The Seychelles Islands shares the spotlight at the Black Travel Summit

 

Destination Seychelles will be placed under the limelight at the Black Travel Summit conference titled, ‘Movement’ set to take place over two days starting from October 17, 2020.


The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has joined forces with the American travel experts ‘Travel Moor Often’, a leading tourism service provider and directory for people of colour, to promote the destination at the event, which will focus on showcasing black travel industry professionals.


The two-day virtual event will combine 26 speakers from around the globe, including content creators and Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Regional Director for Africa and the Americas, Mr David Germain representing the destination.


Uniting a plethora of travel experts comprising of entrepreneurs, influencers, bloggers, travel companies and many others, allowing participants to meet influencers, learn from industry professionals, or network with other travellers.


The event will also include several seminars and workshops centred on black representation in the travel industry and effectively supporting black-owned businesses in the travel industry.


Hosted by some of the most renowned entrepreneurs in the black travel community, the event presents an opportunity for the island destination to put forward its best features to attract travellers from this specific segment.


By being part of the Black Travel Summit ‘Movement’ Webinar, the STB team will also have direct interaction with travel experts from the USA resulting in first-hand information that will essential to the advancements of its local tourism industry.


Topics of discussion will include ‘Travel Writing’, ‘Intersectional identities in the travel space’, ‘Investing in Africa’, and dialogues about representation and building communities up, just to name a few.


Furthermore, the event supports a cause, collaborating with Dream Defenders to support the fight for racial and social justice.


Mrs Sherin Francis, the Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive, mentioned that the event is a great opportunity for the destination.


“We are honoured to be a part of an event celebrating the African Diaspora, giving us a chance to pay tribute to this part of our heritage, which created the melting pot which we now boast to visitors who come to our shores. The event will also allow us to tap into a segment that needs more attention and to identify the essentials of its requirements and see where we can improve in helping our local tourism industry flourish,” said the STB Chief Executive.


As part of the destination’s participation, the STB’s presentation will also feature a ‘Kanmtole’ dance, showcasing Seychelles’ Creole culture in this October month, which is the creole month and the video of the song “Nou bann Zil”, written and composed by Mr David Andre for the occasion of the 250 years’ celebrations in August 2020.


According to the tourism and travel research firm Mandala Research 2018 report, black travellers are a valuable and untapped audience for the tourism industry, the black American community spent $63 billion on travel, and the number is expected to grow to $90 billion in coming years.

Seychelles welcomes a second direct commercial connection to Europe

Adding a supplementary choice for European travellers to the beautiful Seychelles islands, British National airline, British Airways places its name on the list of airlines serving the destination.

Several months after its last flight to the Seychelles International airport of Pointe Larue, British Airways landed on Sunday, October 11, 2020, on the shores of the tropical destination.

British Airways becomes consequently the second European airline providing a direct commercial connection to the destination to keep Seychelles closer its prime source markets composed of six European countries.

In an interview following the weekly high-level forum leading the implementation of the National Integrated Framework for the Reopening of Seychelles, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis mentioned that the arrival of British Airways places Seychelles in a favourable outcome for the having two direct European flights is a great achievement for the small destination.

“Visibility to our customers and connectivity has been key elements of our marketing strategy. The STB and its teams around the world have been working in close collaboration with its airline partners throughout this period to make sure that the efforts invested benefits all parties. At this crucial crossroad, it is important for us to keep the momentum,” said Mrs Francis.

The STB Chief Executive further mentioned that her and her team has been holding regular virtual meetings with airline partners to keep them updated. The STB is also engaging in several joint marketing activities with airlines to keep the destination visible and reach out to their customers.

Mrs Francis emphasised that as the destination is striving to remain safe and accessible for visitors an important indication that Seychelles remains of interest to potential visitors lies in the fact that mostly all airline partners serving Seychelles have so far committed to the restart of their services on the destination, which is a good implication that the demand exists.

“The load of passengers from the European airlines and even the other airlines remain quite interesting considering the challenges that exist for travellers today. Although some airlines are yet to confirm their dates of return, the commitment is still present,” said the STB Chief Executive.

As the raft of marketing activities are picking up slowly on all the markets, The STB Chief Executive further mentioned the STB remains committed in keeping the destination visible across all markets.

Since its reopening to commercial flights in August 2020, Seychelles has been welcoming regular flights from three airlines including Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. Edelweiss restarted its flights to the destination in September.

250 years Anniversary of Seychelles commemorated for the World Post Day

The Seychelles Postal Services proudly presented the SCR 12 commemorative stamps in the Honour of the sestercentennial anniversary of the country during the annual World Post Day celebrations.

The presentation of the unique stamp and its first-day cover was held at the Seychelles Postal Services Head Office in Victoria on Friday, October 9, 2020, in the presence of CEO of Seychelles Postal Services, Mr Errol Dias and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alex Etienne.

