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Seychelles' small tourism establishments to tap into the Reunion market

Victoria, Seychelles | October 8, 2016, Saturday @ 10:15 in Business » TOURISM | By: Salifa Magnan and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3057
Seychelles' small tourism establishments to tap into the Reunion market

Tourism is Seychelles' main pillar of the economy. The Seychelles' tourism authorities are looking at the Reunion market as one that can help sustain small establishments in the island nation. (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Self-catering establishments in Seychelles will get more access to the tourism market on the island of Reunion after participating in a road show earlier this month.

Several of Seychelles' small establishments where represented by the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) in the October 4-6 road show held in Reunion Island - a French department in the Indian Ocean. The event was organised by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).

The marketing and public relations officer of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), Nathalie Du Buisson, told SNA on Friday that the road shows "will help Seychelles get more exposure during the low season, as the schools in Reunion have holidays every seven weeks.”

Du Buisson said, “This is the chance where local partners can make packages for families or groups to come down to Seychelles.”

SNA spoke to Sydna Philoe, the owner of the ‘Yellow Petals Self Catering’ a five-bedroom establishment on the western coast of Mahe, the main island, on the possibility of tapping into the market of Reunion Island.

The ‘Yellow Petals Self Catering’ is one of the establishments that has benefited from added visibility through the road show.

“So far bookings are being made through online agencies and with Reunion. We are hoping to receive more bookings,” said Philoe, who has been welcoming guests mostly from Russia, Czech Republic and England.

Also participating in the road show were Mason's Travel, Creole Travel Services and 7°South, the main Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) of Seychelles, an 115-island archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean.

Stephanie Ernesta, the reservation consultant at 7°South told SNA, “We will be doing more promotion for the small establishments because from what we learnt, Seychelles is seen as an expensive destination by locals of Reunion Island.”

Tourism is Seychelles' main pillar of the economy, and Ernesta said that 7°South is helping to increase the number of visitors.

Several of Seychelles' small establishments took part in the October 4-6 road show held in Reunion Island - a French department in the Indian Ocean. (Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association) Photo License: CC-BY

According to the National Bureau of Statistics over 5,800 people from Reunion visited Seychelles last year.

Commenting on the Seychelles Tourism Board's focus on the Reunion market, the chief executive of STB, Sherin Francis, said, “Even if it isn't rendering a large volume of tourists like our European markets, this market sustains small establishments in Seychelles.”

Francis added that: “We have noticed that tourists from this market usually look for self-catering establishments when visiting.”

It is for this reason that STB has had a representative on Reunion since March to work with the agencies to continually develop this market.

STB’s senior marketing executive, Bernadette Honoré, is to be moved to the Seychelles Honorary Consul’s office in Reunion’s capital city, Saint Denis. 

“Having an office and representative there [in Reunion] will also support our initiatives as a member of the Vanilla Island group,” Francis added.

STB’s CEO said that they had to stabilise the primary European market before focusing on developing secondary markets. The Reunion office is STB’s first to open in the Indian Ocean, and it is accessible through direct flights by Air Austral. 

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Tags: tourism, Reunion island, Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, Air Austral, Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, Self-Catering, road show

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