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Seychelles Tourism Board joins ‘Florilèges’ consumer fair in Reunion, records increased interest in the destination

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) took part in ‘Florilèges 2017’ – an annual consumer fair in Reunion Island.

The STB office in Reunion was invited to join the stand of Wel’Come Vacances – one of the island’s well established travel agency.

Senior Marketing Executive in Reunion, Bernadette Honore represented STB at the event from October 19 to 21.

aTP- Arab tourism portal News- Visitors planning to holiday in the Seychelles were invited to listen to a presentation about the destination, while they were able to access various information on display including attractive packages for leisure travellers and those planning to travel as a family.

On the last day at the stand, the Seychelles Tourism Board decided to offer a culinary experience to the visitors, allowing them to have a taste of the Creole cuisine which has many similarities to that of Reunion. Locally made banana and cassava chips, ‘ladob banann’ large ripe bananas sliced and cooked with coconut milk and sugar, as well as mango salad were available.

Ms Honore said: “The culinary experience allowed visitors to discover another facet of the destination and displayed the similar culinary features shared by Seychelles and Reunion, as although cooked differently many of the islands’ dishes use the same ingredients. It was a very good experience for the consumers.”

Florilèges is an annual 7 day fair held from October 13 to 22, during Reunion’s holiday period, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the island. This year’s event is said to have seen the participation of some three hundred thousand visitors.

It’s the second time that STB has accepted the invitation of Wel’Come Vacances to join its stand at the event, which this year also saw the participation of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), as well as representatives from Rodrigues.

Commenting on the reasons for inviting Seychelles to join its stand, travel trade professionals from Wel’Come Vacances explained that compared to previous years when they had to propose Seychelles as a potential holiday location to their clients, people are now voluntarily coming to the travel agency to enquire about the destination.

Ms Honore said: “This was also evident at the stand during this year’s fair. Compared to our first participation in 2016, we had more people coming to the stand to look at the proposed packages and tariffs for Seychelles. Some who have already booked their Seychelles holiday also popped in to collect brochures in preparation for their trip.”

STB’s representation in Reunion started in 2016, at a time when the market was experiencing positive growth. In 2017, the office has been actively increasing the island destination’s visibility through various tactical and awareness campaigns using the media from radio, television, magazines and newspapers, while also using other means such as SMS.

“The media campaigns were aimed at creating top-of-mind awareness among holidaymakers. However, it’s not only increased visibility that makes it work, this has to be combined with the efforts of travel trade professionals in Reunion working with local trade partners to design attractive packages fitted for the market. Having a visible destination plus the right tariff and the right product is a combination that works well for the Reunion market,” said Ms Honore.

“The Florilèges 2017 event therefore provided the perfect opportunity for the Seychelles Tourism Board to reach out to the customers to take stock of the market and evaluate how the increased visibility has impacted their choice of holiday destination. This was the second consumer fair STB has participated in this year in Reunion following the one in partnership with Thomas Cook during the first half of the year,” she added.

Reunion remains the leading market for Seychelles in the Indian Ocean region. According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, Reunion has sent 5,323 visitors to Seychelles up to October 29, which represents a 10 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016.

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