Seychelles National Carrier Returns to Tel Aviv

Sunny Seychelles draws closer to its Israeli market with the resumption of Air Seychelles flights on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.


A resounding success, as flight HM022, operated by the destination’s national carrier from Ben Gurion Airport on the evening of Tuesday, November 17, 2020, landed at Seychelles International Airport at 0745hrs.


The resumption of these flights followed the addition of Israel on the Public Health Authority’s Category 1 list of countries permitted to enter Seychelles, which was reviewed by the local authorities and became effective as of Monday, November 16, 2020.


A growing market for our small island destination, 5,185 people visited Seychelles in 2019.


Speaking of the strategy for the market, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis stated that the long-term strategy of the tourism board has been to attract the affluent segment including young couples and young professionals on the market.


“It is great news for us to know that our national airline has resumed its flights to Tel Aviv as the demand from the Israeli market remains very positive for the destination. With the pandemic and our status as a safe destination making Seychelles even more attractive for visitors, it places us at the peaks of holiday searches,” said Mrs Francis.


She further commented that with limited destinations available for Israelis to travel in the next months, having a direct flight, the destination would definitely see an increase in numbers from Israel.


Remco Althuis, Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer explained: "Tel Aviv is now the second route to be re-established unto the Air Seychelles network after Johannesburg, which was restarted on 7 Nov. Following the positive response received from the Israeli market after an 8 month absence on this route, we will continue to work closely with international and local authorities to meet the travel demand whilst ensuring the health and safety of its guests including flight crew remains a top priority."


Air Seychelles will be operating four weekly flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from Tel Aviv to Seychelles during the month of November with the Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, Fridays returning flights set to depart Seychelles at 1730hrs to arrive in Tel Aviv at 2150hrs.


The late evening departure flights from Tel Aviv gives visitors a smoother travelling experience as it allows them to rest throughout their flight and feel rejuvenated as they are greeted by sensational surroundings in the tropical paradise of Seychelles.

Seychelles seduces the World of Weddings virtual fair.

The Seychelles Islands made its debut in the virtual events arena through its participation in the first 3D virtual wedding fair, The World of Weddings (TWOW) held from October 23 to October 25, 2020.


The three-day Indian wedding fair attracted close to 2,000 attendees including specifically targeted end consumers interested in luxury, lifestyle, and wedding essentials as well as travel agents, tour operators and wedding planners with the perfect clienteles.


As the Indian wedding industry undertakes a transformation unlike any other as a result of readjustments made amidst the global pandemic and with preferences leaning towards intimate and open-air ceremonies, the pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush surroundings of Seychelles make the perfect wedding destination.


The Seychelles Tourism Board, along with five partners, participated in TWOW with an interest of presenting the superb offerings of the destination for intimate weddings, celebrations, honeymoons, and family getaways. Participants also had the chance to interact and connect with almost 215 visitors at the booth and networking lounge.


Participating partners included DMCs, namely Creole Travel Services, Masons Travels and Summer Rain Tours and hotels which included Constance Ephelia Mahé and Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort.


Hosted by the STB Team, the Seychelles virtual Pavillion showcased a myriad of wedding operators and service providers through this one-stop-shop platform, addressing some of the impertinent wedding woes brought about by the pandemic.


The fair united the finest players of the wedding industry, including over 300 B2B visitors such as Hight Net Worth Individual tour operators and top-notch wedding planners, to not only network but to also have one-on-one interactions with potential clientele from the comfort of their homes.


The event reached its target audience through the extensive use of social media, primarily Instagram which saw an overall reach of over 2.7 million people, over 2.5 months, interested in Indian weddings both from India and other global locations.


Seychelles has benefited from this prime opportunity to expand this thriving market segment, which has become significantly vital during a period where people have realised the importance of cherishing each moment shared with loved ones.


Speaking about the event, STB Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis said “It is vital that we are able to maintain the interest on a market with potential even if it is not fully ready for travel with immediate. Note our works a lot of times is preparing the market ahead of time, staying top of mind of our visitors and partners so that eventually when the time and condition is right, the interest can easily be converted. In this instance, through this event, given the changing trend of weddings as a result of the pandemic, our Indian partners had a chance to appreciate that Seychelles as a destination check the list and has become even more ideal for weddings.”


The alluring Seychelles Islands have proven to be a dream wedding destination for lovers worldwide, offering not only some of the world’s most stunning open-air locations but also lavish hotels to host such intimate celebrations.


Welcoming travellers from all corners of the earth since its reopening in June, the island destination continuously extends its warm welcome to all those who wish to experience paradise and is especially honoured to host those who choose to start a thrilling new chapter of their lives on its shores.

Condor Colours Return to the Seychelles Islands

Some 224 visitors from Germany and its surroundings disembarked in Seychelles as Condor airlines made a special return to paradise Seychelles, on Saturday, November 14, 2020.  

