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The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has taken part in the 22nd East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 2018 edition of the event was held at the Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center, from January 25 to 28, 2018.
STB’s Director in Italy, Monette Rose and Marketing Executive, Christina Cecile, represented Seychelles at the travel exhibition. This was the perfect platform to boost Seychelles’ profile in Turkey, which has the potential to become a growing tourism market for the island destination.
The Seychelles stand attracted many visitors not only from Turkey, but also from nearby countries such as Iran, Greece, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, and Lebanon, among others.
The Seychelles’ clear turquoise waters was thrown into the spotlight to captivate visitors’ attention at the fair, as the stand portrayed the amazingly beautiful islands of Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur.
The STB representatives received queries from visitors who had already booked their trip to Seychelles, those who were planning their holidays including honeymoons, as well as those wanting to know more about the destination.
Describing the island destination as a “tropical paradise” visitors who stopped by the stand where particularly interested to know the best time to travel to the islands. Maps and other promotional materials were distributed with the aim of allowing them to discover more of the Seychelles key features, sceneries and also a little bit of the culture.
During their presentation, the STB team provided details of the different types of accommodations available, emphasizing the fact that the island destination caters for all segments, whether one is looking for a luxurious holiday or travelling on a budget.
Interestingly, travelers having already been to Seychelles, including a TV journalist, also visited the stand and did not fail to share their experiences with those who are in the process of planning a visit to the island destination. Word of mouth, which can be a powerful and cost effective promotional tool was of great help, considering there were instances where the language barrier was evident. Visitors who were sharing their experiences helped to lure others to book a holiday to the Seychelles.
The fair was also visited by a strong pool of travel agents who were targeting high-end products.
While there was no participation of local trade partners at this year’s EMITT, the STB representatives left Istanbul very satisfied with the outcome and level of interaction and business conducted during the four-day fair.
Ms. Rose said: “We were impressed to see a large number of visitors collecting every bit of information available, and we all left Istanbul extremely satisfied. I am very happy that we attended EMITT once again, as STB’s presence has allowed us to have a broader understanding of the Turkish market.”
“The seeds have been sown, what we need to do now is to conduct more activities on the market to continue intensifying our presence, hence ensuring that we keep Seychelles as a top-of-mind destination for both the trade and consumers. We definitely need to follow up with a workshop,” she added.
The East Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism exhibition (EMITT) is one of the top five tourism exhibitions worldwide and the leading travel fair in Turkey and its region. The 2018 edition of the event attracted some 50,000 visitors.
Seychelles has been represented at the travel exhibition for many years, however a lot more is being done today ranging from sales call, workshops, and engagement with the media, with the aim of attracting potential visitors.
Next year, the Seychelles stand, sporting a brand-new look, will again be present at the fair and the Seychelles Tourism Board is hoping to have more local trade partners come onboard to further promote the destination.
It is to be noted that the Turkish market and neighboring countries now enjoy better connections to Seychelles, as Turkish Airlines which started flying to Seychelles in October 2016, operates thrice-weekly flights linking Istanbul to the islands.