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Keep Air Austral in its skies

Keep Air Austral in its skies ( The Seychelles Tourism Board’s delegation that was in Reunion, spearheaded by Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, has taken a firm footing in its strategy for Reunion Island. In a press conference at Villa Deslisle Hotel&Spa at Saint Pierre, Minister St.Ange said Seychelles’ mission is to keep Air Austral in the Seychelles skies.

“Our message is clear - we want to work with Reunion island and consolidate the good working partnership which already exists between the two islands. It is only through a win-win situation that we can pave the way forward,” Minister St.Ange said.

Minister St.Ange said with the 2015 visitor arrival statistics showing a growth of 250% on the Reunion Island market on a year-to-year basis, it is clear for the islands that with Air Austral being the only direct flight connecting the two islands, Seychelles has to sustain these flights.

The minister added that the flights can only remain sustainable if Seychelles is visible on Reunion Island.

It is with this in mind that Minister St.Ange announced Seychelles’ decision to post one of its representatives in the Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) office, to work with Air Austral, tour operators, and the press to make Seychelles much more visible.

Addressing the Reunion Island press, Minister Alain St.Ange said: “The Seychelles representative on Reunion Island will work closely with the press to increase the visibility of the Seychelles. We are press friendly. The press had been tested as our undisputed marketing tool. My appeal to the Reunion Island press is to work with us, help us to raise Seychelles’ visibility on Reunion Island,” said Minister St.Ange

The Seychelles Minister said that the Seychelles Tourism Board sees Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) office as its close collaborator. He said together they can rally their forces to give Reunion Island and Seychelles their rightful place within the Vanilla Islands concept. In his message, Minister St.Ange said Seychelles will continue to support Reunion Island and is more than ever convinced that the Seychelles-Reunion Island partnership is now built and that it will remain on solid ground.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Naiken, said Seychelles’ strategy for Reunion Island further consolidates the Reunion Island market with all its potential for growth.

She said her working mission with the Reunion Island Tourism office has been fruitful, and it transpired their willingness to work closely with Seychelles to make it attain its core objective for Reunion island.

Her statement was reinforced by Ariane Loupy, her counterpart at the Reunion Island Tourism office, who spoke of an educational tour in Seychelles for travel agents to get a better insight of Seychelles products.

She said the “success of one is the success of all.”

H.E. Lionel Majeste-Larrouy, the newly accredited French Ambassador in Seychelles, who also sat at the head table for the press conference, said when he addressed the press conference that he shared the same spirit of togetherness for the Indian Ocean region. He said that he will work with Seychelles, France, and Reunion Island to ease the entry formalities process of Seychellois citizens traveling to Reunion Island. Today, the airline is requesting an insurance certificate and a hotel booking among other documents needed at check-in on a flight to Reunion Island.

Virgine K’Bidi, the Vice President of “Region Reunion,” said a good working partnership is based on a “win-win” situation.

The press conference was also attended by Jean Marc Grazzini, the Commercial Director at Air Austral, and Stephanie Bégert, Head of Corporate and Internal Communication at Air Austral. They both supported the Seychelles mission on Reunion Island, saying it was the right platform for tour operators and hotel establishments interested in Reunion Island as a source market. Seychelles tourism establishments and local Destination Management Companies (DMCs) wanting to attract the Reunion Island tourism market who were present for this working visit were: Les Lauriers Eco-hotel and restaurant of Praslin, AVANI Seychelles Barbarons resort and spa of Mahe, Creole Travel Services, 7 degrees South, Mason’s Travel, Le Duc de Praslin Hotel, Coral Strand Smart Choice hotel of Mahe, L’Hirondelle Self Catering Guest House of Praslin, Ocean Jewels Resort, Patatran Village of La Digue, and Pure Seychelles Hotels representing 10 small hotels to meet the press and boost the visibility of their products.

The press conference ended with a colorful cultural performance by the Seychelles National Troupe and Creole snacks prepared by Christabelle Joubert, a Chef of the Seychelles Tourism Academy.


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