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Seychelles hosts joint workshop with Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways in China as Seychelles wins Gold from CTW Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award

Seychelles hosts joint workshop with Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways in China as Seychelles wins Gold from CTW Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award ( The Seychelles Tourism Board and the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in China hosted a joint workshop at the Old Chengdu Club on April 13, 2012 and at the Beijing Cangpin Hui Club on April 16, 2012, aimed to promote the Seychelles islands as THE tourism destination to the Chinese trade.

Present at the workshop in Chengdu were representatives from both Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways, together with representation from 7 Degrees South, Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel, and the Beachcomber Sainte Anne Resort&Spa.

This workshop saw attendance by some 40 Chinese companies who were given presentations by the Seychelles trade followed by one-on-one meetings. Prizes to two lucky winners were offered by way of a raffle, with the prizes offered by the local trade and hotels, and Etihad Airways sponsoring the tickets.

In a subsequent follow-up workshop in Beijing, at the Beijing Cangpin Hui Club on April 16, 2012, again co-organized by Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways, with local tour operators (DMCs) 7 Degrees South, Creole Travel Services, and Mason’s Travel, and Seychelles hotels interested in receiving Chinese holiday makers namely Constance Hotels, Ms. Vivienne Ho, href=""> / ; Creole Travel Services, Ms. Helen Pillay, href=""> /; Mason's Travel, Ms. Noella Gappy, href=""> / ; 7 Degrees South, Mrs. Anna Butler Payette. href=""> /; Beachcomber Sainte Anne Resort&Spa, Mr. Koogen Vythelingum, href=""> /; Dhevatara Beach Hotel, Mr. Rene Squires, href=""> /; Desroches Island, Ms. Amanda Lang, href=""> /; Berjaya Hotels&Resorts, Ms. Johnette Labiche, href=""> /; and some 30 Chinese companies attended the workshop where each representative from the Seychelles local trade made a presentation and then met in one-on-one sessions with the Chinese trade. Prizes were again awarded by way of a raffle to two lucky winners from the Beijing Chinese trade to visit Seychelles, with the prizes sponsored by the Seychelles trade and flights by Etihad Airways.

As a direct result of these two workshops, a FAM trip will be organized during the course of this year involving certain members of the Chinese trade in order for them to better acquaint themselves with Seychelles as a destination, its attributes, and its products.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, standing with the island’s Tourism Board CEO, Elsia Grandcourt, told the press that the private sector tourism accompanying the Tourism Board in marketing Seychelles in China needed to be congratulated. “In the islands, we often hear of yield from tourism establishments, forgetting that this is only dependent on the applicable rates being charged by individual establishments, and that they base their rates on prevailing circumstances and applicable rates and packages from competing destinations being reflected from the different markets. The Tourism Board will not and cannot start dictating the room rates of individual tourism establishments. The Tourism Board works to stimulate the markets and open new markets, and the private sector trade pitches their presence in the markets on rates they deem acceptable and appropriate for their own individual property.

“This is why Seychelles is today happy with this small group of industry players working with the Tourism Board to open a new market for the islands. Increasing the national occupancy levels will enable the trade to then raise applicable rates based on the level that they believe they can justify. There is no magic in this, it is the trade who will continue to set their rates and this they do in collaboration with tour operators promoting their establishments. Government will not be dictating room rates for establishments,” Minister St.Ange said.

Following the Seychelles workshops in China, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s delegation and Seychelles private sector trade after the Chinese market attended the China Outbound Tourism Fair (COTTM) in Beijing for the second year running. The island’s Minister for Tourism&Culture was also present at this Tourism Trade Fair and was accompanied by the tourism Board’s CEO; Tourism Consultant and Copywriter, Glynn Burridge; and Marketing Executives, Stephanie Lablache and Amy Michel. Minister St.Ange and his party attended the fair on their way back from attending the Routes Asia forum in Chengdu.

COTTM tourism trade fair has taken place in Beijing for the last seven years and it continues to remain the ideal location to attract key Chinese buyers. Entering its 9th year, COTTM has become a well established exhibition and has the undisputed reputation of being China's leading business-to-business outbound travel show. This, coupled with the success of the 2011 edition, makes COTTM a well recognized and respected brand name.

This fair took place over three days, from 18th to 20th April and saw brisk business with members of the Seychelles trade stating their belief that the Chinese market will continue to grow, producing increasing numbers of visitors to Seychelles.
Seychelles’ Stephanie Lablache and Jean-Luc Lai-Lam made a presentation on the destination, showcasing Seychelles attributes and products to an attentive audience as Seychelles also won a gold award for service quality. 2012 is seeing the “CTW Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award” organized for the ninth time by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.

The CTW Award was in seven categories and the Seychelles won the Gold award for Service Quality:

- Product Innovation
- Internet/Media
- Service Quality
- Marketing
- Social Media
- Retail
- Overall Performance

For each category Gold, Silver, and Bronze CTW Award was presented and an international jury that comprised Chinese and non-Chinese tourism experts chose the winners. With an overall number of 70 million border-crossings from Mainland China in 2011, a 20% year-on-year growth compared to 2010, the strong development of the Chinese outbound tourism is continuing.

Today, the Chinese outbound market is already the third-biggest source market in international tourism and is destined to become the number one tourism source market globally in 2015. Besides the growth in numbers, also the boost of self-organized travelers is increasingly offering niche products and lesser-known destinations a chance to get in touch with more sophisticated and affluent Chinese visitors. The COTTM has also a high-calibre program for both visitors and exhibitors. Together with the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, COTTM has devised a series of educational workshops and seminars which representatives from the Seychelles will attend.

Recent statistic shows that visitor numbers arriving to Seychelles from China have grown to two thousand, representing a healthy 90 percent growth. The increase in the number of visitors from China has helped Seychelles to maintain its number of tourism arrivals, despite a drop from its core markets which are France, UK, Germany, and Italy.


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