SEYCHELLES TOURISM BOARD’S ROLE REDEFINED
(Posted 29th November 2013)
The just concluded annual marketing conference of the Seychelles Tourism Board, held at the Le Meridien Barbarons, this year discussed not only the way forward for the year 2014 and beyond but also took stock on the various distribution of functions, aimed at making STB an even more effective marketing force.
Information received from Mahe speaks of the new set up, likely to be reinforced by the planned move of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture into new purpose built premises where the Ministry will share the building with STB, which would move from their present offices in Bel Ombre, to give a clearer understanding of the functions carried by the various government bodies.
It is understood that the Ministry will give policy guidelines to the sector, both private and public, provide regulations and set standards for tourism businesses and issue relevant licenses among other functions like international relations within the government’s regular framework.
With STB now fully concentrating on their marketing function, a new department will apparently be created to address the organization and running of events, very likely then also situated in the same joint premises which should be ready by the second quarter of next year.
Minister Alain St. Ange, when delivering the key note address, confirmed that the Seychelles were on course for a new arrival record with approximately 228.000 visitors at the end of December, well ahead of the forecast increase which at the beginning of 2013 was cautiously given as between 3 and 4 percent. Minister St. Ange also confirmed that while Europe remained the archipelago’s largest market, Asia was catching up fast and with visitor numbers from China alone growing this year by a remarkable 74 percent, Asia overall was up by 21 percent compared with 2013. South Africa, now connected with the Seychelles three times a week with the Air Seychelles Airbus A330, has emerged as the islands’ third largest single market while the Gulf region too has registered a growth of 11 percent year on year.
The Seychelles Tourism Board will in upcoming activities pay special attention to reclaiming the lucrative cruise business by attracting cruise lines to come back to call on Port Victoria, as part of either global itineraries or else as part of the Vanilla Island Organization’s focus to have cruiselines begin to offer a regional cruise itinerary.
The private sector also expressed satisfaction over the announcement that a dedicated senior marketing position for small and medium sized Seychellois owned businesses has been created, tasked to vigorously promote such niches as Seychelles Secrets and budget accommodation facilities, which play an increasing role in helping to fill the added seats now available by airlines flying into Mahe.
Last but not least was it revealed that a new proactive website was in the making due to be launched sometime in 2014, as was a new destination documentary being finalized to showcase the Seychelles islands from their best side and to stay ahead of the regional and global competition. As the saying goes: Seychelles, truly Another World. Watch this space for regular news updates from the Seychelles islands.
(Minister Alain St. Ange seen here with the entire team from STB and key individuals from STA and the Ministry’s tourism department)