The airline operated a special charter in collaboration with DER Touristik, a German tour operator and the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) in the aim to ignite the spark for Seychelles for visitors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Working in partnership with the STB, DER Touristik- prominent European tour operators and a market leader for long haul travel in Germany, Austria and Switzerland- gave the honour to Seychelles to be the first destination for such a charter since March.   

Ensuring the success of this venture, sixteen local accommodation partners joined the project and created various attractive packages, which included special honeymoon packages for newlyweds, a booming market segment for the pristine paradise.   

In line with the new travel prerequisites to enter Seychelles, the various packages included a travel health insurance required for entry with Covid-19 coverage and the super carefree package from DER Touristik, which protects holidaymakers in the event of Covid-19 related incident. Travellers were allowed to cancel their trip free of charge up to 14 days before departure.  

The collaboration carries hope for the local tourism industry, as the operated Condor charter was a fully booked one with passengers excited to be away from the confined cities to experience the mystical beauty of the islands until their return flight on November 21, 2020.  

Speaking about the special flight to Seychelles, the STB Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis mentioned her satisfaction to see the interest of the visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“Our collaboration with Condor and DER Touristik is in anticipation of the resumption of the Condor flights at the end of the year. We are glad to see that the interest of our visitors and partners from the market is still present. Germany remains a very important market for Seychelles and as such, is vital that we remain very close with our partners,” said Mrs Francis.

On his part, Mr Christian Zerbian, STB representative on the German market stated his satisfaction to see the response of the visitors from that market to the offer.

“This is a definitely a very positive outcome of the efforts invested these past few months. There is still a lot of potential for this market to produce even more and we are striving to make the return on Condor on the Seychelles route beneficial for the destination,” said the STB Representative in Germany.

Safety has become pivotal to rebuilding confidence in the travel industry, through this partnership between the destination, airline, hotels and DMCs, traveller safety remains central throughout the entire travel chain starting from departure extending throughout their stay.   

Condor is expected to resume flights to Seychelles on December 18, 2020, with a direct weekly flight from Frankfurt.     

    

The Seychelles Islands participates in the first virtual World Travel Market.

After 40 years of being held in London, the 41st World Travel Market steps into the virtual world, bringing the international travel event to the doorsteps of tourism players, with the Seychelles Islands making an appearance from Monday, November 9, 2020, to Wednesday, November 11, 2020.


The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and several industry partners including Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA), Mason’s Travel, 7° South, Creole Travel Services and Hilton Seychelles, represented Seychelles.


The STB Team consisted of Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis; Regional Director for Europe Mrs Bernadette Willemin; Marketing Directors Mrs Lena Hoareau for Russia, CIS & Eastern Europe, Ms Karen Confait for UK & Ireland, Scandinavia and Ms Judeline Edmond for Switzerland. SHTA representatives included Mrs Sybille Cardon, Mr Ash Behari and Mr Eddie D’Offay.


The Destination Management Companies teams included Mason’s Travel represented by Sales Manager, Ms Amy Michel; Senior Sales Executive, Sheila Banane and UK Representative, Ian Griffiths. 7° South represented by Managing Director, Mrs Anna Butler Payette; General Manager, Mr Andre Butler Payette and Director Marketing & Products, Ms Corinne Delpech; and finally Creole Travel Services represented by General Manager, Mr Eric Renard; Junior Sales and Marketing Manager, Ms Melissa Quatre and UK Representative, Mrs Dendy Walwyn.


On the accommodation side, Hilton Seychelles was present and represented by Cluster Commercial Director, Mr Anthony Smith; Cluster Director of Sales, Mrs Thabang Rapotu and Cluster Sales Manager, Ms Serena Di Fiore.


Speaking about the importance of Seychelles participation at WTM Virtual, Mrs Sherin Francis emphasised on the importance of consistency in the marketing tactics.


“Tourism marketing is a continuous business. You cannot take a pause and hope to pick up several months after. The day Seychelles disappear from the scene, another destination is quick to replace you. Therefore, it is very important that even though people are not travelling that we keep the destination visible and we remain in communication with our existing partners and within reach of new potential partners. The virtual WTM has been ideal in that sense,” said the STB Chief Executive.


Over the three days, the Seychelles delegation attended live conference sessions and forums tackling some of the major issues the industry currently faces, as well as speed networking sessions, one-to-one meetings, and virtual networking opportunities.

The agenda for this year’s WTM centred around restoring and developing business connections, growing one’s network, one’s brand and learning how to make one’s comeback. The event made recognition of the travel industry’s critical state intending to aid the recovery, rebuilding and shaping of it.


Speaking about the global event, Mrs Willemin said, “It is important that we keep the global travel conversation alive. The delegation used this platform to tap into a wide range of online business opportunities. STB participants alone attended to over 150 meetings with professionals from different parts of the world, from Generalist Tour Operators to Island Specialists, Special interests specialised operators, Travel Designers to name some and members from the press and the media. In this new virtual space, one could also capture news, discover the latest trends, and hear the opinion from the industry’s leading executives.”


