverse services and experiences the Seychelles offers and packages.

Speaking about the event, Account Manager for STB office in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Fathallah, conveyed his appreciation in regards to the turnout, which indirectly translates, to their incessant interest to know more about the destination.

Mr. Fathallah further mentioned that the outstanding number of participants signifies the demand partners in the GCC cities receive from potential holidaymakers to Seychelles.

“We always ensure that the roadshow is included in our activity pipeline since we see it as an effective avenue to equip the travel agents and tour operators in the region with further information to better sell and become ambassadors to the destination,” said Mr. Fathallah.

As part of the promotional activities, attendees of the GCC event had an opportunity to win several prizes including trips to the tropical islands, at the end of the workshop in each city.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Industry News

The Seychelles welcomes Sky News Arabia to its shores

Sky News Arabia in partnership with the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), embarked on a 5-day journey to the Seychelles showcasing the Islands’ lush biodiversity and vibrant creole culture on the TV channel’s morning show, Hakibat Safar. 

The Hakibat Safar show, a weekly segment where the hosts explore cultures and attractions of different destinations, giving their UAE audience an insight into these countries, enticing them to visit these locations themselves.

During their stay in Seychelles, the Sky News team explored the capital of Victoria, enjoying the destination’s rich historical and cultural memoirs from the iconic Clock Tower and Natural Museum to the small souvenir shops scattered all over the town.

Taking advantage of the tropical weather, the team participated in several activities including zip lining and water sports such as diving and snorkeling in the crystal blue waters, observing the vibrant marine life.

Since a trip to the Seychelles would be incomplete without visiting, its pristine beaches it is so well known for, the Sky News Arabia team made no exception to the rule. One of those beaches visited by the team is the Anse Lazio beach situated on the second largest islands of the Seychelles, Praslin. The island is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Vallée De Mai, where the team explored the site’s verdant biodiversity, including the Coco de Mer, the world’s largest nut indigenous to the Seychelles. 

To complete their memorable experience of the Creole culture and the destination, the Sky News Arabia team had the opportunity to indulge in a range of culinary delights within the stretch of their 5-day stay at the destination.

Mr. Ahmed Fathallah, Account Manager for STB Office in Dubai expressed his satisfaction to have had the prestigious television team in Seychelles.

“To experience is one of the most effective methods to entice the clients as they can passionately share their experience and advise which product and services will be suitable for each segment. We will continue to partner with esteemed entities in the region as this serves as a valuable tool,” says Mr. Fathallah.

The Sky News team was hosted by the H Resort Beau Vallon Beach during their stay.

After their trip, the Sky News Team was able to present their experience to their audience, showing them why the Seychelles is one of the most alluring island destinations in the world.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Hotel Updates: Denis Private Island

Denis Private Island Named Region’s Top Luxury Boutique Retreat

Denis Private Island is the Indian Ocean’s best luxury boutique retreat, according to the latest edition of the World Luxury Hotel Awards (WLHA).

The award was announced at the WLHA gala ceremony in Finland on October 12, held at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel.

“With just a handful of cottages on a private island surrounded by a turquoise lagoon, Denis Private Island has developed a unique niche for itself in sustainable up-market tourism”, the hotel’s resident manager, Werner du Preez said.

“We’re proud that voters continue to recognise Denis as a luxury retreat not for its grandeur or opulence, but as an immersive experience in nature with a sustainable footprint,” du Preez said. “We welcome our guests with authenticity and warmth and this is a lot easier to do when we share a passion for the island and how we want out guests to experience it.”

A photovoltaic power system that will eventually wean the entire island off fossil fuels for energy, a lumber mill for building materials, and a farm that provides the hotel’s fruits and vegetables, dairy products, poultry and pork, are among the standout factors that make Denis an attractive option for  travellers seeking a different form of luxury altogether.

“A WLHA award for Denis Private Island signifies that it is indeed possible to provide high-end hospitality while scaling back on imports in favour of local production,” du Preez said.  

Monday, 4 November 2019

Hotel Updates: CaranaBeach Hotel

CaranaBeach Wins International Award As Top Luxury Romantic Hotel

The CaranaBeach Hotel has added another honour to its young resume, with the hotel winning an international award as Seychelles’ best luxury romantic hotel.

This marks the fourth year running that CaranaBeach, which opened in 2016, has been recognised in the World Luxury Hotel Awards (WLHA). The award was announced at the WLHA gala ceremony held at the Artic Treehouse in Finland on October 12.

With 40 chalets overlooking the picturesque Carana Bay along the northeastern coast of the main island of Mahé, the CaranaBeach has quickly established itself as one of the islands’ signature boutique hotels, according to general manager Cyrille Carofano.

