Today, the new ethos of a marketing destination is prone to aggressive strategies allowing brands to solidify their images. It is apparently no secret that a huge marketing budget is the tool to keeping up with aggressive marketing and promotion splurges. Seychelles, earmarked as a high-end Island destination, with a smaller chunk of budget for marketing campaigns, cannot afford to invest in big advertising companies to promote the destination, thus Seychelles depends on its bank of international press, to keep the destination visible through reports and articles.
Recent forums following a call to action has pushed Seychelles to take note that in order for these islands to remain responsive to fierce competition, it has to keep up with marketing trends. It is with this mind, that the Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers gave the green light for the setting up of a Seychelles Tourism Strategy Committee comprised of Joel Morgan, Minister responsible for Transport; Pierre Laporte, Minister responsible for Finance; and Alain St.Ange, Minister responsible for Tourism.
The tri-partite body is being put to task to come out with an aggressive marketing approach targeting a larger group of people to stimulate tourism growth. Alain St.Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture, said Seychelles has to re-tweak its marketing approaches and become more receptive to suggestions in order to overcome the challenges being faced today.
“Seychelles Incorporated is the product we sell. Both Chief Executives of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Air Seychelles will now be working in close partnership, and calls between the two organizations will be at the CEO level and by no one else. Through this channel, decisions and actions will be actioned much faster. We will re-look at cost to travel to Seychelles, cost of operations, and how much the country gains from repeat visitors. Today, we will relook at a country, not just a country brand,” said Minister Alain St.Ange.
Minister St.Ange said the committee will also re-look at the country’s airline and cost of Seychelles Tourism Board offices overseas.
“It’s time for Seychelles tourism to re-look at what is working best and make necessary changes where it is not performing at its best. We need to re-look at positioning of our tourism offices in our key markets. We need to be more conscious of how we are spending our marketing budget in these offices. We will continue to promote Seychelles as a niche market and bring more travel agents to our shores to ensure they know the destination and in return ensure that are better equipped to market the destination,” said Minister St.Ange.
Minister St.Ange added that the tripartite committee pushed for the recent meeting with tour operators and French press that was held in Paris on Friday, October 17, to announce that the stop in Abu Dhabi by Air Seychelles on its Seychelles/Paris route is from now on but a short technical stop where passengers can stay on board and not have to disembark with all their hand luggage and go through all the security screening and other such formalities. A consultant invited by the tripartite committee is due in Seychelles to meet with ministers and submit a proposal on how best to re-tweak the Seychelles marketing approaches.