The renewal of a global marketing agreement between the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and Emirates Airline is set to raise the profile of the island nation as a destination choice for avid travellers, said a top official.
The chief executive of STB, Sherin Francis, told SNA that the renewal of the agreement with the Dubai-based Emirates Airline will fortify the tourism board’s marketing effort globally and bolster Seychelles’ tourism industry.
The agreement was signed last week on the sideline of the region’s largest trade event, Arabian Travel Market, by Francis and Orhan Abbas, Emirates senior vice president of commercial operation for Africa.
The STB’s chief executive said, “To date Emirates remains the airline which brings the biggest share of visitors to the island nation, and it is important for us to maintain this relationship.”
Francis told SNA that this trend is expected to be the same throughout the year as STB is going to capitalise on the agreement to bring more visitors to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
According the figures of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for 2016, over 24,000 people from the United Arab Emirates visited Seychelles last year compared to around 20,400 in 2015.
“Under this partnership, the island nation can also take advantage of the various activities such as attending tourism trade shows and fairs to gain more visibility,” added Francis.
Trade familiarisation visits, product presentations and workshops are among other activities that Seychelles is going to benefit from this collaboration.
At the signing ceremony, the Emirates senior vice president of commercial operation for Africa, Abbas, said that the relationship with the Seychelles is very important for the airline.
“Our success on the route to the island destination is the result of relentless efforts by all parties. Our joint activities have been fruitful and this can be demonstrated by the fact that we operate a double-daily service to the Seychelles,” Abbas said.
In thanking STB for its continuous support throughout the previous year, Abbas added that: “We look forward to achieving even more together and strengthen our support to the destinations.”
Emirates started operations to the Seychelles in 2005 and in June 2015 it increased its capacity to the Seychelles, when it switched from the Airbus 330-200 used on one of the two daily services to a larger Boeing 777-300ER.
The airline connects the Seychelles to Dubai and onwards to over 150 other destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Europe with multiple daily connections.