"CaranaBeach began with a vision to create a new category of boutique accommodation in Seychelles, and our consistent performance in the WLHA awards suggests our hotel has achieved that aim, especially for couples,” Carofano said.

Apart from the naturally romantic seaside panoramas that CaranaBeach offers its guests from the verandas of the chalets and the decks of its two restaurants, the hotel has also incorporated a range of experiences designed for couples to share together, such as a sunset sushi and champagne escape, or a breakfast-in-bed package.

“Being named as Seychelles’ best luxury romantic hotel endorses the atmosphere of charm and romance that we’ve worked hard to create at CaranaBeach,” Carofano said. “We look forward to adding another award to the collection on our wall.”

The WLHA allows international travellers to vote on the best luxury properties around the world in a variety of categories over a four-week period. The Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum, Turkey won the prize for best overall luxury hotel.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Fishing News

Time for the 16th Edition of the SSFC La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament coming up this long weekend!

The 16th edition of the SSFC La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament kicks off Friday morning at Fishtrap Restaurant. For the 3rd year year in a row, La Digue's very own Fishtrap Restaurant, Chateau St Cloud, and Cabanas de Agnes are the main sponsors.

SSFC would like to sincerely thank all other sponsors.

Revenue gained from the sale of the fish goes to a charitable cause on La Digue and to support SSFC's Junior and Conservation programs throughout the year.

The tournament is an all billfish release tournament.

Don't forget the SSFC Team and Skipper's League will be watched closely as the eventual winner will need a very good showing on La Digue. Both Leagues are the most competitive we have seen in many years. Only La Digue and the Big Game Classic remain to crown the winner at the SSFC Gala.

Fishing starts Friday, 1st November at 10:00am and it ends Saturday, 2nd November at 3:00pm with the usual weigh-in party on La Passe Jetty with DJ Basile and DJ Aubrey!

The prize giving will be held at the home of SSFC for the past few years La Digue Island Lodge on Sunday, 3rd November.

Rules are attached.
There is a mandatory registration/skipper's briefing for Mahe boats on Tuesday, 29th October 2019 at 4:30pm at Marine Charter Association.

Good luck to all participants.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Hotel Updates: Kempinski Seychelles Resort

Kempinski Seychelles Resort hosts Creole Cultural Exchange, together with Pristine Seychelles

 Last Saturday, Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare, together with Pristine Seychelles – a campaign to promote and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Seychelles – co-hosted their first-ever Creole cultural exchange workshop to coincide with celebrations taking place in Seychelles, for the 2019 Kreol Festival. This one-of-a-kind event invited both hotel guests and members of the community to attend a morning of interactive workshops, designed to impart authentic Creole traditions around cooking and handicrafts to workshop participants.

Pristine Seychelles invited a trio of local artisans to teach participants how to create traditional toys and household utensils, using coconut leaves and recycled materials. They explained the significance of natural materials in Seychellois households and encouraged guests to draw inspiration from the unique biodiversity seen beside the luxury hotel’s private lagoon, where the workshops took place.

Attendees included a group of children, aged 10 to 14 years old, from a local children’s home and their teachers. “It was wonderful to attend an event geared towards the older children,” said Janine Lawen, one of the teachers from the children’s home. “We receive a lot of support and engagement from the community, but so often it is directed at our youngest residents. We really appreciate that something special has been arranged for our older children, to remind them that they are also a part of the community and should feel proud of their Seychellois heritage.” The children interacted with hotel guests from across the globe and got to share their experiences with people they might otherwise never have spoken with.

Following the arts and crafts lessons, the attendees were divided into three sub-groups for a Creole cooking lesson, led by Kempinski’s top chefs in the hotel kitchen. Each group was kitted out in full chef’s attire and tasked with preparing a starter (snake gourd salad), main course (fish curry) and dessert (coconut ice-cream) using local ingredients and time-honoured recipes. The group then reunited to share the meal they had prepared, at a friendly, family-style lunch.

“Creole cuisine is a vibrant combination of cultural influences from all over the world – which is very much the embodiment of the spirit we hoped to achieve with this cross-cultural event,” said Kempinski Seychelles Resort’s executive chef, Hamzeh Abu El-Foul. “As a chef, it is always rewarding to see how food has a way of bringing people together across cultures and nationalities.”

“Since our beginnings in 1897, Kempinski have used our curious nature to develop an understanding of the locations in which we operate and embrace their unique customs. We call this ‘Cultural Empathy’,” said the luxury hotel’s general manager, Kees Heuveling. “It has been a real pleasure to share this notion of cultural empathy with our guests today, and I am sure their holidays have been enriched by this unique experience.”