Mrs Sherin Francis, 250 years Committee Chairperson, her Excellency Mrs Francesca Alexandra Azais Ambassador for the Sovereign Order of Malta-based in Seychelles, members of the Seychelles Postal Services board and few members of the 250 years Committee were also present to see the unveiling of this historical philatelic moment in Seychelles.

Inspired by an original painting of her Excellency Mrs Francesca Alexandra Azais, a fervent 250 years collaborator to the 250 years Committee and designed by Eileen Hoareau, the 250 years commemorative stamps, portrays the first landing of 1770 as interpreted by the artist with a creative touch.

Gifted to the 250 years Committee to mark the celebration this year, the artwork was in turn offered by the committee to the Seychelles Postal Services for use.

Speaking at the short ceremony, Mr Alex Etienne the Deputy CEO of Seychelles Postal Services expressed their eagerness to collaborate with this initiative for the special stamp issue.

“The Seychelles Postal Services is honored to partake in the cause of the 250th Anniversary of the first Landing of Ste Anne and we have been keen on the idea from the very start when the committee approached us for this stamp issue.” Said Mr Etienne.

On her part, Mrs Francis conveyed her profound gratitude to the team that worked on the project and the Seychelles Postal Services team for their support to the project.

“The committee is grateful to have another great collector’s item to add to the commemoration of the 250 years of Seychelles. The launch of the stamp today for this special occasion offers to the public and collectors an opportunity to have another unique memory of the 250 years of Seychelles and I invite everyone to have one or more, “said Mrs Francis.

Aside from the stamps, other 250 years memorabilia are still on sale at the National History Museum as well as the Seychelles Postal Services Philatelic Shop.

Seychelles celebrated its sestercentennial anniversary on August 27, 2020.

 

Seychelles Third Tourism Festival; ‘Tourism: Back with Confidence’.

The annual Tourism Festival was celebrated on a much smaller scale than the usual weeklong festivities, spanning over just three days. Despite this, the celebrations essentially captivated the importance of this vital industry.


This year’s theme ‘Tourism: Back with Confidence’, echoes the local tourism industry’s slow but progressive revival.


The Festival kicked off with the inspiring words of hope from the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Mr Didier Dogley on Sunday, September 27, 2020, marking World Tourism Day. The Minister emphasised on the extensive preparations made and the constant improvement of measures and procedures put in place to help face the challenges brought about by the pandemic and kick-start tourism. He also highlighted the vital role unity within the industry plays in its revival.


Following this, a group of Tourism Pioneers were honoured for their immense contribution to the Seychelles Tourism Industry during a brief ceremony held at Tourism Pioneers Park at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA).


This year, the fifth edition of the ceremony took place on September 28, 2020, in the presence of the Minister Didier Dogley; the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Anne Lafortune, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs Sherin Francis. Its chairperson Mr John Stravens and the academy’s Principal, Mr Flavien Joubert represented the Seychelles Tourism Academy.


Family members and representatives of the honoured pioneers were also present, showing their pride for the recognition of their loved ones.
Mrs Lafortune and Mr Joubert had the honour to unveil the plaque, which featured eight tourism pioneers; Jessie and Carl Collie, Guy Sinon, William Woodcock, Frank and Elodia Payet, Norman Medhurst Esslemont, David Joubert and Julien Parcou.


The event, which has now become a Tourism tradition, reminds us that we must honour the people who laid the foundation for the prosperity of our beloved Tourism Industry, which has become the nation’s largest industry. Without their efforts, tourism would not have blossomed into the success it is today.


In his remarks, Minister Dogley said that celebrating the international tourism day is also a moment for us to take the time to glance back at our history and understand how tourism has become the country’s biggest economic support through the stories of those who were there at the very beginning. The Minister also highlighted the importance of having Seychellois on the forefront if we want to sell Seychellois hospitality.


The last day of the Festival started with a panel discussion revolving around the issues brought about by the pandemic affecting the industry and the solutions to ensure the survival of tourism in Seychelles.


The panel consisted of Minister Didier Dogley; Principal Secretary for Investment, Mr Michael Nalletamby; Chairperson of the Public Health Authority, Dr Conrad Shamlaye; Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (SETS) Chief Executive, Mr Guy Morel; Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Investment (SCCI) Secretary-General, Mrs Irouana Pillay; and Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA) member and Creole Travel Services Chief Executive, Mr Guillaume Albert and was moderated by Craig Francourt Managing Director - CTF Consultancy.


One vital observation made by the tourism Minister was the need for the tourism industry to brainstorm new ideas and concepts nodding towards the inevitable move towards digital tourism.


Ending on a thrilling note, the Tourism Festival closed with the food and beverage competition F&B Masters Cocktail Competition where five finalists were judged for their cocktail and mocktail creations after passing a virtual preliminary round.


