Start shooting your Seychelles experience! VIP trip up for grabs in upcoming international video competition
Non-resident visitors to the Seychelles shores are being encouraged to capture their holiday experience and stand a chance to win a VIP holiday to the Indian Ocean archipelago. (Gerard Larose, STB)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles islands, which depend primarily on the fiercely competitive tourism industry for survival, must constantly find new means to attract tourists to the Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands.
In 2014, the small island nation with its population of just 90,000 people welcomed just under a quarter of a million visitors to its warm, tropical shores.
Latest statistics show that the industry is heading for an improvement on last year’s arrival numbers with a 15 percent increase recorded in the tourism numbers so far when compared to 2014.
Breathtaking powder-white beaches and clear tranquil waters of turquoise and blue, an array of flora and fauna including the giant tortoises and the largest nut in the world, the coco-de-mer, are only some of the most popular features enjoyed by visitors who often fly thousands of kilometres to get to the Seychelles islands.
The latest initiative devised by the tourism authorities is to encourage visitors to its shores to capture these scenes and other exciting moments of their trips to the islands and stand a chance to win what the Seychelles Tourism Board has described as a “once-in-a-lifetime - all-inclusive VIP holiday” to Seychelles.
The international video competition, dubbed 'My Seychelles Experience', which is to be officially launched on July 29, was announced the by Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, STB, Sherin Naiken at the National Show organised last weekend as part of the Seychelles National Day celebrations.
Targeted only at non-residents of the islands, the competition will require participants to compile a video of up to two minutes in length showcasing their previous personal holiday experience in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
|Snorkeling off La Digue, the Seychelles third most populated island, one of the favourite activities of visitors to the archipelago. (Gerard Larose, STB) Photo License: CC-BY|
In an interview with SNA, Naiken said the competition is also part of celebrating the national theme for this year which is ‘I Love Seychelles’.
“STB believes that through the visitors as well we can find a way for them to show the love they have for the country they are visiting,” said Naiken.
“The competition is for people who have visited Seychelles because we are stressing that the footage they use for the video is their own personal footage…we will also accept if someone has not visited Seychelles and has obtained the footages from his/her mother or sister who has been on a trip to Seychelles...provided he/she obtains the permission of their family members,” said Naiken.
STB has partnered with a local creative agency company, Maven, which specializes in print, web, and TV, to assist with the technical aspects of the competition as it involves setting up a website where participants will be able to upload their videos.
Once the competition is officially launched, interested participants will be called on to register and thereafter upload their videos on the website www.my-seychelles-experience.com, which is already live.
“What we are asking is for the video to showcase your Seychelles experience… it may be a person who has been to Seychelles 5 years ago, so [we] are not imposing a time limit with regards to that aspect; as long as you have your footage you can prepare your 2-minute video.”
In terms of the production, the CEO of STB said that it is up to the participant to be as creative and to decide what to include in their video, as long as it depicts their Seychelles experience and is celebrating the 'I Love Seychelles' theme, while adding that the popularity of the video will also be considered in the judging aspect as the intention is to use the videos as a form of promotion for Seychelles when the competition ends.
“We are still finalizing the criteria for judging… there will be a preliminary shortlisting based on the popularity of the videos [through a voting mechanism that will be put in place on the website] after which a jury panel will decide the winner.”
The lucky winner will receive business-class air tickets to Seychelles for two people plus VIP transfers upon their arrival to and departure from the islands, a three-night stay at the North Island resort - revealed as the most expensive hotel in the world in 2014 by Travelmag.com, a four-night stay at the Four Seasons resort's luxurious Ocean Villa in the southern part of the main Seychelles island of Mahe, an optional two-day sea cruise exploring the inner Seychelles islands sponsored by these tourism establishments and businesses as well as a special surprise holiday gift package, courtesy of the STB.
|A view of Four Seasons Resort villas well blended among the greenery of Baie Lazare, a southern district of the Seychelles main island of Mahe. (Four Seasons Resort Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
|A view from North Island Lodge (www.north-island.com) Photo Licence: All Rights Reserved|
STB says the competition will be promoted locally and internationally through different media as well as through all of Seychelles tourism offices abroad.
For tourists who have not heard about the competition before coming to Seychelles, STB is planning to make the information available locally at strategic locations most frequented by visitors.
“This competition will surely raise the Seychelles profile…once we have checked the videos that are submitted to the competition to see that there are no copyright issues with the materials, we will upload all the videos on Youtube and on other social media platforms so this will help to increase the country’s popularity and visibility as a tourist destination," concluded Naiken.
Once officially launched on July 29 'My Seychelles Experience', the first such competition organised by STB, is expected to remain open for submission of videos until the end of February 2016.