According to Seychelles tourism minister Alain St.Ange, South Africa tourists numbers are impressive, but not quite as outstanding as the island would like.
The Seychelles Tourism Board, South African tour operators, Air Seychelles and more than 70 other tourism industry stakeholders recently held a workshop to configure “marketing and sales” strategies that would contribute to more South African tourists making visits to Seychelles, Breaking Travel News reported.
Seychelles and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify the tourism partnership.
“We have always valued South Africa as an important market. We’ve always wanted our business from South Africa to flourish. It is very clear we have constraints, but nothing that we cannot overcome. We’ve operated one Tourism Board office for many years in Cape Town. Slowly we moved to open a second Tourism Board office in Pretoria,” St.Ange, said in the report.
“Many can say that this is still not the ideal situation and that we should be in the heart of the tourism trade which is Johannesburg. Today, we can say that we are looking at a Johannesburg Office as well to ensure that our presence in South Africa is nothing short of the best that we can have.”
According to Justin Gostling, Air Syechelles’ General Manager Commercial, the island has already made a noticeable effort in increasing tourism. With flights from the island servicing nations throughout Africa, connections have been upped 200 percent from last year.
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During the workshop, Sherin Naiken, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, pointed out that the Seychelles’ biggest spenders come from South Africa. In addition, most South Africans travel overseas during the holidays. With their new marketing practices, the Seychelles Tourism Board is hoping to net some of those travelers, Breaking Travel News reported.
“Let us not stop at negativity. Let us look at opportunities for us to make our industry better. Let us capitalize on every opportunity to sell Seychelles more. That is the reason why you are here today,” John Stravens, Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association Chairman said.
The tourism board’s top priorities are making Seychelles more affordable and creating packages that are worth the high pricing. In addition Seychelles would like South Africa’s tourist number to reach 14,000 by the end of 2013. To date Seychelles has seen 12,000 South African tourists.