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Everyone can find their own Seychelles: Bernadette Willemin, Director General Marketing, Tourism Seychelles

Seychelles opened its borders for Indian-vaccinated travellers back in May 2021 and this year, the vaccination status for travel was relaxed. The country known for its beaches and luxury hotel brands intends to not position itself as a ‘Destination for Everyone’ in the Indian market.

“We are not an expensive destination. We are a value for money destination with premium experiences and services,” said Bernadette Willemin, Director General Marketing, Tourism Seychelles at an exclusive media roundtable during her first visit to Mumbai last week.

Seychelles aims at receiving over 3,30,000 arrivals from international markets this year and India is one of the focus markets for the destination.

Willemin said, “Business is not looking bad but it is not what it was pre-COVID. With the ease of travel restrictions, our hotels are running on high occupancy and since Q4 2021, we started recording the revival of our traditional markets (mainly from Europe). But like any business, it is important for us to focus on other markets with potential and this is where India comes into the picture. We value the type of business and clientele we get from this country and hence we appointed a representation in India.”

Seychelles has traditionally been perceived as a luxury and expensive destination in the Indian market. However, the island nation intends to change the perception and wants to position the destination for every Indian looking for premium travel experiences.

She said, “We are not just sun, sea and sand – we can be an adventure destination too. Everyone can tailormade their vacations in Seychelles as per their choice and preferences – from boutique hotels to international hotel brands, from beaches to mountains, from culture to heritage, we have it all. We are perfect for long weekend breaks with easy visa access for Indian travellers. We are a destination ideal for honeymooners, adventure lovers, families, catamaran cruises, Special Events, weddings and MICE.”

She emphasized the fact that the best way to experience Seychelles is by booking through a travel expert as the destination has many options and only a travel expert can understand and guide the traveller as per their preference of holiday. Indian stay 5-6 days in Seychelles on average and we intend to extend it to 8-9 days. Though everyone can do the traditional tourist route on their own, only a travel expert can guide you with the right island tours, cultural routes, adventure spots and even food experiences, added Willemin.

Apart from direct flights, there are multiple Middle Eastern and African carriers providing connectivity to Seychelles from various Indian cities.

“Apart from Air Seychelles, One of the most convenient air connections is provided by Ethiopian Airlines – brilliant airlines, great connections, good service and comfortable experience,” concluded Willemin.