Competitors came from various tourism establishments, namely Hilton Gastro Lounge, Hilton Labriz, Constance Lemuria Resort, Raffles Hotel and Hilton Northolme.


Stunning judge with his Disney’s Beauty and the Beast inspired cocktail ‘Jolie Chauvage’, thirty-three-year-old Selwyn Dick came out as the victor for the first edition of this competition.


The Jolie Chauvage cocktail consists of curry and lemon leaves, cinnamon-infused tequila, black pepper, lemon juice and Takamaka Rum, which is, placed in a glass dome-like the enchanted rose from which it draws its inspiration.


Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Anne Lafortune, highlighted the success of the Tourism Festival despite being low-key this year and the importance of centering discussions around the theme of ‘Tourism: Back with Confidence.'


With Seychelles having been open to tourists for several months now, celebrating such a significant industry remains crucial as it reminds the nation of the efforts being undertaken to ensure its survival and why tourism players are putting up a fight to save this cherished industry.

Seychelles Authorities Reviews Visitor’s Travel Advisory

The Seychelles Department of Tourism reviews its Visitor’s Travel Advisory effective Friday, October 2, 2020.


The review follows a proposal of the Tourism Taskforce to provide potential visitors with clearer information regarding the list of countries for which visitors are permitted into Seychelles.


As per the new advisory, all countries allowed to enter Seychelles will be considered permitted countries and have been divided into 2 categories.


Category 1 includes permitted countries from low and medium risk while Category 2 will only consist of countries from the list of seven countries given special status, in the instance that any of these countries progresses to high risk.


Category 2 of permitted countries will be subject to a set of different measures amongst which are COVID PCR test prior to travel should be no more than 48 hours, stay within hotels designated for Category 2 countries and restricted movement for the first 5 days of the stay in Seychelles.


Visitors coming from Category 2 countries will be requested to adhere to all stated procedures in the Visitor’s Travel Advisory and ensure that all requirements are met before arrival, failing which, may result in restriction of entry.


Visitors coming from category 1 countries- deemed as low or medium risks- appearing on the permitted list will not be subject to special conditions imposed for category 2 countries.
Ensuring the safety of visitors and the local population, the Department of Tourism has published a detailed visitor’s travel advisory addressing the conditions for holidaymakers visiting the destination from both category of countries.


A list of authorized accommodations for category 2 permitted countries that is subjected to regular updates by the Tourism Department has also been published for visitors’ information.


To date, 74 tourism establishments have been accredited on that list and work continues in endorsing other tourism establishments, which have expressed interest.
The information can be accessed on the Department of Tourism Website through the following link http://tourism.gov.sc/covid-19-guidelines/.


Additional measures and procedures set by the Public Health Authority can be viewed under the advisory available on the Tourism Department and Department of Health websites, which will be kept updated.

Seychelles draws nearer to its European visitors.

The Seychelles Islands is now more accessible to European visitors since Sunday, September 27, 2020, with the return of direct flights from Europe to Seychelles.


The Swiss airline, Edelweiss Air, the first European direct commercial flight to land at the Seychelles International airport of Pointe Larue since the destination has reopened for tourism in August 2020.


Edelweiss Air, only European airline serving the destination currently departing from Zurich and scheduled for a weekly Sunday flight, has so far disembarked some 367 visitors in the last 2 weeks.


In the spirit of keeping the destination closer to its European market, Seychelles has made since October 1, 2020, special provision to remain accessible for visitors from seven markets, amongst which six are its European markets.


Which means that should the COVID 19 pandemic deteriorate in those markets, instead of not being permitted to travel to Seychelles, these countries will move to a category 2 of being permitted and additional measures will be applied.


The additional measure includes a 48-hour or less negative PCR COVID-19 test and staying at a hotel permitted for category two countries for the first five days of the stay, whereby movement will be restricted to the hotel property during that period.


For countries part of the seven markets, which still appear on the category 1 permitted list, the standard travel procedures in the new normal will apply.


The Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis emphasised how the destination is striving to remain safe and accessible for visitors.


“This quarter has started fairly well for the destination. Although with a bit of restriction, Seychelles will be able to receive visitors from its prime market as of October 1, 2020, and the weekly flight from Zurich is one great advantage for European visitors planning to visit our islands as well. Not mentioning that two of our prime market countries namely; Germany and UK, has exempted Seychelles from their non-essential travel lists,” said Mrs Francis.


The STB Chief Executive further mentioned the STB digital campaign ‘Experience Seychelles; our home, your sanctuary’, which aims to encourage people to travel to the destination combined with the publicity efforts made by the various offices across the world to remain visible to our audience.


Since its reopening to commercial flights in August 2020, Seychelles has been welcoming regular flights from three airlines including Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.


The local authorities and the local tourism business owners are operating with extreme caution to ensure that the destination remains a safe place for visitors.