The Seychelles Islands was represented at the 26th edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), in Middle East’s most popular travel trade event held from April 28 to May 1, 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The 4-day event garnered the participation of some 2,500 companies, including the participation of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) featuring a representation from 150 countries, 65 national pavilions and more than 100 new exhibitors at the fair.
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The Seychelles delegation was led by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley. The Seychelles Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, Jean-Claude Adrienne, STB Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis.
They were escorted by a strong STB team including the Tourism Attaché at the Seychelles Abu Dhabi Embassy, Ms. Aliette Esther, the STB representative in Dubai, Ahmed Fathallah, and Ms. Stephanie Lablache STB Director for the Middle East and Ms. Vanessa Lucas, Public Relations Officer from the Headquarters.
The team was completed by few trade partners representing local Destination Management Companies and hotels including Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Eden Bleu Hotel, Luxury Travel, Satguru Travels and Tours Ltd, Six Senses Zil Pasyon, and Vision Voyages.
The 2019 edition of the ATM travel trade show recorded over 40,000 attendees, highlighting Middle East’s thriving tourism sector and the major opportunity for Seychelles as a destination to increase its clients in the Middle East.
STB’s participation has generated immense interest at the ATM as numerous partners and travel professionals visited the stand, conducting meetings with exhibiting partners attending the event alongside the STB team.
With the summer season fast approaching, coupled with other upcoming Middle Eastern holidays, the annual event was the ideal platform for the STB and its local partners to personally meet travel professionals to further the awareness of the destination as well as reinforcing its presence in the Middle East market.
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The destination, with Six Senses Zil Pasyon as partner, was also one of the presenters at the TTN Travel Trade Competition on the 3rd day of the fair at the Inspiration Theatre on site. The STB Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis showcased the destination through a Pecha Kucha presentation— a story telling format using 20 slides for 20 seconds per slide.
The presentation was followed by a quiz which was the highlight of the event as one lucky travel agent took home a prize sponsored by Six Senses Zil Pasyon by answering the questions correctly.
During the event, Minister Didier Dogley and STB Chief Executive had the opportunity to give several media interviews to share the latest news about the destination.
Aside from providing visibility to the destination and indulging in various promotional activities at the ATM, the STB team, headed by its Chief Executive also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the renewal of a marketing agreement between the Tourism Board and Emirates Airline.
Mrs. Francis mentioned her satisfaction following STB’s participation at the ATM, she also thanked the partners who supported the team by their presence on the stand during the event.
“STB’s participation at the ATM was definitely a great success. There was an increased interest from our media partners and our partners in the Middle East to hear about the latest news from our destination. It was vital for the destination to be present at the event, the upcoming holidays in the Middle East opens a window of opportunity to increase visitor’s arrival on the Middle East market. With the efforts contributed by the local trade present at the fair, I am confident that we have made a huge impact on the market,” said Mrs. Francis.
“We are hopeful and anticipating to surpass last year’s visitor arrivals to the destination by participating in different travel and trade events in the GCC that will serve as a platform to personally meet with new and existing trade partners.” said Mr. Fathallah.
The UAE along with the GCC countries currently being the fourth market feeder to the destination continues to be one of the largest source markets to the destination finishing off the year 2018 with more than 32,000 visitors from the GCC.