China today stands as the fifth tourism source market for the Seychelles. This is an achievement which the Seychelles Tourism Board has said confirms the strategy implemented to diversify the source markets for Seychelles is paying off. Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the island’s Tourism Board, commented in China that her drive was now to convince more trade partners in Seychelles that the strategy to move into this new market is a positive move and that they should adapt quickly to be better prepared to receive visitors from China. The influx of Chinese visitors in Seychelles is seen as a success story by the Tourism Board. “This would not have been possible if the Seychelles Tourism Board had not gone the extra mile to convince a core group of trade partners that China was a potential tourism source market. Without trade partners themselves embracing this drive into China some four to five years ago, we would not be reaping the benefits we are enjoying today,” Ms. Naiken said.
Tourists from China are today not only traveling around the world, but they are reshaping global travel. During the Seychelles Tourism Board’s appreciation dinner in Shanghai last Thursday night, the message which came out strongly is that Seychelles is China’s new holiday destination. The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, who was personally present for the event, said that the Chinese market for Seychelles was today seen as encouraging, but that Seychelles needed to hear the concerns from Chinese tour operators and to find ways on how to get Chinese travelers fly non-stop direct to its shores.
“This is something every single tour operator in China has been asking us. For one major tour operator, figures have shown that when direct flights were launched between China and Mauritius, their numbers to Mauritius grew from 4,000 in 2011 to 14,000-18,000 in 2014. It is clear that the message for Seychelles is to work with Chinese tour operators to continue to grow this market as we leave no stone unturned to find a plane that will take Chinese holiday makers directly to Seychelles in a non-stop direct flight,” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister went on to say that it was clear that there was a great potential to do business in China, and that Chinese travelers were looking for a new destination.
“We know the market is here. The Chinese holidaymakers are looking for a new destination. This destination is Seychelles. It is not hard to sell Seychelles. We have the very best for this holiday with a difference. Let us all put our thinking caps on, and let us work together to give the Chinese their holiday of a lifetime,” the Minister said.
Minister St.Ange added that the Chinese market is big enough for all trade partners to get a fair share of the market.