Representatives from Pristine Seychelles thanked the hotel for being so receptive to the concept of a cultural exchange and for helping them to bring their vision to life. “This morning’s workshops have been a brilliant celebration of Seychellois culture, and I think both our local participants and hotel guests learned a lot about our islands’ traditions!” said Victoria Alis from Pristine Seychelles.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Industry News

Seychelles launches its first Nature Trail competition

In a press conference at Botanical House, Mont-Fleuri at the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) headquarters today, the organisation announced the launch of the Seychelles Nature Trail competition to be held in May 2020. 

The announcement was made by the STB Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis in the presence of Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, STB Regional Director for Europe, Ms. Bernadette Honoré, the STB representative in Reunion – who initiated the project with the support of Christian Hamer and Veronique Victor (directors of the trail) - and various partners on-board to make the project a success in Seychelles next year.  

The partners for the SNT project alongside the STB will include the Seychelles National Sports Council (NSC), the Seychelles National Park Authority (SNPA), Air Mauritius, Seychelles Breweries, ABSA ( Barclays Bank), Cable and Wireless and Skychef. 

Launched in Reunion in September this year, this first edition of Seychelles Nature Trail (SNT) adds to the prestige of the destination as a multifaceted one. 

The SNT aims at further promoting the archipelago's concept of green tourism as well as enticing potential visitors’ to the discovery of Seychelles' rich biodiversity.

The 25km trail which will be competed on Mahé on May 3, 2020 will be starting in the region of Port-Glaud round Anse Major, through the well-known hiking routes including the Mont Le Niol and Congo Rouge area finishing at Grand Anse. 

The event plans on attracting and engaging nature sport enthusiast in the region and across the globe to Seychelles, as well as concept for Seychellois competitors. 

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Sherin Francis mentioned her satisfaction to add another event to the destination’s profile on the international level. 

“The SNT event projects the destinations towards an adventure that will open great doors for the destination, we have seen how big in publicity the recent trail event “Diagonale des Fous” which closed a few days ago to our fellow islanders in Reunion. We can only anticipate great participation from the region and hope that the beauty of our Islands will attract potential runners from all over the world,” said Mrs. Francis. 

Mrs. Francis mentioned that in order to reach the anticipated number of participants for the event in 2020, an intensive communication campaign has been designed and will be implemented through traditional and social media. 

In addition, a publicity campaign in collaboration with the Seychelles Public Transport Company (SPTC) will be activated in Seychelles in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Fishing News: Alphonse Island

First Milkfish Of The Season

Great fishing was experienced on St Francois Atoll last week as the full moon approached. The week started with a spring tide and 12 eager anglers keen to wet their lines and bend their rods. A strong south easterly wind blew making casting a challenge for the anglers however this did not affect fishing with some amazing catches reported. The spring tides allowed for excellent shots at GT’s, milkfish, bonefish and triggerfish. A few anglers also ventured into the deeper waters on the outside of the lagoon with an estimated 40 fish being landed in one day between anglers Bill Oehming and Dinks.

Day one on the atoll was a fantastic day with sunny weather and a strong breeze. A total of 127 bonefish were landed, the biggest measuring 60 cm caught by John ‘Thunder’ Thorton who also managed to land a 65 cm GT. Dave Abbott landed an impressive 87 cm GT.

On day two anglers managed to land 103 bonefish. Tom Eberie landed an amazing 50 cm moustache triggerfish. Adrian Reynolds who has been visiting for the last five years caught a very well deserved 97 cm GT on a popper in the famous Ignobilis Channel for the first time. Allen Carter landed a 67 cm GT that was hunting on the back of a ray on a late afternoon pushing tide.

On day three a whopping 140 bonefish were landed the biggest measuring 62 cm caught by Bill Oehming.  A 25 cm moustache trigger was caught by Dinks after working hard over the first few days to catch one. A 94 cm milkfish was landed by Bob Bullard after a 30 minute fight. Bob managed to land the first milkfish of the Alphonse 2019 season.

On day four, 67 bonefish were landed. It was a challenging day with high wind speeds and isolated rain showers throughout the day.

Day five was a great day for all anglers, 43 bonefish were landed. Dave Abbot and Frederick Thranhradt landed three GT’s measuring 67, 74 and 87 centimetres. John ‘Thunder’ Thorton was lucky enough to land a one metre + GT which was the biggest GT catch of the week.

Day six saw 50 bonefish being landed between the 12 Anglers. Tom Eberle landed a 30 cm moustache triggerfish. Bob Bullard caught his first GT measuring 37 cm.

