Seychelles has for long maintained cultural ties with India, considered one of the fastest growing travel markets globally. The aim now is to focus on the travel trade market, the subcontinent has to offer and attract an increasing number of Indian outbound tourists.
In a bid to promote Destination Seychelles among Indian tourists, the Seychelles Tourist Office, India organised a three-city roadshow from September 18 to September 22, 2017, in Delhi, Ahmadabad and Mumbai respectively for Indian travel and tourism agents. According to the data gathered by Seychelles Tourism Board, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Mumbai churn out some of the highest figures in terms of visitors each year to Seychelles and comprise of travel trade that facilitates the most number of travellers from north and western parts of India.
Commenting on the roadshow and potential of India’s tourism market, Sherin Francis, CEO Seychelles Tourism Board stated, “We are happy to note the immense success of the three city roadshow in India. The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We have received only positive feedback about the format and execution by both our Seychelles partners and agents back in India. We look forward to strengthening our bonds with the Indian travel trade with more of such interactions with them.”
The highlight and differentiator of the roadshow was its format. For the first time since commencing operations in the India market, Seychelles Tourism Board adopted a new format for its roadshow – the Round Robin format, which ensured pre-scheduled meetings between the partners and trade and was strictly by invitation. Partners got a chance to present their product and interact with the top sellers of Seychelles in the three top-performing cities of India.
Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist Office India, said, ”We introduced this new format of the roadshow in the fourth year of Seychelles’ presence in the country keeping in mind the awareness and interest built over the years. The cities chosen contribute as the top performers for Seychelles and have shown great potential to rise further. We are pleased to have received such positive and encouraging feedback about the format and quality of meetings.”
The fifth edition of the annual Seychelles India Day started on October 6, promising to transport the Seychelles capital of Victoria across the Indian Ocean and into the heart of India. The three-day event was filled with singing, dancing, Indian cuisine and vibrant colours. The event is a collaborative effort between the Indian High Commission, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Tourism Ministry, Seychelles Tourism Board, the Seychelles India Day Committee and the Indian Association. The chosen theme for the year was- ‘Incredible India in Paradise.’
Ambassador Maurice Jean Leonard Loustau-Lalanne, who was appointed Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Republic of Seychelles stated that the Seychelles India Day contributed to raising awareness about the island nation as a tourist destination. “The event brings artists, different performers to Seychelles and when they go back they become our best marketing agents. I attach a lot of the success of the Seychelles India Day celebrations to the visitor numbers that we have from India, which has recorded a significant increase in recent years,” said Mr Loustau-Lalanne. “We will continue to support the Seychelles India Day and if it requires that we put additional flights eventually because of its success, to Bombay through Air Seychelles, we shall do it,” he added.
The Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, lauded the Indian government’s support towards the event and towards promoting bilateral ties between the two countries. He stated, “We attach great importance to strengthening our cultural ties with Seychelles and we already have a memorandum of understanding and actually a cultural agreement with Seychelles and we are soon working towards a cultural exchange programme for the year 2018 and 2019, where lots of bilateral activities will be brought in.”
Seychelles India Day is now an annual celebration in Seychelles for the past four years to mark the friendship and coming together of two cultures.