Rugby event in Durban used as stage to promote Seychelles


(Posted 23rd June 2017)

Every opportunity that helps Seychelles to be in the limelight counts and certainly is none wasted!

That is exactly what a team from Alphonse Island, the Seychelles Tourism Board and Air Seychelles showcased in Durban, South Africa last week.

A big rugby test match between South Africa and France provided the perfect opportunity for them to bring some warm Seychellois cheer to the game, while networking and promoting the island destination’s tourism products.
Several tour operators and travel agents already selling Seychelles, as well as friends of Alphonse Island and past guests of the island were invited to the event.

The guests met at the hospitality suite before the test match where the well-represented Alphonse Island team were all hands on deck to promote their products. The Tourist office provided destination knowledge while Air Seychelles, which started flying to Durban in March this year, assisted with all the flight queries.

Guests were entertained for two hours before the big game with drinks and snacks being served, adding to the jovial atmosphere that helped beat the winter blues as the beautiful sun set and temperature dropped in the city.

The guests were then invited to join the three host partners in the comfort of the VIP suite to watch the game, which was won by the South African national rugby team — the Springboks – followed by dinner which brought down the curtains on this beautiful event.

The General Manager of Alphonse Island Resort, Gordon Rankin, ensured that everyone present were acquainted with the extraordinary and unique experiences that the island has to offer.

Alphonse Island — one of the outlying islands of the Seychelles archipelago — lies seven degrees south of the equator and 400 kilometres south-west of the main inhabited island of Mahé. Only a 60-minute flight away from the main island Mahé, the Alphonse atoll boasts kilometres of pristine tropical shorelines, lagoons and sea flats.

Guests to the island, from honeymooners to families, can indulge a wide range of activities from game fishing, fly fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving among others. For those not too keen on hitting the water, the natural environment also provides wonderful experiences, where one can have an encounter with some giant Aldabra tortoises.

I am extremely happy with the event because it brought many people together, to learn more on and also to share their experiences of Alphonse Island. We managed to create some big vibes here and get more people interested in the product and in Seychelles. I believe everyone’s expectations were exceeded today‘ said Mr. Rankin to the invited guests.

The Seychelles Tourism Board office in South Africa was represented at the event by Mrs. Lena Hoareau, who, based in Johannesburg, was equally pleased with the outcome of the networking event.

The atmosphere was wonderful and people were able to learn more about the Seychelles without being in a formal setting or function. Such events should be encouraged because the interest is already there. We just need to reach the right people and bring them together around a common event. I am happy that we have partnered with Alphonse Island on this event and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again should the occasion present itself because I feel that we achieved what we set out to do. The guests were happy and certainly went back home more knowledgeable about Seychelles and Alphonse Island‘ said Mrs Hoareau.

South Africa is Seychelles’ main tourism market on the African continent. Figures from the Seychelles’ National Bureau of Statistics show that South Africa has sent 6,017 tourists to the island nation up to June 11th of this year, which represents an increase of 22 percent when compared to last year.

Air Seychelles launched twice-weekly flights to Durban in March of this year. This is the national airline’s second destination in South Africa, bringing the total number of non-stop flights between the two countries to seven per week. Air Seychelles also operates five weekly flights to Johannesburg with a mix of Airbus A320 and Airbus A330.

Added information about the archipelago can be found via