Newly reconfigured Seychelles Tourism Department studying how to make up for pandemic losses
The Seychelles Tourism Department will keep its current catchphrase — ‘Seychelles Islands … Another World’ — when it markets the destination, but for commercial reasons, the department will be referred to as Tourism Seychelles, said a top official on Wednesday.
The newly appointed Principal Secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, made the announcement in a press conference where she explained the priority areas for the department and the mid- to long-term plans to get the sector through its current rough period.
The ‘Seychelles Islands … Another World’ slogan was unveiled as a new tourism brand to showcase the country’s spectacular beauty and diversity in December 2006.
High on the department’s list of priorities is to bring together all its partners in concerted efforts to get the industry back on its feet, by improving key areas such as customer satisfaction as well as providing visitors with a wide choice of tourism products.
Francis said that “making the destination more marketable will mean providing our visitors with more choices, meaning they will then talk about it more, making it more visible on the market.”
Tourism is the top pillar of the economy of the island nation in the western Indian Ocean. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted to a 61 percent decrease from in revenue last year — a loss of $322 million — due to a 70 percent drop in visitor arrivals.
It is for this reason that Seychelles is boosting its policies and marketing strategies to ensure visitors return to its shores and re-evaluating those in place and bridge any gaps that may exist.
As part of measures to boost the tourism sector, the Seychelles Tourism Board has been repealed and a new structure has been set for the Department of Tourism.
Francis said the amalgamation of the department with the now-closed Tourism Board is a challenge that she and her staff will tackle to the best of their abilities.
Meanwhile, STB’s approved budget of SCR R142,059,000 ($9.7 million) will be transferred to the Department of Tourism as soon as the necessary legal amendments are made.