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Seychelles appoints ambassadors to boost tourism

La Digue island, Seychelles, is mainly living of tourism

© MFA Seychelles
afrol News, 2 February
- The Seychelles Tourism Board has made a move to boost tourism flows in the country by formally appointing Tourism Ambassadors across the world.

This is new not only for Seychelles, but it is also the first time that such appointments are made alongside overseas offices of Tourism Boards. It is an initiative that shows that Seychelles is leaving no stones unturned in its move to defend and protect its pillar of its economy, the tourism industry, the Seychelles Tourism Board has said.

In presenting the move to appoint the first Tourism Ambassadors at the official opening of the 2010 Tourism Marketing Meeting in the presence of President James Michel, and Vice President Joseph Belmont in in Victoria, Alain St.Ange, the Director of Tourism Marketing said that the Seychelles overseas offices will now have added support to more adequately service the country’s tourism markets.

“Today we are bringing in another new approach, that is, the appointing of Tourism Ambassadors right across the world. These will be Seychellois living and working in the four corners of the world who have their country at heart. They will be like consuls, but here only to promote and continuously help develop Seychelles as the tourist destination,” he said.

He reminded the conference of the saying that goes: ‘Once a Seychellois, always a Seychellois’, saying it cannot be more true, and in that the appointed men and women will do the country proud as they become ‘foot soldiers’ for the pillar of Seychelles’ economy and tourism industry.

“I firmly believe that all Seychellois living abroad are natural ambassadors of their country of birth, the country that they love. It is for this reason that I would today like to initiate the idea of formally appointing Seychellois Tourism Ambassadors: a cadre of hand-picked individuals, well-known in their countries of residence and whose network of contacts and local knowledge will be invaluable tools in promoting Seychelles as a tourism destination across the globe,” he further explained.

He said the new ambassadors will work in close collaboration with the country’s Overseas Offices and marketing teams, and that they will provide a sharp tip to promotional efforts, with the ability to access individuals and organisations on their home turf in a way that would not be possible through traditional marketing methods.

“With their contacts and easy access with their local travel agents, tour operators and press, their local knowledge of their new home, and with their personal touch, they will primarily be responsible for developing a personal relationship with these travel agents, tour operators and press fraternity in their respective cities. They live there, they work there and they are part of that community, their opinion will be trusted and their feelings respected. I anticipate that, in time and with the appropriate levels of support, their efforts, both individual and collective, will impact considerably on our arrival figures” Alain St.Ange said.

Mr St.Ange, when naming the first selected Tourism Ambassadors, said that the Tourism Board will continue identifying new recruits as the Tourism Board moved along, and that they had so far not yet touched the Americas, Canada, Asia and Australia.

“Tourism Ambassadors is new, Seychelles needed to be more innovative in forging ahead for the consolidation of our Tourism Industry, because this remains the pillar of our economy” Alain St.Ange said.

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