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.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Fishing News: Farquhar Atoll

First Bumpy Of The Season!

Difficult conditions dominated most of the week with a strong southeasterly wind blowing. Predominantly cloudy skies were common with light to strong showers passing through regularly. With the full moon, it was a week of full spring tides with large water fluctuations.
Despite the weather it was a week of big fish. A Seychelles regular, Joern Heiner kicked things off with an absolutely massive GT of 134 cm, the largest of the season so far! In addition to that giant, Joern landed three more GTs, Andrew Jillings captured two GTs, James Mendes managed his first GT and Tim Fleischer, Murray-John Wilson, Andrew Hogg, Hilton Peterson all landed a GT each.

An amazing permit was caught this week by Andrew Hogg. Measuring 84 cm it is the largest caught on Farquhar to date, and a truly special fish. Our group managed 29 bonefish this week with most anglers landing large fish. Alan Cloete caught his first bonefish, which was also his first fish on a fly. He went on to catch a bonefish of 66 cm.
Our first bump headed Parrotfish of the season came from Joern on the last day of the trip. The fish measured 84 cm!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Industry News

Eventful three days for Seychelles’ delegation led by the Tourism Minister at IFTM Top Resa 2019

The 41st edition of the IFTM Top Resa, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, kicked off on October 1st and came to an end on Friday October 5th.  

As the industry’s leading business-to-business trade show, IFTM Top Resa is the only French event that brings together the whole tourism sector, featuring multiple segments over four days including, Leisure, Tourism, Business Travel, Group Tourism and Events.

The Trade show gathered over 34,000 professionals, French and international buyers, tourism distribution and production professionals, journalists and media representatives, influencers, students and officials who all came to connect with the 1,700 exhibitors. Exhibitors included tourism boards, airlines, hotel groups, technology companies and startups.

The Seychelles delegation was led by Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr Didier Dogley, who was present at the Seychelles stand for the opening of the annual tourism trade fair.

French travel agents and press expressed immense interest in the Seychelles as a holiday destination, keeping the destination’s stand occupied during the first three days of the IFTM Top Resa tourism fair.

The Seychelles stand consisted of the Seychelles Tourism Board team, accompanied by seven trade partners.  

Trade partners and representatives included: 7° South – Corinne Delpech; Masons Travel – Alan Masons and Paul Lebon; Creole Travel Services – Guillaume Albert and Stephanie Marie; Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resorts – Bertrand Moussa; Banyan Tree Seychelles – Marie Gougeon; Coral Strand Hotel and Savoy Resort & Spa – Ekaterina Gritsenko; and Hilton Seychelles – Devi Pentamah.

The Seychelles Tourism Board was represented by its Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis; STB’s Regional Director for Europe, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin; Marketing Executives from the STB France office, Jennifer Dupuy, Myra Fanchette and Valerie Payet; as well as Marketing Executive from the STB Head Office, Christina Cecile.

Mrs. Francis said: “This year’s IFTM TOP RESA was once again an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with our French partners. We are happy that we have their renewed commitment to keep on growing this market further. Therefore, we are looking forward to another fruitful year of collaboration.”

Minister Dogley and Mrs. Francis used this opportunity to conduct various meetings with travel trade professionals and give interviews to some high-profile media.

A press conference, with the presence of approximately a dozen journalists, was organised on the second day of the trade show. The delegation updated the media on the Seychelles tourism development, also on the 250 years Seychelles celebration plan. A detailed exposé about the country’s conservation environmental protection initiatives, including the Blue Economy and Blue Bond, was also presented.

The IFTM Top Resa is the turning point of the tourism season, coinciding with the launch of the tour operators’ winter brochures and various promotional campaigns, by different industry players.

STB’s Regional Director for Europe, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin says IFTM Top Resa has once again fulfilled its role as one of the world’s major tourism trade fairs, both in terms of the number of visitors and exhibitors alike. 

“Its main role as a forum for travel trade professionals has proven, once again, very fruitful, enabling participants to renew contacts and meet with new interlocutors, discover or re-discover new tourism products and services,” said Mrs. Willemin.

“At the same time, it must be underscored that stiff competition still characterizes IFTM Top Resa and it is the presence therein that a given destination displays its assets to keep its market share, if not increasing it,” she added.

The French market is a significant one for the Seychelles, being the second leading market after Germany. The Seychelles Islands is still a favourite and safe destination for French visitors, as seen by the attention the Seychelles stand received during the Trade Fair.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Fishing News: Alphonse Island

Angler Catches Four Of Big Five Fish Species

Week three of the season started with variable weather conditions and calm flat seas. Neap tides gave the anglers the opportunity to fish mainly on the white sand flats looking for rays, sharks and the treasures that followed. The end of the week saw the tides transition to springs which gave good opportunity to look for triggers and giant trevally (GT) in the surf.

