Tourism stakeholders and trade partners reunited for the Tourism Mid-Year Strategy Meeting on Tuesday 5th July at Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa at Beau Vallon.
Held virtually for the past two years, the mid-year strategy meeting is the first to be attended in person by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Sherin Francis, was accompanied by her managerial team including the Director-General for Destination Marketing, Mrs Bernadette Willemin, the Director-General for Destination Planning and Development, Mr Paul Lebon and the Director-General for Human Resources and Administration, Ms Jenifer Sinon.
The meeting also saw the attendance of team members from the Botanical Headquarters and marketing representatives from across the globe.
In his opening statement, the minister for Tourism commended the stakeholders for their dedication towards the local tourism industry.
“Our local industry has proven to be a resilient one in the face of the pandemic. Today as many destinations reopen their doors for tourism, let us continue to work together and enhance our destination’s excellent image by improving our standards of service, the products and services we are offering while maintaining its value for money,” said Minister Radegonde.
Aside from reviewing current strategies, the meeting also sought to forge partnerships and stimulate exchanges focused on the marketing of Seychelles as a destination and its individual products.
During the meeting, trade members present had the opportunity to view two presentations prepared by Mrs Willemin and Mr Lebon regarding the current state of the industry and their plans for the market and product development, respectively.
The trade also had a chance to discuss strategies with the different marketing professionals in small groups or one-on-one meetings.
Speaking at the event, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Sherin Francis, expressed her satisfaction with the good number of partners that had responded to the Tourism Department’s invitation.
“It is refreshing and encouraging to see that we are finally all able to meet in person again and renew our commitment to the needs of the industry. As we talk about trends and how we continue to surpass expectations in terms of visitor numbers and visitor spending, so far, there is no indication that this will change. Despite the presence of negative factors, visitors continue to arrive, perhaps because after having spent so much time cooped up in their apartments on account of the COVID pandemic, going on holiday remains a priority, but it is still too early to judge whether this is a short or long-term trend,” said Mrs Francis.
On her part, Mrs Bernadette Willemin, Director-General for Destination Marketing, mentioned that the meeting is an opportunity for the trade and the Tourism Seychelles team to review marketing strategies by taking stock of the tourism trend while discussing the current challenges ahead of the industry.
The first strategy meeting for the year was held virtually in January. Seychelles remains on the right track, with the destination nearing 2021’s total number of tourist arrivals (182,849), now standing at 153,609 at the end of week 25.