“Interest in the Seychelles was so evident this year. The representatives of the local DMCs were kept busy with tour operators and travel agents seeking representation in Seychelles. Press were always at the stand conducting interviews, and the vibes were very positive,” said Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, who headed the Seychelles delegation to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai.
The Seychelles delegation who attended the 2011 ATM Tourism Trade Fair, returned home satisfied with a succesful event. The official delegation made up of tourism board officials, hotels and resorts, and the DMCs (local handling and representation companies) said that the Seychelles stand at this year’s ATM in Dubai was busy compared to previous years.
The increase in flights from the region was real positive news. “The point made about the 14 weekly flights linking Seychelles to Dubai and on to the world, and the 7 weekly flights by Qatar Airways between Seychelles and Doha and also on to the world makes Seychelles for the first time ever but a stop away from anywhere in the world and on any day of the week,” Alain St.Ange said on on his return to Seychelles.
It was important at this year’s fair, for the delegation to bring out that Seychelles was but 4 hours from the Middle East and that no visa requirements existed, as these crucial points were often still not clear. The Seychelles delegation was thrilled that Seychelles received a double award from Emirates Holidays for the Best Tourism Board and the Best Destination Management Company for the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. Alain St.Ange collected the award on behalf of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and Eric Renard collected the DMC award on behalf of Creole Travel Services, the representatives of Emirates Holidays in the Seychelles.
The Seychelles delegation discussed SUBIOS, Seychelles Festival of the Sea, with the Diving Association of the UAE and the 2012 “Carnaval International de Victoria” with Emirates and with other different partners. “We are expecting to announce very soon the ‘Be Smart-Be Carnival’ promotional program with Emirates Holidays for their agents to entice their worldwide agents to sell Seychelles holiday packages to give an opportunity for their top agents to win a holiday in Seychelles during the 2012 carnival. This program was first launched in France two weeks ago with Air Seychelles as the main partner.