Seychelles was represented by a strong delegation at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
The World Travel Market is one of the leading global event for the travel and tourism industry. The 2017 edition was held from November 6 to 8.
The country’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Derick Ally, were present at the Seychelles’ stand on the opening day.
The Seychelles’ delegation also consisted of representatives of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) led by its Chief Executive, Sherin Francis. She was accompanied by the Regional Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, Director for UK & Ireland, Christine Vel, Marketing Executive at the UK office, Eloise Vidot and Marketing Executive from the head office, Myra Fanchette.
A total of 13 companies, including the national airline, hotels and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) graced the Seychelles stand at this year’s WTM.
Participating partners include: Air Seychelles – Christine Ozouf, Alphonse Island Lodge Ltd. – Amanda Lang & Jordyn Mackenzie, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino – Wendy Tan, Coco De Mer Hotel & Black Parrot Suites – Ash Behari, Creole Travel Services – Blaisila Hoffman, Guillaume Albert & Eric Renard, Eden Island Seychelles/Luxury Accommodation – Justin Arenhold, Hilton Seychelles – Britta Krug & Andre Borg, Kempinski Seychelles Resort – MarKo Dobrus, Masons Travel – Amy Michel & Lenny Alvis, Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa – Lauren Mills & Len Jackson, Raffles Seychelles – Joerg Roferberg & Alexa Sinzig-Mootoo, and 7° South – Anna Butler-Payette.
Over 4,500 exhibitors representing every sector in the global travel industry, including airlines, tourist boards, luxury resorts and technology specialists participated in the event. A mixture of businesses from large corporations to small entrepreneurs were represented. Aside of showcasing world travel and tourism, WTM London, provides the opportunity for industry professionals to network, build contact and discuss business opportunities. Now in its 38th year, this is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes business deals.
The Tourism Minister Ambassador Loustau-Lalanne and STB Chief Executive Mrs. Francis used the opportunity to conduct various meetings with travel trade professionals.
Both the Minister Loustau-Lalanne and Mrs. Francis were also interviewed by a number of high profile media organizations including the BBC, Sky news, Euronews among others.
Mrs. Francis said: “UK is a fast-growing market and so far, all signs are showing that the market will stay buoyant. A lot of efforts have been invested in getting the travel trade onboard and the figures have shown that the strategy has yielded positive results. WTM London has given us the chance to further strengthen existing relationships and to forge new ones for 2018.”
To note that the United Kingdom, which is currently the fifth leading market for Seychelles, is one that has witnessed remarkable progress and exponential growth in recent years.
The growth has been hugely supported by the UK travel trade.
STB’s Regional Director for Europe Bernadette Willemin said: “With such a delegation and support of the local trade partners being represented at WTM this year, it will hopefully entice growing confidence among the UK travel operators and agents to continue selling the destination and increase the UK sales figures. The outlook on the UK market currently looks positive and should this trend continue, it is hoped that it will emerge as a primary market the Seychelles.”
According to statistics, the UK has sent 19,330 visitors to Seychelles up to November 5 this year, representing a 19 percent growth when compared to the same period in 2016.