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Xiamen in China is a tourism source market for Seychelles

Xiamen in China is a tourism source market for Seychelles ( Although Xiamen province of China was not initially earmarked as a tourism source market, the Seychelles Tourism Board understood the potential for tapping into this new catchment area to lure holiday makers to its shores. Xiamen is itself reputed to be a popular destination for tourists, but there were other reasons that brought the Seychelles Tourism Board and the island's Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and hotels ready to receive Chinese tourists to this province.

Xiamen’s strategic location to Hong Kong, a one-hour flight to China’s most influential commercial city, combined with the traveling habits of the Xiamen, made this province the one to be listed as the new Chinese catchment area for its 2014 Seychelles road show across China.

Savoy Seychelles Resort and Spa, Raffles Praslin Seychelles, 7 Degrees South Ltd., Creole Travel Services with their Domaine de La Reserve and Domaine de L'Orangeraie Hotels, Select Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Vision Voyage, and Sri Lankan Airlines were present to support the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Another World Road Show in Xiamen. The aim was to conquer this destination and give more reasons to Xiamen and China’s outbound tour operators to sell their programmed Seychelles holiday experience to the potential Chinese holidaymakers.

The Seychelles Tourism Board was more strategized in its approach of launching the road show in Xiamen to give tour operators the ideal arguments on how to go out and push Seychelles to their clients and also why Seychelles should be the new holiday destination for China.

At the road show, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, and the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Naiken, told the Xiamen and China tour operators that there is more to do in Seychelles than sun, sea, and sand. He added that the Seychelles holiday experience can be defined as beauty with diversity.

“Yes, Seychelles has the best in a sun, sea, and sand holiday, but I do not need to stand here today to tell you that, because you are all from the travel trade and that you all know. Today this is not what your clients are looking for anymore… they all want more, and this is why Seychelles is their new destination of choice, because what they are looking for is diversity with culture,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.

Minister St.Ange added that China is now the Seychelles’ fastest-growing tourism market, and with no visa policy in place, the scene is set for more Chinese holidaymakers to come to Seychelles.

“We are one of the very few countries with no visa policy. You can travel to Seychelles without a visa, because Seychelles remains a friendly country to China, and because it is a safe, and because it is a disease-free holiday destination,” the Seychelles Minister said.

Minister St.Ange urged outbound tour operators in Xiamen province and in China as a whole to work with the Seychelles Tourism Board and its trade partners to help them gain their fair share of the tourist market from China.

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s high-visibility profile on the Chinese market was hailed by Philippe Le Gall, the Seychelles Ambassador in China. Ambassador Le Gall has himself been instrumental in assisting the Seychelles Tourism Board in their work to grow the Chinese tourist market for the Seychelles.

Ambassador Le Gall’s presence in the Xiamen road show with the Seychelles delegation is proof that Seychelles works as one for the benefit of the island's tourism industry. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Le Gall said Xiamen has a particular importance for Seychelles, not just due to its fast-growing economic role played by the city, but because quite a number of Chinese who migrated to Seychelles during the 19th to 20th centuries originated from the Fujian province. He went on further to touch on what made Xiamen so special to Seychelles.

“When communities know, understand, and respect each other, there is a favorable background for tourism, as well as for trade and for investments,” said Ambassador Le Gall.

The Xiamen road show came out to be another success story for the Seychelles Tourism Board. Creole Travel Services (CTS) is one of the Destination Management Companies (DMCs) taking part in the road show. For the past four years, Creole Travel Services (CTS) has been tapping into the Chinese market. Today, China is listed as CTS’ top five markets. Guillaume Albert, the CTS General Manager said Seychelles’ trade partners should unify in their approaches to sell China as a tourism destination.

“It is vital that this spirit of collectiveness remains strong as we tap further into the Chinese market and claim our fair share of it,” Guillaume Albert said.

He added that hotels must work with the Seychelles’ Destination Management Companies for a mutual benefit of the destination.

‘’The fast-growing potential of the Chinese market represents a fresh opportunity to start anew and find again the equilibrium and good work ethics which always existed in Seychelles between local Destination Management Companies and hoteliers,” Guillaume Albert said.

On a more jovial part of the Xiamen Road Show, a lottery draw for outbound tour operators took place to win interesting prizes among which were free return tickets and accommodation in Seychelles.

The road show for the Seychelles tourist office in China will be on November 18 in Zheng Zhou and November 19 in Wuhan. Both cities have flight connections to Seychelles from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guang Zhou. To date, the Seychelles tourist office in China moved in about 15 cities for its road show.

PHOTO: Seychelles Tourism Board flies high the Seychelles colors at Xiamen RoadShow


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