La سیشل’ delegation who represented the country at the INDABA tourism trade fair in Durban, South Africa, has returned home this week declaring that the country is set to benefit from increased visitor arrival numbers from Southern Africa and the Americas.
INDABA 2010 saw the largest Seychelles participation at that annual fair whereby the Seychelles Tourism Board officials were joined by representatives from Air Seychelles, Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel, Select Seychelles, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, Le Relax Hotels, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Denis Island, Desroches Island, Le Meridien Hotels, and Eden Island.
David Germain, the Seychelles’ director for Africa and the Americas, who was responsible for organizing Seychelles’ participation at INDABA with the help of Marsha Parcou, the country’s Pretoria-based manager, said that during this year’s fair, the renewed interest for Seychelles in this market was very evident.
“The interest is so strong, and we are now working to turn this into bookings,” he said.
The Seychelles High Commissioner based in Pretoria, Joseph Nourrice, also flew to Durban to give his support to the Seychelles team, and he attended a function hosted by the Cape Town Tourism of South Africa where he had the opportunity to meet the Cape Town Minister for Finance and Tourism, Alan Winde, and other senior management of the tourism body.
Alain St. Ange, the director of tourism marketing, who headed the delegation to South Africa, said upon his return that the Seychelles Tourism Board’s meetings had gone extremely well, and he remained optimistic that visitor arrival numbers from South Africa would continue to grow, and grow at a faster pace than before.
“Tour operators are confident that Seychelles is now the new destination for the South African travelers, and we have to be ready to work to consolidate that newly-found status, and this will be achieved if we all stay focus[ed] on the big picture, which is our tourism industry,” he said.
Seychelles was given special mention during the Press and Tour Operators Function organized by Cape Town Tourism. The Seychelles Tourism Board was referred to as being the partner of Cape Town Tourism, when Minister Winde delivered his address and spoke about the existing MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that exists between Seychelles and Cape Town.
High Commissioner Nourrice and the Seychelles Tourism Board representatives also held a meeting with the RETOSA Organization and together agreed to now have Seychelles nominate its delegate to this African tourism body.
Meetings were also held with the managing director of the Kenya Tourism Board, Murithi Ndegwa and Siza Mzimela, the new chief executive officer of South African Airways (SAA), after she had addressed a press conference to map out the way forward for SAA as Africa’s main airline.