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Industry Briefs

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) exhibited at the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa, as it continues to ensure the island destination remains relevant and grows its share of the African tourism market, amidst growing competition.

The 2018 edition of WTM Africa unfolded April 18- 20 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Launched in 2014, WTM Africa is considered to be the biggest trade fair on the continent.

The STB team at this year's fair was comprised of the regional director for Africa and the Americas, David Germain; director for South Africa, Lena Hoareau; Marketing executive, Rolira Young, and Digital Marketing executive, Randy Rosalie.

Two local trade partners - Air Seychelles represented by Thembi Nkosi, and Creole Travel Services represented by Judeline Edmond, also attended the event.

Hoareau said it is important to remain visible as Seychelles wants to increase its share of the South African outbound market.

"We need to remain visible at the important fairs on the market and continuously promote the destination so that we do not lose out in this increasingly competitive business," she added.

Such an event allows the Seychelles Tourism Board and its partners to renew existing partnerships, as well as to make new connections, in a bid to drive more sales to Seychelles.

Germain said the visibility and opportunity of forging new partnership is not only limited to South African partners.

"It is important for STB to be present once again at WTM Africa because it is an opportunity to renew partnerships, not only from South Africa but from all over the world. It is our 4th participation and it continues to be a very productive platform for us to engage with the mix of buyers, press and other travel trade partners," Germain added.

South Africa is the Seychelles' main market on the African continent. However, South Africa has dropped from being the 6th leading market for Seychelles at the end of 2017 and is currently experiencing a decrease of 16 percent in visitor arrivals to Seychelles from January to date. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, a total of 3,404 South Africans have visited Seychelles so far this year.

Hoareau said: "We will continue to put maximum efforts to reverse this trend and we expect that the figures will pick up in the next two months. We were doing really well at this time last year, so we are hopeful that we will see an improvement in the arrival figures despite the challenges."