The Seychelles brand: Sea, sun and sand? Or culture, tradition and people?
Lafortune said that at the moment Seychelles’ existing brand orientates around the sea, sun, beach and nature. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Will the sea, sun and sand work in coming years as Seychelles' brand? Or should it expand to include culture and tradition? The island nation's tourism department is launching a new five-year strategy that will help examine that question.
The tourism master plan, launched last Thursday by the tourism minister, Didier Dogley, analyses the tourism industry at present, while a parallel strategic plan outlines the eight priority areas the department will be focusing on to ensure sustainable development within the sector.
The principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, noted that the previous master plan for 2012-2020 needed a review and has been updated to better address current realities in the tourism industry.
She told SNA that the Seychelles brand -- what tourists associate with the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean -- needs to be relooked at.
“At the moment Seychelles’ existing brand orientates around the sea, sun, beach and nature. Do we want to maintain the brand as it is or do we need to add more such as culture, tradition, and the people themselves? We need to relook at what we sell and encompass all that Seychelles stands for,” said Lafortune.
On the second priority within Destination 2023, Lafortune said that there is a need to study other tourism markets contributing to arrival numbers. At the moment Europe is the leading contributing market, however, there is a need to tap deeper into others.
“We need to study markets such as India, America, Latin America, Africa as a whole, to see if it will be worth it to extend to these markets as well instead of just focusing on Europe alone. This is an area that is important for us to work on,” said Lafortune.
The ministry is also working to see that diverse products and services are being offered to visitors in the country. Ensuring Seychelles’ competitiveness as a tourism destination within the region, investing in sustainable tourism growth, and human resource are also in the strategic plan.’
“We also want to make sure that the government is putting adequate policies, services and infrastructures in place to ensure that tourism remains the main pillar of our economy. We also need to make sure that we are delivering on our key deliveries,” said Lafortune.
She added that there is a demand for more rooms.
“There are 3,000 rooms that have been approved but have not yet been built. We need to push to make that happen,” said Lafortune.
Following through and attaining all the priorities will ensure that the tourism sector remains the number one pillar of the island nation’s economy.