The low number of rods meant there was very little disturbance around the atoll, this benefitted the guests as they could see a much larger portion of the atoll. Anglers specifically looking for permit benefited from this and one guest in particular, Chris Walsh, caught a magnificent specimen of 60 cm. Bonefish where found across the atoll, showing up in large schools on the high spots and both east knoll and delta where favoured by the guides.

Guests who pursued GT found fish along the finger flats as well as on the white sand, many reporting to have seen rat packs during the day. Many fish were also seen following rays in the mullet bay area. Father and son, Shaun and Collin Chapman, had an awesome day with Trevor Sithole who guided Shaun onto a grand slam consisting of a permit, GT, bonefish and large triggerfish. Shaun also caught three triggerfish on Friday during the spring tide. One milkfish was hooked by Chris in the last hour on Friday but unfortunately the fish pulled the hook! It was the only one of the big five fish species for him left to catch on Alphonse.

 Ron and Julie were the only guests to venture into the bluewater this week and where rewarded with sailfish, wahoo and tuna all caught on conventional tackle.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Industry News

Seychelles Tourism Board strengthens its outreach in India with three-city roadshow

The Seychelles Tourism Board successfully conducted a three-city roadshow in the cities of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, Ahmedabad in the State of Gujarat and the capital city of India; Delhi from Monday September 16 to Friday September 20, 2019.

The key industry players from Seychelles including hotel partners and Destination Management Companies (DMC) alongside the STB representatives. The team, consisting of Mrs. Elsie Sinon- Senior Marketing Executive from the STB Headquarters, Ms. Shakambri Soni and Mrs. Priya Ghag from the Seychelles Tourism Board’s India office, connected with approximately 225 prominent Indian travel and tour operating companies to strengthen their outreach in India.

On the hotel accommodation services side Berjaya Hotels and Resorts, Cerf Island Resort, Four Seasons Seychelles, Hilton Resort & Spa, MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, Savoy Resort & Spa, Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel, JA Enchanted Island Resort and soon to open Club Med Seychelles were present at the roadshow.

Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel, Vision Voyages represented on the DMC side, Variety Cruises as a cruise operator and Air Seychelles, the national carrier, stood alongside the delegation as part of the Seychelles services experience.

 The trade partners and travel agents were given the chance to network with the exhibitors to learn more about the destination including the diverse products and experiences the Seychelles offers during this interactive roadshow.

Present at the roadshow on the STB team Mrs. Sinon mentioned her satisfaction to have had a successful event in India.

She emphasised that such events create a platform to help service providers in Seychelles and Indian tour operators, to connect and understand mutual needs so as to better design and deliver the Seychelles to all clients, particularly new-age travellers from India while retaining the growth momentum of Indian arrivals into the Seychelles.

Commenting on the event, Ms. Sherin Francis, STB Chief Executive stated that the annual roadshow in India is one of the marketing events that extremely substantial for the destination.

“It gave us immense pleasure to see our Indian partners always eager to keep updated about the Seychelles. This roadshow was well attended and received a remarkable response from all three cities. India represents a substantial and vast market for Seychelles and these planned events help us to understand the current market dynamics and connect with the existing as well as potential Indian tour operators in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Delhi,” said Mrs. Francis.

On her part Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, STB representative in India further added, “We are extremely pleased to have received positive and encouraging feedback from stakeholders about the format and quality of meetings conducted at the roadshow. Delhi and Ahmedabad have been among the top three markets for Seychelles and we wanted to revisit these cities to ensure quality engagement with all trade partners there. With our marketing strategies and efforts, we continue this engagement and reach out to more potential markets in the coming years.”

As part of its marketing strategy, each year STB plans to target newer cities in India through roadshows, workshops and selective meetings. STB encourages their partners to participate in the 2020 edition of the roadshow as India is an immensely significant market for the Seychelles.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Industry News

Seychelles Tourism Board France rolls out its autumn-winter outdoor advertising campaign

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) launched an above-the-line advertising campaign in France aimed at reaching out to potential holidaymakers on that market.

The advertising campaign ran from September 11th to the 24th in the French capital of Paris, where visitors were able to get a taste of Seychelles through various displays of the Island paradise that were set up around the city.

The campaign exposed the Parisians to the tropical charms of the illustrious Seychelles Islands and the diversity of the activities it has to offer all its visitors. This presented the Seychelles as a holiday destination for the locals during the winter holidays, which are fast approaching.

