Seychelles Tourism Board now in South Africa’s commercial centre
The Seychelles team including tourism minister Alain St Ange and tourism board chief executive Sherin Naiken officially opening the office in South Africa. (Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Tourism Board is broadening its presence in South Africa with the opening of an office in Johannesburg, the board's chief executive said Thursday.
Sherin Naiken said that the Seychelles Tourism Board decided to have an office in Johannesburg following several requests from the board's partners.
“We have been asked very often why we don’t have an office in the commercial centre of South Africa. This is why we decided that the time is right,” Naiken told SNA.
South Africa sends more visitors to Seychelles than any other country on the continent. Last year about 13,500 visitors travelled from South Africa to the Seychelles archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new office, Seychelles Minister of Tourism Alain Ste. Ange said there was a need to open the office in the commercial heart of South Africa in order to gain a bigger share of the South African market.
With Air Seychelles increasing its weekly services to South Africa as of March 19, more opportunities will be available for Seychelles.
“I know now with the fourth weekly flight of Air Seychelles to Joburg, we have a lot more opportunities to broaden this market and now more than ever we have to reinforce our efforts with the work we are doing with all our partners,” said Naiken.
The office in Johannesburg will be headed by Lena Hoareau, the former public relations manager for the Tourism Board in the UK office.
“We are in the same building where Air Seychelles is located and in terms of our work it will be a lot easier and efficient as they are very close by," said Naiken. "We also have a small meeting room where we can conduct in-house training. So there are many advantages for us to be located in the commercial heart of South Africa."
The Seychelles Tourism Board already has an office in Cape Town, South Africa's coastal city.
While in South Africa, the Seychelles Tourism Board together with three Seychelles-based tourism businesses, Savoy, Eden Bleu two recently opened hotels, as well as the national airline took part in a trade fair. Naiken said this is the first year Seychelles participated in the fair.
“The reason is that now we have more facilities for corporate conference and business meetings, like Ephelia, Avani, Eden Bleu, Savoy, so we have facilities that can host events for big groups,” she said.
The Seychelles Tourism Board is targeting the big meetings one at a time with around a 100 people participating.
Naiken said that the tourism board is working towards a partnership agreement with South Africa.