Germany invites Seychelles to be the FIRST long-haul tourism destination as Partner Country in Munich
aTP- Arab tourism portal-The Seychelles Tourism Board has now confirmed that for the third year in a row — after Hamburg in 2014 and Stuttgart in 2015 —, the Seychelles will enjoy special “Partner Country” status at a major tourism fair in Germany. From Wednesday, the 10th through Sunday, the 14th of February next year, the islands will be the focus of attention at f.re.e, the annual consumer travel show in Munich.
This popular fair at the start of the vacation planning season attracted nearly 120,000 consumers in 2015, an amazing 97% of whom indicated in a survey that they plan return next year. With 1,200 exhibitors from 60 countries (2015), the fair runs for five days from mid-week into the weekend and takes place on the fairgrounds of Munich, the capital of Bavaria. The show, going into its 47th year, is the leading travel and leisure fair in Germany’s largest and most affluent state, located in the Southeastern part of the country and bordering on Austria.
“We are proud to have secured this special status for our country at the Munich fair for next year,” says Edith Hunzinger, Manager of the Seychelles Tourist Board Office in Germany. “No other country has ever achieved this trifecta: being partner country in three consecutive years at three different key travel shows in three different important — and very wealthy — regions of our market. This creates a powerful presence in the minds of trade and consumers that is clearly reflected in the strong visitor flow from this source market to the Seychelles.”
In fact, the decision to become f.re.e’s Partner Country in 2016 — the first long-haul destination ever — was sealed by the fair’s representatives with the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, and Seychelles Tourism Board’s C.E.O., Sherin Naiken, in January 2015, while both were attending the Seychelles’ partner-country performance at CMT, the largest consumer travel fair, in Stuttgart.
In preparation of the upcoming Munich fair, Edith Hunzinger accompanied a group of journalists to the Seychelles in early December (3—10 Dec 2015). With the support of trade partners; the Savoy Hotel, VPM Best Sails, Creole Travel Services, and Takamaka Bay, the media representatives were treated to a comprehensive overview of all that the islands have to offer, from hotels to guest houses, and even to a 3-day sailing trip.
On Wednesday, the 9th of December, Minister Alain St.Ange welcomed the visiting journalists for a press conference, followed by individual interviews, including a radio talk with public broadcaster BR3. Among the trade representatives present at the conference were Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, and Natalie Du Buisson of the SHTA.
Germany remains one of the Seychelles’ strongest source markets. Having topped the list last year with a record 35,917 (+7%) visitors, the country is again very close to this mark in early December with currently 34,057 guests (as of 6 Dec 2015) and expected to hold — if not exceed — last year’s figure by the end of the month. Next year will likely see another boost, following the introduction of a second weekly nonstop flight from Frankfurt by Condor in September 2016.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture said as he met members of the German Press community that Germany remains a very important source market for the Seychelles tourism industry. "Our Tourism Board has been working hard to keep Seychelles visible and relevant as a tourism destination. Germany as a tourism source market is stronger than ever before and it will get even stronger next year when CONDOR launches its second direct non-stop weekly flight from Frankfurt and Seychelles" Minister Alain St.Ange said.