With the assistance of JCDecaux, a leading French company of outdoor advertising worldwide, visuals were designed and strategically installed around Paris and other suburban areas.

To maximise the exposure of the Seychelles in Paris, 161 panoramic adverts were set up in kiosks in busy zones close to commercial areas such as the Champs Elysees, some libraries, city hall, boulevard Haussmann. Outdoor billboards were also placed in key locations in the Parisian suburbs.

The Parisian Open Tour busses, 100% green energy buses which offer sightseeing tour of the capital, also gave the Seychelles exposure by displaying its tropical landscapes on several buses between the September 11th and 24th. These buses circulate the most emblematic neighborhoods and the most well-known monuments of the capital, on a daily basis. Around 40% of the active high purchasing power Parisians frequent these routes, and were therefore exposed to these remarkably stunning pictures.

The STB Paris office is continuously increasing Seychelles visibility on the French market through digital media, which at the moment is especially dedicated to diving before the international dive show in Paris in January 2020. Also, through print, STB Paris is promoting the Seychelles lush tropical environment, turquoise waters, sandy beached and vibrant marine life, as well as the creole culture to the French public.

The Seychelles Tourism Board Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, said: “The communication plan was aimed at being present in the heart of the capital and the nearby suburbs, which are affluent areas with great potential for our destination.”

Mrs Willemin added that “the outdoor campaign will go a long way in making Seychelles more visible on the French market and reach even more potential holidaymakers that may not necessarily have the chance to visit trade fairs and workshops conducted on the market”.

France has long been a major tourist market for Seychelles, currently it is the second largest market for Seychelles, after Germany. After closing the year 2018 with an increase in the number of visitors by 6%, France continued to show positive signs at the beginning of this year 2019. Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) records show that as of September 22nd 2019, 30,310 visitors were from France.

The advertising campaigns completed other ongoing and upcoming activities for consumers and tourism trade partners for the Autumn/Winter 2019-2020 season.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Industry News

Seychelles’ tropical ambience spreads in Durban’s shopping mall

The Seychelles Tourism Board South African office brought the lush Seychelles atmosphere to Durban shoppers, through a week-long exhibition in the Gateway Mall starting from Tuesday September 24th to Monday September 30th.

Gateway is the most prominent shopping mall in Durban, and with the exhibition launch being on Heritage Day, a public holiday, there was an immense traffic to the stand.

The Seychelles stand, situated on the ground floor next to the main entrance, depicted a tropical beach scene with sun loungers where many visitors engaged with the setting, snapping photos to capture the moment.

With the STB team present, customers had the opportunity to enquire about the destination and packages on offer.

The STB office partnered with the Seychelles national carrier, Air Seychelles and One Stop tour operator for this exhibition.

In partnership with Air Seychelles, STB offered a 5-night holiday in the Seychelles to customers who participated in a small quiz, where the winner was picked after elimination.

The Seychelles Tourism Board Director for South Africa, Mrs Lena Hoareau, when commenting on the success of the event, said “Our biggest group were the shoppers but also the revellers who had come for the entertainment. We also had people who were on holiday from other countries and this was an opportunity to update themselves on the destination and what it offers.”

Mrs Hoareau expressed how Durban is an important catchment as they not only targeting direct travellers but also the onward traffic bound for Mumbai.

One Stop Tour operator, another of STB’s partners who helped promote the Island Destination during the exhibition, is one of Air Seychelles’ top seller for the Mumbai route. They provide hands-on information to travellers interested in including the Seychelles to their travel itinerary.

Mrs. Hoareau stressed the importance of further encouraging passengers connecting with the Air Seychelles flight to Mumbai to stop over in the Seychelles for a few days, as many only pass through for transit.

South Africa remains a very important market for the Seychelles. With the increased capacity of Air Seychelles’ A320neo, there is an expected growth in the number of visitors on the route between Johannesburg and Mahe.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Seychelles Tourism News

The Seychelles celebrates the 2nd edition of the Tourism Festival

The Seychelles Tourism Festival 2019 came to an end on World Tourism Day, Friday September 27, 2019 after an eventful week of celebrating and promoting the importance of tourism in Seychelles.
This year’s festival was centred on the theme ‘We Are Tourism: Our Pathway to Prosperity’ and focused on raising awareness of the role and significance of tourism in our country.

The second edition of the festival was officially launched by Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Didier Dogley, at the annual Tourism Ball, organised by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and the Tourism Festival Committee, at Constance Ephelia on Saturday September 21, 2019. 
The theme for this year’s ball was ‘Under the Sea’, which was reflected in the decorations made of recycled materials.
In attendance were tourism partners and stakeholders who united to celebrate the tourism industry. Minister Miriam Thelemaque, Minister of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status and Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning also attended the event.

