Eventful three days for Seychelles’ delegation led by the Tourism Minister at IFTM Top Resa 2017

Interest in Seychelles as a holiday destination lives on among the French travel trade and this was highlighted by the enthusiasm displayed by French travel agents and press who kept the island destination’s stand busy during the first three days of the IFTM Top Resa tourism fair.

The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and the Seychelles Ambassador in France, Sylvestre Radegonde were present at the Seychelles stand for the opening of the annual tourism trade fair.

The 39th edition of the IFTM Top Resa held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris kicked off on September 26 and comes to an end on Friday September 29.

A strong presence of 10 companies coming all the way from Seychelles consisting of the national airline, hotels and DMC’s graced the Seychelles stand this year.

Participating partners include: Air Seychelles – Roy Kinnear, Maja Gedosev, Christine Ozouf, Maryline Gallois & Carl Lacoste; Masons Travel - Lenny Alvis & Paul Lebon, Creole Travel Services – Guillaume Albert & Stephanie Marie; Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino - Wendy Tan & Erica Tirant, Coral Strand Smart Choice & Savoy Seychelles Resort – Celine Lefevre, Kempinski – Erwan Ly, Maia Resort and Spa & Paradise Sun – Lionel Ferrari & Verna Moncherry.

The Seychelles Tourism Board was represented by its chief executive, Sherin Francis, STB’s Director for Europe Bernadette Willemin, marketing executives from the STB office in France Jennifer Dupuy & Valerie Payet, as well as marketing executive from the STB head office, Elsie Sinon.

Seychelles was among some 1,600 stands at this year’s event, which was expected to attract over 30,000 tourism professionals.

Mrs Francis said: “This year’s IFTM TOP RESA was mainly an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our French partners. We are happy that we have their renewed commitment to keep on growing this market further. Therefore, we are looking forward to another fruitful year of collaboration.”

IFTM Top Resa is France’s leading international business-to-business (B2B) tourism exhibition and the 2017 edition has brought together almost 175 destination exhibitors, hailing from all four corners of the globe.

The exhibitors were representing every travel sector, including airlines, tourist boards, luxury resorts and technology specialists and range from large corporations to small-business entrepreneurs.

It is important to note that IFTM Top Resa is the turning point of the tourism season coinciding with the launch of the tour operators’ winter brochures and the different promotional campaigns, by different actors in the industry.

STB’s Director for Europe Bernadette Willemin says IFTM Top Resa has once again fulfilled its role as one of the world’s major tourism trade fairs, both in terms of the number of visitors and exhibitors alike. 

“Its main role as a forum for travel trade professionals has proven, once again, very fruitful, enabling participants to renew contacts and meet with new interlocutors, discover or re-discover new tourism products and services,” said Mrs Willemin.

“At the same time, it must be underscored that stiff competition still characterizes IFTM Top Resa and it is the presence therein that a given destination displays its assets to keep its market share, if not increasing it,” she added.

For 2017, a total of 29,911 visitors from France have disembarked in Seychelles up to Sunday September 24, according to the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics. This represents a slight decrease of 2 percent when compared to last year, and puts France in the second position in terms of the leading markets, overtaken by Germany. Nonetheless, Seychelles is very much considered as a favourite and safe destination for French visitors.

This was further emphasized by the Seychelles delegation at the IFTM Top Resa, especially now that Air France’s new sister airline ‘Joon’ will also be offering thrice weekly direct flights to Seychelles alongside the national airline, Air Seychelles.

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