Kick-starting its international marketing calendar, a small delegation headed by Bernadette Willemin, Tourism Seychelles’ Director-General for Destination Marketing, attended FITUR, an international trade fair held in Madrid, Spain between Jan 19 and 23, 2022.
It was a busy five days in Madrid for the Seychelles team, where Mrs. Willemin was joined by the Tourism Seychelles Marketing Executive for Spain and Portugal market, Mrs. Monica Gonzalez Llinas, and Mr. Andre Butler Payette the General Manager of Company 7° South, a destination marketing company based in Seychelles.
The first three days were dedicated to meetings with travel trade professionals and media while on Saturday and Sunday, the island nation’s stand was transformed into a business-to-consumer platform to welcome the general public.
This provided the perfect opportunity to boost their knowledge of the destination and entice them to visit Seychelles. The Seychelles team was also at hand to respond to their inquiries.
The Iberian Peninsula, occupied by Spain and Portugal, has in the past produced good business for Seychelles and has the potential to do so again, Mrs. Willemin said. “The Iberian market is one that fits well with Seychelles’ tourism development policy, which is aiming for quality versus quantity, as visitors from the region are known to be very jovial people and good spenders. The business is supported by both the Spanish and Portuguese trade, as well as the local travel trade in Seychelles and Spain contributes the lion’s share of the business,” she highlighted.
“3,137 visitors traveled to Seychelles from Spain from January to December 2021 despite COVID. The current outlook for the Spanish market, in particular, looks positive, and should this trend continue, it will help in further developing our business together with the support of Seychelles trade partners, both locally and in the marketplace. This will hopefully keep the growing confidence of the Iberian travel operators and agents to continue selling the destination and increase the Iberian sales figures. Trade support is especially important in the face of growing competition with much deeper pockets and resources than we do.” Mrs. Willemin said.
Reporting on his attendance, Mr. Payette, General Manager of 7°South said, “It was a privilege for 7° South to join Tourism Seychelles in Madrid for FITUR. After many months of virtual meetings, this event has come at an opportune moment allowing us to physically showcase all that we have to offer in Seychelles.
FITUR was a resounding success which permitted us to reconnect with old partners as well as engage with new ones, as we look to further develop this growing market filled with potential for the future.”
FITUR is a meeting point for tourism professionals from around the globe and is considered to be the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero-American markets. The importance of the travel and trade show is reflected in the growing number of exhibiting companies from participating countries, trade participants, the general public, and journalists recorded each year.
In 2021, 3,137 visitors traveled to Seychelles from the Iberian market, currently one of the largest contributors of tourists to the island nation, figures from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics show.