Vanilla Islands Organization founder member, Reunion Island, continues to promote the French Indian Ocean island through regular fam trips for travel agents and tour operators from key source markets, and the most recent arrivals came from China, France, and Switzerland.
More recently, Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) hosted three groups of agents to discover the destination coming from the French, Swiss, and Chinese markets. For the IRT, these educational tours served several objectives:
• improve professionals’ knowledge about the area and its tourism attractions, activities, restaurants, hotels, and resorts;
• strengthen the identity and positioning of Reunion Island on priority and secondary markets;
• meet and interact with local tourism professionals;
• sustain links with the international tourism trade; and
• promote the destination in an international context.
With experience of over twenty years in marketing travel and tours, the French tour operator Unkonito decided to enhance its knowledge and offerings of tourism products towards targeted groups such as cruises and short/long holiday weekends around the world. DMC “Meeting Receptive Tourism” in partnership with the IRT, received the 8 participants from the following agencies: CGG Veritas, Schlumberger SRPC, the Family Allowance Val de Marne, and the COS of the municipality of Valenciennes.
For 6 days, participants discovered the Salazie and Tamil temples of St. Andrew, St. Rose, the lava flows of the Plaine des Sables and the Piton de la Fournaise, the primary forest Bélouve, circus Cilaos, the seaside resort of Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, and the point of view of Mafate from Piton Maido. Despite the short stay on the island, the intense program delighted and satisfied the participants who left with a complete experience of the island’s tourism attractions on offer.
EDUCTOUR DEPARTURE TRAVEL
Twelve Swiss travel agents, from the network partner tour operator “Out Journeys,” flew to Reunion Island as part of an eductour.
On the agenda was exploring the island in terms of accommodation (The Nautilus Beach Hotel, The Boucan Canoe, the Iloha Seaview Hotel, Lux Reunion Island, Old Vine, the bed and breakfast the Tapacala, the Palm Hotel&Spa, Diana Dea Lodge&Spa, Relay Treetop, and Juliette Plump, along with leisure activities such as whale watching and canyoning, experiencing the island’s gastronomy (via a picnic Creole lunch at Relais Commerson), and seeing the landscapes, beaches, and spectacular sights of the rugged interior.
The tourism professionals were impressed by the diversity of landscapes and activities on the island, and by the proximity of the various sites within easy reach of each other. The hotels on the island offer access to all budgets as does the gastronomy and hospitality of the Reunion Island population.
EDUCTOUR FOR SEVERAL CHINESE TOUR OPERATORS
The incoming agency “Horizon Reunion Meeting” organized in partnership with the IRT, an eductour composed of 9 representatives of Chinese tour operators.
The main objective: Integrate the island’s tourism attractions vis-a-vis the services of DMC “Horizon Reunion Meeting.” This was started on the Chinese market 6 months ago during a sales mission, convincing Chinese tour operators and travel agencies of the tourism potential of “Destination Reunion.”
Nature, landscapes, climate and the culture of Reunion Island are all assets that the island has to offer to the Chinese market, especially to customers with high purchasing power. Participating tour professionals have been particularly impressed by the volcano site which they said is a must-do for their clients, not to mention the excursion through the lava in Saint-Philippe, flying over the island by helicopter, visiting the Salazie, and the sea voyage to discover the humpback whales. The visit of the Saga of Rum, with a guide in Chinese, has been very popular with tour operators also, and they were able to see how rum is produced and tasted the final product for which Reunion Island is famous around the world.
Upon their return, the Chinese professionals have already begun promoting Reunion Island through their networks and have showcased their photographs of landscapes of the island. They are now introducing packages to Reunion Island, as well as combined Reunion and Mauritius island holidays in line with available airline schedules. For Chinese tour operators, Reunion Island is an exceptional destination in its nature and the spectacular landscapes, and beyond the theme of the volcano, the island is also being presented as a destination for honeymooners.
For additional information on “Destination Reunion,” click on www.reunion.fr