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Seychelle’s thank you mission in London receives positive feedback

Seychelle’s thank you mission in London receives positive feedback ( The January 14, 2012 press and tour operator lunch, sponsored by Seychelles in London, has been well received by the trade in the United Kingdom. Lena Hoareau, the Head of the island's London Office of their PR&News Bureau, has been receiving messages saying thank you for having thought of them. The lunch idea was taken following feedback received by the Seychelles team in London, which is headed by Marsha Parcou and managed under the office of Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Director for Europe. It was a mission handed over to Lena Hoareau to rally the press who had been supportive of her work in disseminating information about the islands.

“I was overwhelmed by the attendance. Our tour operator partners turned up, and the members of the press we regularly deal with were all present. Our PR&News Bureau Office has been at it for only a couple of months, and we have as a mission to nurture personal contacts with members of the press who count. No mass mailing works anymore, all our success today and tomorrow will be based on personal contact," Lena Hoareau said.

Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, who was in London to address the creole lunch function, said when leaving Great Britain, that the personal contacts between the PR&News Bureau Office and the British press is a step in the right direction. “Members of the press remain valuable allies for any tourism board, and the work of Lena Hoareau from our London Office will open new doors in the field of cooperation with the press. Our British partners, our tour operators on the other hand, work closely with Marsha Parcou and Stephanie Medor, and here again, the new relationship developed by the Seychellois staff in London needs to be congratulated," Alain St.Ange said.

Following interest received from readers, the Seychelles Tourism Board would like to present an extract of the thank you address delivered by Alain St.Ange in London only last Tuesday:

“Today we are not here to tell you about the beauty of the Seychelles, because that you all know. We are not here to talk about the clean and white sandy beaches we have, because that also you all know; nor are we here to talk about our warm, clean, and clear turquoise blue seas that lap our beaches, because that also you all know.

“Today we are here primarily to simply say thank you, to you members of the British press and to our UK partners, the tour operators..

“Seychelles has, during the year 2011, against all odds, resettled itself in this very important market. After a long period of unsettlement, we found our feet and started on the road to benefit from the task of claiming back our fair share of the market.

“To get where we were, we must accept that it was your doing. You, the tour operators – front-line professionals – and you, the serious media professionals, you stood beside us, and you helped us find our feet.

“So saying thank you is today so important. This is why we have taken the trouble to plan for you this Seychelles Creole lunch in the heart of London.

“Last year, we received 13,335 British holiday-makers. That figure was 8 percent above the 2010 figure.

“One must never forget that Seychelles has had a long attachment with Great Britain. We were, up until 1976, one of their colonies, and we attained our independence on the most amicable terms and maintained our place in the Commonwealth. We saw the launch of our tourism industry when the British Colonial government opened our international airport in 1971, which was followed by the official opening of the airport by Her Majesty the Queen herself in 1972. BOAC was the first plane to land on our shores, which threw us in earnest into the tourism arena. Since then we have maintained our good relationship as a former colony, and we have remained a committed member of the Commonwealth Nations.

“We have had the visit to our shores of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and of Prince Philip, and that of Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and finally we had the recent most publicized honeymoon of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge only last year.

“Great Britain has a large number of Seychellois who are now UK citizens who are doing, themselves, their utmost to spread the word that Seychelles is the ideal holiday destination for British holiday-makers. Many in the UK are today Tourism Ambassadors and working as foot soldiers to assist in increasing the visibility of Seychelles.

“So what’s next? This year is the 4Oth anniversary since Her Majesty the Queen officially opened our airport.

“In saying thank you to you today, we also need to appeal to you that we are counting on your continued support, as we are this year faced with an even greater challenge, and that is the question of air access. You all know that our national airline has gone through a process of restructuring, and in that process they have discontinued their European flights. We accept that this abrupt stopping of the two weekly flights has upset many in the UK, with printed brochures and programs. Sorry is all we can say on behalf of Seychelles.

“As we move forward, we acknowledge the support we are enjoying from our airlines flying to Seychelles from the UK - through Dubai we have Emirates with some twelve weekly flights to Seychelles, through Abu Dhabi we have four weekly flights to Seychelles, through Doha we have seven weekly flights to Seychelles, through Nairobi we have two weekly flights to Seychelles - the service that is in collaboration with Air France and KLM, and finally soon through Addis Ababa, we should be having four weekly flights to the Seychelles.

“We have these options available to you and hope that your new contracts can be fined tuned to ensure you are all able to continue to work with Seychelles for the benefit of your respective companies, the airline of your choice, and of Seychelles. The airline UK managers are here today - let us get new partnerships going and continue to ensure we keep the door open for UK holiday-makers to get to Seychelles.

“I could not end without thanking the press for being our friends. Serious press are real assets, and we value the support we have received from you all. Thank you.

“Also thank you to our Consul, Mr. Bernard Silver. Thank you for being here with us today.

“Finally, this coming March, Seychelles in collaboration with La Reunion Island will be playing hosts to the 'Carnival International de Victoria' that takes place in Seychelles from March 2-4 - a unique event staged under the theme of the melting pot of cultures. This is when the world's best and most-known carnivals will walk in a procession alongside cultural groups from the Community of Nations. Diversity and color in one of the safest capitals of the world awaits you all.”

The Seychelles delegation at the thank you Creole lunch also thanked the Air Seychelles London team for their past support for so many years. As the gathered members of the press and the tour operators applauded, Alain St.Ange said, “We appreciated your work in keeping the Air Seychelles flag flying."

PHOTO: Seychelles Tourism Board CEO Alain St.Ange / Photo from Seychelles Tourism Board

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St.Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email:

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