The 41st edition of the IFTM Top Resa, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, kicked off on October 1 and came to an end on Friday, October 5.
As the industry’s leading business-to-business trade show, IFTM Top Resa is the only French event that brings together the whole tourism sector, featuring multiple segments over four days including, Leisure, Tourism, Business Travel, Group Tourism and Events.
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The Trade show gathered over 34,000 professionals, French and international buyers, tourism distribution and production professionals, journalists and media representatives, influencers, students and officials who all came to connect with the 1,700 exhibitors. Exhibitors included tourism boards, airlines, hotel groups, technology companies and startups.
The Seychelles delegation was led by Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr. Didier Dogley, who was present at the Seychelles stand for the opening of the annual tourism trade fair.
French travel agents and press expressed immense interest in the Seychelles as a holiday destination, keeping the destination’s stand occupied during the first three days of the IFTM Top Resa tourism fair.
The Seychelles stand consisted of the Seychelles Tourism Board team, accompanied by seven trade partners.
Trade partners and representatives included: 7° South – Corinne Delpech; Masons Travel – Alan Masons and Paul Lebon; Creole Travel Services – Guillaume Albert and Stephanie Marie; Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resorts – Bertrand Moussa; Banyan Tree Seychelles – Marie Gougeon; Coral Strand Hotel and Savoy Resort & Spa – Ekaterina Gritsenko; and Hilton Seychelles – Devi Pentamah.
The Seychelles Tourism Board was represented by its Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis; STB’s Regional Director for Europe, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin; Marketing Executives from the STB France office, Jennifer Dupuy, Myra Fanchette and Valerie Payet; as well as Marketing Executive from the STB Head Office, Christina Cecile.
Mrs. Francis said: “This year’s IFTM TOP RESA was once again an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with our French partners. We are happy that we have their renewed commitment to keep on growing this market further. Therefore, we are looking forward to another fruitful year of collaboration.”
Minister Dogley and Mrs. Francis used this opportunity to conduct various meetings with travel trade professionals and give interviews to some high-profile media.
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A press conference, with the presence of approximately a dozen journalists, was organized on the second day of the trade show. The delegation updated the media on the Seychelles tourism development, also on the 250 years Seychelles celebration plan. A detailed exposé about the country’s conservation environmental protection initiatives, including the Blue Economy and Blue Bond, was also presented.
The IFTM Top Resa is the turning point of the tourism season, coinciding with the launch of the tour operators’ winter brochures and various promotional campaigns, by different industry players.
STB’s Regional Director for Europe, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin says IFTM Top Resa has once again fulfilled its role as one of the world’s major tourism trade fairs, both in terms of the number of visitors and exhibitors alike.
“Its main role as a forum for travel trade professionals has proven, once again, very fruitful, enabling participants to renew contacts and meet with new interlocutors, discover or re-discover new tourism products and services,” said Mrs. Willemin.
“At the same time, it must be underscored that stiff competition still characterizes IFTM Top Resa and it is the presence therein that a given destination displays its assets to keep its market share, if not increasing it,” she added.
The French market is a significant one for the Seychelles, being the second leading market after Germany. The Seychelles Islands is still a favorite and safe destination for French visitors, as seen by the attention the Seychelles stand received during the Trade Fair.