Seychelles on a budget! New booking website targets visitors looking for travel deals
File photo: Tourists riding bicycles on La Digue island, Seychelles. A new website is helping backpackers and deal-loving travelers to plan a trip to the Seychelles Islands. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Can travelers on a budget visit the Seychelles islands without breaking the bank? The answer is yes, and a new website is helping backpackers and deal-loving travelers to plan a trip to the beautiful and exotic western Indian Ocean archipelago.
The website Seychelles on a Budget (www.soab.sc) went live on Tuesday. It offers budget-minded suggesting on accommodation, transport and activities on some of the nation's 115 islands.
“Usually when someone thinks about coming to Seychelles on holiday, the first thought is that it’s expensive," Roddy Philoe, the owner of the website, told SNA."Through this project we want to show that a person can enjoy a holiday that is within his or her budget.”
Philoe hopes to increase visibility for hidden tourism gems in Seychelles, helping them to increase their revenue and their contribution to the economy.
“We are targeting small, tourism-related businesses that are finding it hard to get noticed internationally and that are struggling in the [tourism] industry. Five-star hotels are not being targeted,” said Philoe.
Seychellois willing to rent out a bedroom or their entire house to travellers will also be able to register with Seychelles on a Budget, provided they meet certain criteria set by both the tourism authorities and the website’s owner.
“There is this belief in Seychelles that hotels are the only establishments that can accommodate and cater for tourists. However, a tourist might want to experience living with a Seychellois family while on holiday,” said Philoe.
Interested businesses and service providers can register for free on the new website, and the owner is also ready to offer assistance to those who are not computer-savvy on how to manage their page and bookings.
|The website Seychelles on a Budget (www.soab.sc) went live on Tuesday. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Businesses registering on the website will set their own prices for accommodation and other services. One of the conditions however is that businesses must be willing to pay a 20 percent commission from what they receive through every bookings made on the site. Registered businesses are also expected to maintain and keep their profiles updated at all times in the drive to attract maximum visitors.
Apart from listing accommodations targeting budget travellers, Seychelles on a Budget will also provide visitors with a range of activities and services they can enjoy while in Seychelles. Horseback riding, tour guiding, surfing, diving, bird watching, hiking and cooking lessons are among activities already featured on the website. Philoe said that other activities will be added along the way.
Steven Duval, a freelance tour guide operator told SNA that the new booking site looks like a good initiative and could be a good opportunity for the owners of small tourism businesses.
"It will help us move forward. I will surely use the website which will help me get better income," said Duval, who however expressed concerns that there are other areas that might not play in their favour such as high costs of airfare for the budget-minded tourists.
Clients will have to make payments in advance, and Philoe says the website is secure. The developers of the Seychelles-based booking website have been in contact with the Seychelles Tourism Board and are also planning to make use the various social media platforms to advertise. A mobile app is also planned.
Tourism is the mainstay of the Seychelles' economy. The island nation has a variety of large hotels, guesthouses, self-catering apartments, private island resorts and spas, attracting thousands of holidaymakers each year.