Seychelles attends WTM Connect Asia for the first time


(Posted 30th May 2017)

The Seychelles Tourism Board participated for the first time in World Travel Market (WTM) Connect Asia which was held in Penang, Malaysia earlier this month.

Being one of the six trade fairs in the WTM portfolio, the trade fair is staged annually in South East Asia and it brings together both local and international suppliers and buyers. The trade fair has a unique format of one to one scheduled meetings and consists of a number of networking activities so as to create opportunities for all participants to meet and discuss future business endeavours. WTM Connect Asia is in its second edition and has proven to be a promising event for the future of the global tourism industry.

STB was represented by Mr. Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, the Director for Asia and Australasia and Ms. Myra Fanchette, Marketing Executive. The STB team expressed satisfaction in regards to the outcome of the fair and the quality of business it brought. Various meetings were held with high end tour operators and travel agents from South East Asia, China and Australia, whereby they were satisfied with the amount of interest in the destination.

The South-East Asian market is one of the fastest growing outbound markets in the world with Asia representing a large percentage of the worlds’ source market in terms of international expenditure. As a result, WTM Connect Asia is the perfect Business to Business platform to reach out to all those potential new markets for the Seychelles‘ said Mrs. Sherin Francis, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Meanwhile has STB also launched their annual road show again where the archipelago’s tourism industry is set to meet over 600 professionals in France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg at the following locations:

Le Havre: Monday 29th May 2017 at the Pasino du Havre

Paris: Tuesday 30th May 2017 at L’Aquarium de Paris – Cineaqua

Nice: Wednesday 31st May 2017 at L’hôtel le Negresco

Marseille: Thursday 01st June 2017 at Intercontinental – Hotel Dieu

Ghent: Tuesday 06th June – Hotel Marriott Ghent

Rotterdam: Wednesday 07th June – Hilton Rotterdam

Luxembourg: Thursday 08th June – Sofitel Luxembourg Europe

This year’s edition will see the participation of the national airline Air Seychelles and its equity partner Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, various hotels from Mahé and Praslin namely Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Constance Hotels & Resorts, Coral Strand Smart Choice hotel, Domaine de La Reserve, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Maia Luxury Resort & Spa, Savoy Resort & Spa, The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach. Traditional and authentic La Digue will be on stage with Domaine de l’Orangeraie whilst Hilton Labriz will showcase the land of legends, mystique and tropical beauty, of the island of Silhouette in addition to its Mahé properties. Exclusive Island hideaway is also on the agenda with Enchanted Round Island. Our travel trade invitees will also have a taste of our coralline islands with the most northerly island of the Seychelles archipelago, Bird Island.

In a related development has the Seychelles also attended the last RETOSA Board Meeting in Durban on the sidelines of INDABA, represented by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Ms. Anne Lafortune and the Deputy CEO of STB, Ms. Jenifer Sinon.

The aim of the meeting was to assess the progress of RETOSA’s transformation process. The process is to transform RETOSA from a public sector organisation to one where national tourism boards and the private sector take ownership of it.

RETOSA’s transformation process began in 2014 when the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers responsible for tourism agreed and directed the RETOSA board to look at ways of changing the organisation to make it more relevant to member states, the private sector and all partners.

During the meeting, those present also discussed RETOSA’s financial sustainability including member states’ contribution and the cash flow of the organisation.

The mandate of the new RETOSA will be to develop and promote a vibrant regional brand; market, promote and stimulate Southern Africa as a destination for tourism, trade, commerce and investment; and formulate and carry out the regional marketing strategy.

The Seychelles Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine will be discussing the new mandate of the RETOSA board with the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) and the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

SHTA and SCCI will be requested to take part as members on the new revamped board.

STB’s chief executive will also be a member of the new board.

It is to be noted that Kenneth Racombo was recently appointed as the head of resource mobilisation and development and falls directly under the newly recruited chief executive Desmond Golding of South Africa.

The new RETOSA board will be constituted in July 2017 where the private sector will be represented together with chief executives of tourism boards and it will be responsible for regional tourism Marketing.

Tourism policy which was previously a function of RETOSA will however now be dealt with by a proposed tourism unit at the SADC secretariat.

For more information about Destination Seychelles click on