Another fantastic week was spent at Alphonse Island fishing St Francois Atoll. Memories were made and bonds were formed that will last a life time. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Industry News

The Seychelles kicks off the autumn season with the Nordic Roadshow

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) embarked on the sixth edition of the Nordic Roadshow from September 23rd 2019 to 27th 2019. The delegation, which included hotels, Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and airlines, travelled to five Nordic cities; Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Gothenburg.

A strong delegation from the Seychelles attended the Nordic roadshow, making the event successful one for the destination and its partners.

The marketing mission was headed by STB’s Marketing Director for Nordics, Karen Confait, and joined by the various partners and local business representatives.

On the hotel side, Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort was represented by Crystal Abram; Devi Pentamah was present on behalf of the Hilton Hotels; Le Duc de Praslin, Valmer Resort and Castelo Beach Hotel were represented by Derek Savy; Ferruccio Tirone from Maia Luxury Resort & Paradise Sun was also part of the group.

Amanda Lang from Creole Travel Services was present to represent the DMCs alongside Amy Michel a representative from Masons Travel and Masons Hotel Group.

The Emirates Airline team consisted of Meritha Merhad, Tanya Milad and Carmen Javier; while Qatar Airways was represented by Nils Geir Askekjaer, Karin Wellington-Ipsen, Jari Nuotio, Suvi Saari, Nina Astor, Pernilla Tillas, Eunice Raila and Chantal Tabatabae.

In each city, an evening event was hosted by the Seychelles’ delegation for the local travel trade during which participants had an opportunity to network and hear more about the Seychelles as a destination through presentations made. 

Partners present from Seychelles to showcase their product build on the momentum to inspire the local players from the visited cities and motivate them to offer Seychelles to their clients as the next holiday destination.

Ms. Confait mentioned that the Nordic Roadshow generated plenty of interest and attention from agents in each of the five cities.

“Over the years, the roadshow has immensely contributed to the growth of the Nordic market as the ideal platform to provide the travel trade with increased knowledge on the destination and its products, whilst fortifying relationships between partners and I am pleased to mention that we had very good attendance from the local agents both familiar and new ones,” commented Ms Confait.

True to its nationalistic belief and its dedication to sustainability and conservations, Seychelles remains one of the destinations of choice for potential visitors from the Nordics as they seek holiday destinations that have the same environmental and sustainable awareness they do.

Ms. Confait stressed that the Nordics is a market in need of constant nurturing through events such as similar roadshow, as it holds great potential for Seychelles. Thanking the partners present on the Nordic Roadshow, she further encouraged other partners to continuously invest and keep a constant presence in the region in order to further stimulate interest in the Seychelles Islands.

With greater flight accessibility through Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines flying out of this region, the Nordic market has become more significant for the Seychelles.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Seychelles in the Spotlight

Seychelles receives Jessica Nabongo, celebrity traveller, on its shores.

Travelling influencer, Jessica Nabongo, became the first Ugandan and documented black woman to travel the world when she landed in the Seychelles on Sunday October 6th 2019.

Seychelles, an island nation consisting of 115 islands, was the last country on her list. In a recent interview with TODAY in Seychelles, a local newspaper, Jessica said that she considers Seychelles to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Accompanied by 50 friends and family members, Jessica has been visiting several of the islands and will end her trip on Sunday at Four Seasons on the private island of Desroches.

In February 2017, Jessica set out to become the first documented black woman to visit all the 195 UN member countries. When she had decided to commit to this quest she was in Bali, Indonesia and had already travelled to 60 countries.

Initially, Jessica planned to complete her mission by May 15th 2019, which was her 35th birthday. However, the deadline was later changed to October 6th 2019, in honour of her late father’s birthday.

Jessica is also the founder of the boutique travel agency, Global Jet Black, which encourages tourism to a number of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Furthermore, Jessica is a keen environmentalist who uses her social media platform to raise awareness on significant causes like the harmful effect of plastic and endangered spices. She encourages her followers to try their best to limit negative impact on the planet, sharing tips on how to make small changes in their daily actions.

After having completed her quest, Jessica has plans to keep fighting against plastic pollution in the future.

“The presence of the celebrity traveller in the calibre of Jessica Nabongo on our shores reflects the reach of the destination’s visibility around the world. Ms. Nabongo’s choice to close finish her mission in Seychelles is indeed and honour,” said Ms. Jenifer Sinon, Seychelles Tourism Board Deputy Chief Executive as she commented on the event.

Jessica wanted the last country on her list to be in Africa in order to embrace her love for the continent.