Seychelles hosts mega "fam" visit for travel agencies and press
Representatives from 46 travel agencies and 19 press partners took part in the event. (Seychelles News Agency)
Over 60 overseas travel agencies and press personnel are in Seychelles as part of a mega familiarisation event hosted by Tourism Seychelles, the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism.
The event, which started on November 29 and will end on December 2, has representatives from 46 travel agencies and 19 press partners. The aim is for the group to experience Seychelles first hand so that they can later use that experience to sell holidays in the island nation to their respective clients.
"I host a radio show, so I will produce a radio based on my time here, but I also own a travel company, so I am immediately planning on putting together travel packages and telling everybody how wonderful Seychelles is," said Ja'Vonne Harley, one of the representatives from the United States.
Harley explained that her previous notion of Seychelles was just that it was the sun, sea and sand, but through this event, she has seen that Seychelles has so much more than that to offer visitors.
Participants are involved in several activities, including hikes, excursions, touring various places of interest and visiting other islands aside from Mahe, which is the largest island of the archipelago.
The director general for destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin, said in a statement that this event is a first for Seychelles in terms of size and that they are pleased to end the year on such a note.
|The participants are from France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the Americas, the Middle East, China, Japan, India and countries from the Indian Ocean, and Africa. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
"Our return on investment in this project will include great publicity in our various markets. This marketing effort is to give first-hand experience and information about our destination to travel agencies, helping them to market and promote it more successfully to their clients," she added.
Tourism is the top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
The familiarisation event is being hosted by local destination marketing companies (DMCs) and these are Creole Travel Services, Masons Travels, 7°South and Summer Rain Tours.
The participants are from France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the Americas, the Middle East, China, Japan, India and countries from the Indian Ocean, and Africa.
According to the latest figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics, a total of 33,321 visitors arrived in Seychelles in October 2023, the majority coming from European nations.
The highest number of visitors to Seychelles in this period were from Germany, with over 47,000 visitors in 2023 to date, followed by France and Russia.
South Africa has the highest visitors to Seychelles from the African continent, with the UAE leading the Asian market, ahead of Israel.