aTP- Arab tourism portal News- Further improving knowledge of the Seychelles’ products in the Middle East region, allowing the trade to strengthen relations with existing partners, as well as discover new products and partners — such was the outcome of the 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) roadshow, organised by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).
Spearheaded by the STB Dubai office, the roadshow held from October 8 to 11, targeted the United Arab Emirates’ cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as two other Gulf countries — Bahrain and Kuwait.
A total of 17 local trade partners comprising of hotels, DMCs, tour operators, and the national airline participated in the event. Partners present alongside the STB team were: Air Seychelles, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Constance Hotels and Resorts, Creole Travel Services, Eden Bleu Hotel, Enchanted Island Resort, Hilton Seychelles, Luxury Travel, MAIA and Paradise Sun, Masons Travel, North Island, Praslin Holiday Home, Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa, Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Summer Rain Tours, The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach Seychelles and Vision Voyages.
STB’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, Ahmed Fathallah said the roadshow was very timely to further increase and position Seychelles in the region. Through their interactive sessions, STB and the local trade representatives assembled their efforts to educate the attendees about what Seychelles can really offer and highlighting the island destination’s competitive advantage by presenting their services and products.
Mr Fathallah said: “We have seen the importance of the roadshow as this gives us a platform to further present the destination and educate the agents to better sell to their targeted clients. For the past 3 consecutive years since we initiated the roadshow, we have not only had a good number of attendees but the numbers of partners, as well as the cities visited have also increased.”
“Last year’s roadshow was attended by 13 partners and was an inspiration for us to further continue and develop the presence of Seychelles in the market. Although we are on the ground since 2001 as the Seychelles Tourism Board in the Middle East, the success that we are recording now will not have been possible without the immense support and hard work of our partners. We have worked together over the years and have continuously witnessed growth from this market,” he added.
The interactive event follows a series of campaigns which has been rolled out in recent months, targeting the dynamism of this growing consumer-driven market.
Using promotional YouTube videos, transit and outdoor adverts as well as SMS campaigns, STB Office in Dubai has employed the right media mix to cater for the demand of information about the Seychelles as a tourist destination, as well as strengthen its brand presence.
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“Demand to visit the destination is increasing and these campaigns will create more awareness, strengthen the brand presence which will lead to more visitors being enticed. For the past several years one of our main strategies has been to educate the trade partners about the Seychelles USPs, however, the market needs has now become more consumer-driven,” said Mr Fathallah.
According to figures from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, a total of 29, 880 visitors from the Middle-East and GCC countries have come to Seychelles up to September 2017, hinting at a 26% increase in arrivals from the region compared to the same period last year.
The United Arab Emirates is in fact the Seychelles’ third leading market having sent 22,948 visitors to the island nation up to October 8, 2017, representing an increase of 20 percent over last year.