Mrs Willemin further emphasised how the event was an opportunity to address the impact the global health pandemic has had on the travel and tourism, brief the partners on the different sanitary measures in place in the country to safely accommodate the visitors and discuss recovery plans, identify the trends and innovation shaping the future of the industry.


Despite moving to the virtual stage, the event was as successful as it had been in the previous years attracting a large crowd of exhibitors from all corners of the world as well as international journalists seizing the chance to keep up with travel industry news and network.


WTM London has been shaping the future of travel by facilitating the connection of people within the travel industry, bringing their global experience to local markets.

 

Boosting Tourism from South Africa, Seychelles National Carrier Resumes Commercial Flights

The tropical paradise of the Seychelles Islands will now become more accessible to visitors in the Southern African region with Air Seychelles resuming its commercial operations to Johannesburg as of Saturday, November 7, 2020.


The restart of the Seychelles national airline to South Africa materialized three weeks after the local authorities have reviewed the Category 1 list of permitted countries to include 10 African countries of which four from the Southern African Region.


Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis expressed her enthusiasm to have air connectivity restored with the South African market as South Africa remains an important market for Seychelles.


“It is an encouragement to have our national airline back with its Seychelles-Johannesburg route. As part of our strategy to increase the visibility of the destination, our team has been working diligently to increase Seychelles visibility on the market especially with the local partners in South Africa. As we are approaching the festive season, we are glad that Seychelles becomes not only a dream but a possibility for an idyllic holiday for our travellers from this region,” said the STB Chief Executive.


The national carrier will be operating weekly flights between Johannesburg and Seychelles on Saturdays throughout November and will expand its operations with three flights per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in December.


A swift getaway will be within the reach of travellers longing for a change of scenery especially with good air connectivity, a Seychelles holiday will now be possible for the festive season ahead.


Upon landing in Johannesburg, the Air Seychelles aircraft received a warm welcome with a guard of honour salute upon landing at OR Tambo International Airport.
Remco Althuis, Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer said: “We are pleased to add Johannesburg back unto our network now that both Seychelles and South Africa have reopened to welcome international visitors.


“The resumption of services between both countries will provide travellers more options when planning their holidays especially during the festive season in addition to increasing the visibility of the Seychelles destination to further boost tourism demand to the island.


With these increased operations, the national airline will be ensuring the safety measures and procedures put into place by the Seychelles Public Health Authority remain in place during all stages of travel.


Since its reopening, the Seychelles International Airport was already operating under these measures and will continue to ensure that the safety of their passengers remains their top priority.

Safe Tourism: Seychelles Steps up Health Measures

Responding to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the second wave in certain regions around the world, destination Seychelles is re-enforcing measures to curb probabilities of local infection on its shores.


The review has been done by the tourism task force, a committee regrouping tourism stakeholders, health decision-makers and various other local agencies to oversee all issues relating to the re-opening of the destination during this period dominated by the COVID 19 pandemic.


The current review of the measures is based on epidemiological factors and considerations.


The first change to the measures relates to the COVID-19 PCR test to be done while in the country. The timing of the test has been reviewed by the Public Health Authority (PHA) and specifies that all visitors coming into Seychelles, will take a PCR test after the fifth night. This means the testing will be conducted on the sixth day after the arrival of the visitor.


Before that, only visitors from the Category 2 countries were required to take a PCR test whilst in the country. Now, these new measures apply to all visitors.


Visitors and hotel partners are also being advised that unless informed of the contrary after 24 hours of the sample being taken, the visitor should consider the result as negative. Visitors from Category 2 countries may then follow Category 1 requirements, which include changing hotels and able to proceed with their planned holidays whilst observing strict health protocols throughout.


The task force has considered the increasing interest of young couples to walk down the aisle in the paradisiacal islands and has since applied stricter measures for establishments hosting weddings and for other wedding service providers including Civil Status personnel officiating, beauty and hairdressing service suppliers.


Relating to the sixth-day testing and protocols to be adopted in case of an asymptomatic case detected, the PHA has advised that if the client is staying in a Category 2 establishment, he or she could be allowed to remain in isolation within the establishment.


It is imperative that the person does not have contact with other visitors staying at the same property as well as have limited and controlled contact with hotel personnel while being monitored daily.


In actual practice, when or if a visitor is found to be a positive case of Covid-19, the health team will be on-site to guide the management on measures to be applied. It may also be the case that a particular establishment is not suitable to keep an infected person and he or she would need to be moved to another designated and certified hotel.


The general measures for a Category 2 establishment will automatically apply for a positive case and the specific measures must be determined on the actual establishment and the conditions present at the time. Before the PCR test is taken on the sixth day, every visitor is treated with caution, through intensive safety procedures.


Seychelles has been welcoming visitors since June from private flights and charters but reopened its borders to commercial fights on August 1, 2020.