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Cruise ship company COSTA discusses closer cooperation with Seychelles tourism & port authorities

Cruise ship company COSTA discusses closer cooperation with Seychelles tourism & port authorities ( Norbert Stiekema, the Executive Vice President Sales&Marketing of COSTA Crociere, used the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin to meet with Seychelles tourism and port authorities to discuss closer cooperation.

It was Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, who led the Seychelles delegation for the meeting with COSTA Crociere, and he was being accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board; Andre Ciseau, the CEO of the Seychelles Ports Authority, and Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Tourism Board's Director for Europe.

Seychelles and the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands (Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion Island, and the Seychelles) have been working flat out to increase cruise ship business in the Indian Ocean region. These mid-ocean islands are today being represented in the major cruise ship fairs and have mandated Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands Organization, to work with each member state to assist them in enticing cruise ship business to their respective islands. The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands today proudly say that they offer to cruise ships a route with diversity that no other region can offer. This includes a pre- or post-African safari, and the diversity of seven mid-ocean islands each with a different culture, landscape, and unique selling points that varies from island to island. They also offer India and Singapore as possible destinations to end this most diverse Indian Ocean cruise.

The Seychelles authorities are working with COSTA Crociere to consider extending their stop in Port Victoria as well as looking at a Praslin Island stop. Minister St.Ange also requested that COSTA considers offering to Seychellois and to residents in Seychelles the possibility to buy a cruise and board the ship as it docks in Seychelles for their round the Indian Ocean Island cruises. This request was accepted, and from the next series of cruises around the Indian Ocean, Seychellois and Seychelles residents will be able to purchase their cruise excursions and board the ship as it docks in Port Victoria in the Seychelles. This also, in due course, opens the door for visitors to Seychelles to purchase an Indian Ocean cruise package with a pre- or post-Seychelles stay. This was a point also tabled to COSTA for consideration.

The Seychelles Tourism Board has also accepted to position on board the COSTA Cruise ship when it is on its way to the Seychelles one of its marketing officers to lecture and provide necessary information on what to do in Seychelles. “We were extremely happy with this meeting with COSTA Crociere. It was Seychelles as a tourism destination that was meeting them, and together as a delegation we impressed on COSTA points we felt would bring added benefits for Seychelles. For the last three years the Seychelles Tourism Board has been working with the Port Authority of Seychelles to provide a personalized welcome to all cruise ships stopping at Port Victoria. Not only do we now have music on the dock, and arts and craft vendors, but we also personally board the ship as a team and pay a courtesy call on the Ship's captain and their hotel manager," said Minister St.Ange.

“Today we are seeing that this approach is paying dividends with the Ship's captain impressing on their company head office the need to meet and discuss the points we have discussed with them in Port Victoria," the Minister from the Seychelles said in ending.

Norbert Stiekema, the Executive Vice President Sales&Marketing of COSTA Crociere, has accepted to personally visit Seychelles on April 24 to meet with the Seychelles tourism and port authorities and also to see if it is possible at the same time to have all the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands ministers and regional presidents gather in Seychelles for a cruise ship planning meeting for the region as a whole.

PHOTO (L-R): Andre Ciseau, Minister Alain St.Ange, Norbert Stiekema, Bernadette Willemin&Sherin Naiken


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