Minister Dogley and Mrs Sybille Cardon, Chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, placed great emphasis on the significance of sustainability in their speeches, noting that it is crucial for the survival of the tourism industry.

The evening saw performances from Aaron Jean, who performed a song composed for the occasion by Jean Marc Volcy, and Joe Samy who performed his song ‘Oceans and Visions’.

The Tourism Ball was followed by the Food Fiesta the next day, which took place at Beau Vallon on Mahe and Cote D’Or on Praslin. The event featured the waiter’s race, in which waiters and waitresses from different hotel establishments as well as students from the Seychelles Tourism Academy participated.
The food fiesta gave the Seychellois public exposure to the culinary experience that tourists have access to during their stay in the Seychelles.
On Monday 23, 2019, seven tourism pioneers of the tourism industry were recognised in a ceremony at the Seychelles Tourism Academy. Andiana Hoareau nee Sandapin, Brendon Grimshaw, Achille Kwame Luc, Philipe L’Efevre Karl St. Ange, Philibert Loizeau, Mathew Servina were each honoured with a plaque in the Tourism Pioneers Park.
The youth played a significant role in this year’s tourism festival, participating in both the ‘Adopt a Student’ forum on Tuesday 24, 2019 and the French Public speaking competition on Thursday 26, 2019.
Concretising what Minister Dogley expressed in his speech at the launching ceremony regarding the importance of educating the youth on what the tourism industry entails at an early age instead of waiting for them to specialise.
For the ‘Adopt a Student’ forum, primary and secondary students selected by the Ministry of Education for a brief internship in several hotels came to share their experiences with their peers.
This exposure gave students a better idea what a career in tourism entails, therefore encouraging more students to choose this path. The programme generated positive feedback from both the students and the hotels, who appreciated the initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education.
The participating schools and hotels were Takamaka Primary attached with DoubleTree by Hilton Seychelles Allamanda Resort & Spa; Bel Ombre Primary with Savoy Seychelles Resorts & Spa; Beau Vallon Secondary also with Savoy and Hilton Seychelles Labriz; English River Secondary with Hilton Seychelles Northolme; Anse Boileau Secondary with Constance Ephelia Seychelles and Avani Hotels & Resorts; and Grand Anse Primary with Constance Lemuria Seychelles and Hotel L’Archipel. The Human Resource officers from the hotels were also present to share their experience with the students.
Another activity involving the youth was the ‘Concours d’expression orale’, organised by STB in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. This was a French public speaking activity involving schools in Seychelles at primary, secondary and post-secondary level. The discussions were based off the world tourism day theme “Le Tourisme et l’emploi: Un avenir meilleur pour tous”, and students seized the opportunity to showcase their fluency in French, one of our official languages which is often overlooked and less popular. Minister Jeanne Simeon, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development was also present at the event.
 The winner for the Primary school group was Baie Sainte Anne Praslin, with Mont Fleuri in second place and Glacis in third place. For the Secondary group, Pointe Larue landed first place, followed by Plaisance in second place and Anse Royale in third place. At Post Secondary level, SITE won first place, whilst STA came out second.
Aside from the youth, employees in the tourism sector also had activities of their own during the week of festivities.
A tourism mass was held on Wednesday September 25, 2019 at Plaisance Church, attended by staff from the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Department of Tourism and Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority with the participation of the Seychelles Tourism Academy students and staff.
The service was followed by a beach clean-up with employees of STB, Department of Tourism contributing to the Clean up the World campaign. This campaign is one which crucial to the tourism industry, as it supports the conservation of the Seychelles pristine beauty.
On World Tourism Day itself, Friday September 27, 2019, the STB partnered with Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation for a special “Meet and Greet” at the Seychelles International Airport.
Arriving visitors were greeted by a live band and traditional dances were performed. Many engaged with the performance; joining in to dance or capturing the moment with ‘That Selfie Mirror Seychelles’. Tourists were also given the ‘Pristine Seychelles’ badge along with a bookmark that included small tips on how to be a responsible traveller whilst exploring the islands.
Departing visitors were given the chance to share their experiences in the Seychelles and what their contributions to sustainability were or could be, which was documented by the SSTF team.
Due to weather, the scheduled Meet and Greet at the Botanical garden was cancelled. However, the staff of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Department of Tourism united for a brief gathering honouring Tourism Day, where STB Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis and Principal Secretary Mrs Anne Lafortune shared a few words with the employees.
The Tourism Festival came to a close at Hilton Northolme Resort and Spa, during a panel discussion of the festival theme “Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all”.