Barry Faure, the Seychelles Secretary of State in the President’s Office and Chairman of the Seychelles Tourism Board, delivered an address at the official opening ceremony of the Seychelles and La Reunion Island joint marketing meeting taking place this week in the Seychelles. Mr. Faure took to the podium after Alain St.Ange had delivered his opening remarks for the 2011 Marketing Meeting. Didier Viroleau, the Director of the La Reunion IRT, also addressed the launching ceremony of the joint Seychelles and La Reunion island joint marketing meeting.
The Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel, and Mr. Didier Robert, the President de la region La Reunion, both attended the opening ceremony of the joint Seychelles and La Reunion island meeting.
Barry Faure said when he took to the podium: “It is an honor to have the presence of His Excellency the President of the Republic and the President of the Conseil Régional de la Réunion at the opening of our tourism marketing meeting, which is an important platform and catalyst for deciding the way forward for Seychelles’ tourism industry, the main pillar of our economy.
We live in difficult times with [a] recession still looming over many of our core markets and forcing us to examine the potential of new market opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
“It is well over a year since His Excellency the President issued instructions to [the] g overnment and to the Seychelles Tourism Board to look elsewhere than Europe to diversify our tourism market base. The President, in fact, has personally lead initiatives in India, China, and Australia, as part of this new approach. In 2011, the Seychelles Tourism Board has also looked closer at Africa, South America, and Asia in casting its net wider.
“Indeed, the time has come for us to look closely at the ways we have traditionally thought about this industry, which is so important to our prosperity as a nation and find fresh, innovative ways of circumventing the challenges and obstacles facing us.
“Wherever we choose to venture in our search for new markets, the question of air access will be crucial, and we must be tireless in our pursuit of new routes and new partners who will be able to provide us with the vital airlift we need to tap those markets. The country’s strategy to re-position and re-structure our national airline makes this push all the more obvious and urgent.
“We need to develop close ties with international media through whose coverage we can become better known to potential visitors and pursue each and every attribute of Seychelles’ brand of tourism, transforming these into marketable resources and unique selling propositions.
“Our tourism industry must be socially inclusive and engage the maximum support of the Seychellois people who should both participate in and benefit from their industry. Developing, and constantly refining, a raft of successful international events is one way of achieving this.
“As stakeholders in this industry, our deliberations over the coming days will be decisive in the formulation of the strategies that will carry our industry forward. Together, we must leave no stone unturned in the preparation of our plans for tomorrow, and I urge you to put all your combined energies into this task.
“The strength of our tourism industry lies in the unity of all of its players and upon our combined commitment to bringing all resources to bear in ensuring that Seychelles’ tourism continues to prosper and make its mark on the international stage.”
On his part, Pascal Viroleau, the Head of the la Reunion Tourism, said as he started his address that the meeting taking place in Seychelles between the La Reunion and the Seychelles Tourism marketing teams is but a beginning in cooperation between the two islands. “The time to develop partnerships was now,” Mr. Viroleau said. He went on to say that his team came ready to listen as much as they remain ready to share their own experiences and expertise.
The 2011 Seychelles and La Reunion tourism marketing meeting rallied all the Seychelles managers from the four corners of the world and their boards’ head office marketing staff and the La Reunion senior tourism marketing team.