Seychelles is not always talked about as the tourism destination for groups & incentives, but instead it continued to consolidate its position as an events based destination.
Over the years, the island destination has taken the lead in convincing its international partners of it strengths in events planning.
South Africa is one of the African countries which is a firm believer and supporter of the island's main cultural event, its annual carnival.
The Seychelles annual “Carnival International de Victoria’’ is a reference point in cooperation amongst tourism destinations where South Africa participated as a co-host country for fourth edition of this event in the tropics alongside La Reunion, Madagascar and Mayotte islands.
A South African tourism delegation on a working visit to Seychelles last week re-iterated it’s commitment to support Seychelles event initiatives and they have confirmed that they will look into new opportunities of cooperation in this domain.
The South African delegation from the Hotel School and Tourism Office who were in Seychelles on a fact finding mission paid a courtesy call on Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture at his Offices at Espace Building in Victoria.
The delegation was in Seychelles to discuss projects that could be implemented as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which South Africa Tourism had signed with Seychelles.
In November 2013, a delegation from Seychelles Tourism Academy and Seychelles Tourism Board effected a fact finding mission in South Africa. It was now the turn of the South African delegation to come to Seychelles for a follow up working visit.
Eddy Khosa, Chairman of Federated Hospitality Association ( FEDHASA), Tshamekazi Temba, Deputy Director Central, East Africa and Indian Ocean for the National Department of Tourism and Mandisa Silo, the Head of School – SETH Cape Peninsula University of Technology outlined to Minister St.Ange that Seychelles is an important destination for South Africa and opportunities exist for both countries to solidify their partnership and work even closer together.
Besides, its strength in building events through training and management, the South African delegation spoke of its experience in hotel classifications.
Seychelles has started the process of hotel classification and sees the South African experience as an ideal opportunity where the country can share ideas in this domain.
Minister St.Ange said he firmly believes in the potential of South Africa to emerge as a airline hub of Africa.
“A strong country like South Africa should be a key partner of Africa for Africa. You should take ownership of this belief and shine even more on our continent’’.
Minister St.Ange added that South Africa and Seychelles should put more effort to promote twin-destination holidays as he explained one of the island's branding concept “From the Big Five…. to the Best Five’’ launched especially for the promotion of safari and beach holiday packages.
“We should merge our USPs, our unique selling points. It’s only by working together that we can make it easier to push the continent forward’’ Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture said.
The visiting South African delegation also gave an oversight of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Seychelles and South Africa.
Tshamekazi Temba said South Africa is working towards the implementation of the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Seychelles and South Africa also believes in the potential of the Indian Ocean region to be developed into a region for cruise ship holidays saying that this region as a destination has diversity not seen in any other tourism region.
The Seychelles Tourism Academy on the other hand said that they are keen to work with South Africa to develop exchange programs for South African students to undertake their internship programs in Seychelles resort hotels. Minister St.Ange was accompanied at this meeting by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism and Peter Moncherry of the Seychelles Tourism Academy.