Seychelles was represented by a strong delegation at the 39th edition of the World Travel Market (WTM) London. The event which was held over 3 days from the 05th – 07th November 2018 at the ExCeL in London, saw the presence of the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Minister Didier Dogley and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Derick Ally, on the Seychelles stand.
The Seychelles’ delegation also consisted of representatives of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) led by its Chief Executive, Sherin Francis. She was accompanied by the Regional Director for Europe, Bernadette Willemin, Director for UK & Ireland, Christine Vel, Marketing Executive at the UK office, Eloise Vidot and Marketing Executive from the head office, Winnie Elisa.
Thirteen companies, including, hotels and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) graced the Seychelles stand at this year’s WTM.
Participating partners include 7°South. – Anna Butler-Payette & Ira Udwadia, Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa – Mr Stephane Villar, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino – Marcel Heid & Wendy Tan, Coco De Mer Hotel & Black Parrot Suites – Ash Behari, Creole Travel Services -Guillaume Albert, Eric Renard & Amanda Lang, Eden Bleu Hotel – Manuel Policarpo, Hilton Seychelles – Anthony Smith & Devi Pentamah, Kempinski Seychelles Resort – Rizwana Humayun, Maia Resort & Spa – Ferrucio Tirone, Masons Travel – Alan Mason, Amy Michel & Lenny Alvis, Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa –Len Jackson, The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach – Isabelle Le Strat.
Like every November, about 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, were present at WTM London to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends.
Minister Didier Dogley and STB Chief Executive Mrs Francis used the opportunity to conduct various meetings with travel trade professionals.
A number of high profile media organisations including the BBC and Sky news also interviewed both the Minister Dogley and Mrs Francis.
Talking about Seychelles’ attendance to this year’s edition of WTM, STB Chief Executive Mrs Francis mentioned the strategic positioning for the destination as WTM remains one of the most attended event in the travel industry.
“Through this year’s WTM, we have seen that there are still lots of enthusiasm to sell Seychelles and we must ensure that as the tourism board we reciprocate and continue to compliment the efforts of our partners. The market is very buoyant at current and shows potential for further growth. However, we always remain mindful and vigilant of potential threat especially Brexit,” said Mrs. Francis.
STB’s Director for UK & Ireland Christine Vel mentioned her satisfaction for STB to be part of the WTM London event; she mentioned that she is anticipating a growth in the arrival figures from UK and Irelands in 2019.
“The United Kingdom is currently the third leading market for Seychelles and we have already surpassed the statistics of the whole of 2017 with still 2 months to go. The market has been well supported by the travel trade in general especially with the arrival of the only non-stop flight by British Airways, which was introduced earlier this year. This has helped a lot especially with the family market, which we have been pushing a lot. Having such a strong delegation attending this fair also shows that the trade is interested and willing to invest in the market and lots of opportunity for growth in 2019,”said Christine Vel.
To date the UK has recorded an 18% growth in tourism arrival in Seychelles, compared to the same period in 2017.
Launched in 1980, WTM is one of the leading global event for the travel industry. The event is a prime opportunity for business-to-business exhibition intended for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.