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Seychelles Tourism Board Newsletter 17



Hilton in management deal for Northolme Resort & Spa
by STB - 5th May 2006

Hilton International has signed an agreement with Crowne Company to manage the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, the 5-star, 40-villa resort on the island of Mahé.

Wolfgang Neumann, President, Hilton International, Europe & Africa commented; “We are very proud to expand our portfolio and take the Hilton brand name to our first Worldwide Resort in the Seychelles. In addition to the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa and the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa, this will give us a unique selection of stunning resorts in the Indian Ocean. This will also extend our relationship with Crowne Company which owns both the Hilton Seychelles and the Hilton Maldives resorts.”


Hilton International has signed an agreement to manage The Northolme Hotel & Spa



The resort combines idyllic barefoot luxury with refined relaxation and offers first-class facilities, quality service, fine dining and an array of activities.


40 private villas - 14 deluxe oceanfront and 26 hillside villas – are nestled amidst the small beach coves of Beau Vallon Bay and on the hillside. Elevated on stilts with spectacular ocean views, the villas blend Seychellois architecture and contemporary décor with natural materials and fabrics from the Far East. The ultimate in luxury, they are equipped with king sized poster beds, rainfall showers, whirlpool bathtubs, LCD flat screen TVs, CD and DVD players and extensive balconies.



Soon in Seychelles
by STB - 5th May 2006

A look at the soon-to-arrive 36-metre Wildcat Crowther high-speed catamaran from Creole Travel Services, plus all of the destination’s upcoming hotel developments in the latest updated edition of Soon in Seychelles.


Dining & Cuisine

Top Italian chefs close out week-long culinary journey through Seychelles
by STB - 5th May 2006

Two of Italy’s top chefs were in Seychelles recently for what will be a highly publicised tour through the culinary world of Seychelles and the extravagant fares of Beachcomber’s Ste Anne Resort.

Igles Corelli and Bruno Barbieri, both chefs of the renowned Gamborosso distinction, spent a week in Seychelles trailed by a contingent of prominent national media from Italy, including RAI TV, Radio Monte Carlo and print journalists as well.


Renowned for its cusine, Ste Anne Resort was the backdrop for two of Italy's top chefs to explore the culinary world of Seychelles



The visit, which was initiated by Beachcomber with support from tour operator Hotel Plan and Air Seychelles, has provided an excellent opportunity not only for the Ste Anne Resort but for the Seychelles destination as a whole and the excellent cuisine it offers.


As part of the programme during the week, the chefs were able to interact with the local population and experience not only the culinary methods and ingredients native to Seychelles, but also some of the islands’ best attractions, with the media documenting every step.


Through excursions sponsored by STB and Creole Travel Services, the group had a chance to explore Victoria market and had lunch and a leisurely afternoon at Cap Lazare. The group also visited the Vallee de Mai on Praslin and Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue, along the way extracting tips from local culinary experts on manze kreol.




Seychelles hosts UNWTO seminar
by STB - 5th May 2006

Delegates from 12 countries across the African continent gathered in Seychelles in April for a three-day seminar on tourism marketing, organised under the UN World Tourism Organisation’s special programme for Africa.

Held at the Plantation Club Resort & Casino from April 17-19, the workshopwas officially opened by the Vice President of Seychelles, Joseph Belmont, who also serves as the country’s minister for tourism.


 From right to left: STB Chairman & CEO Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Vice President Joseph Belmont, UNWTO Representative for Africa Ousmane Ndiaye, and Tourism PS Gerard Lafortune 



The workshop was also attended by the UNWTO Regional Representative for Africa, Ousmane Ndiaye, with delegations hailing from Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and elsewhere on the continent.


Aided by guest speakers sourced by the UNWTO and various case studies from the participating countries, the seminar focused on how national tourism organisations like the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) can better plan and evaluate their marketing activities to ensure the effective use of funds toward bringing the country a return on its tourism investments.




Air Seychelles to renew fleet with Boeing ‘Dreamliners’ by 2010
by STB - 5th May 2006

Air Seychelles has plans to replace its current fleet of Boeing 767-300 with the highly efficient and cost-effective Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2010.

According to the chairman and chief executive of the national airline, Captain David Savy, “our choice of the B787-800 Dreamliner is based primarily on the operational savings it brings especially in terms of fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs. This airplane was also designed with people in mind. This combination is a sure winner.”


Serious consideration was also given to the fact that Seychelles is a high-end destination, which means that Air Seychelles needs to retain a young and modern fleet to serve a discerning clientele. “Our objective is to always have the youngest fleet operating to the Indian Ocean,” Captain Savy added.


Air Seychelles has been operating Boeing aircraft since 1986, using the B707-320, B757, B737-700 and B767’s. Its current B767 fleet’s average age is only 7 years.


 The colours of Air Seychelles will be carried by Boeing Dreamliners in 2010



“The B787-800 Dreamliners will offer unrivalled levels of comfort and in-flight amenities whereby our passengers will now experience a high class product with wider space in economy class and lie-flat seats in business class. Passengers can also expect superior products, as the latest technology is being incorporated to help people feel better during and after a long flight,” Captain Savy said.


The Dreamliner will provide higher humidity levels in the cabin, a lower cabin altitude, state of the art acoustics, innovative lighting, wider seats and aisles, bigger overhead bins and larger windows greatly improving the overall flying experience. State-of-the-art entertainment will be offered with each individual seat having its own monitor. The aircraft will be e-enabled for total connectivity.


The aircraft will also be the most eco-friendly airplane in its class, which pleases Seychelles immensely as possibly the most eco-friendly islands of the world, with some 48 percent of its territory declared reserves.




Seychelles hosts familiarisation trip for top European incentive houses
by STB - 5th May 2006

The Seychelles Tourism Board and Masons Travel in conjunction with Starwood Hotel resorts (Le Méridién) and Air Seychelles recently hosted a familiarisation trip to Seychelles for 25 representatives of top incentive houses from all over Europe.

This pan-European incentive familiarisation trip was the first of its kind ever to be organized in Seychelles.


A comprehensive itinerary between April 28 and May 1 including a culinary theme was organized for the group, kicked off by a cocktail party hosted by Le Méridién at its Fisherman’s Cove Hotel, which was attended by the Vice President of Seychelles, Joseph Belmont, as well as top executives from STB, Air Seychelles, and Mason’s.


The group’s itineraries included trips to the Ste Anne Marine Park via catamaran, a fast boat cross over to Praslin and La Digue with a catamaran cruise between the islands, with a glimpse into the cultural and natural attractions offered by both islands. A special cultural evening at Chez Batista complete with a Creole dinner and traditional moutya and kanmtole demonstration sponsored by STB, was also on the programme


During their stay the group participated in cooking sessions similar to the popular UK culinary show, Ready-Steady-Cook, introducing them to the marvels of Creole cuisine.


“We created a cultural and natural based programme as an alternative to the usual classics, a concept we wanted to promote during the familiarisation trip,” said Serge Robert of Mason’s Travel.



Seychelles tourism rides growth in Middle Eastern market
by STB - 5th May 2006

With tourism arrivals to Seychelles from the Middle East having jumped by 125 percent in 2005, holiday marketers are keen to capitalise on the uptrend.

Last year’s growth is widely acknowledged to have come as a result of the arrival of new airlines into the destination, namely Qatar and Emirates. With capacity at an all-time high, the Seychelles tourism trade is eager to keep its finger on the pulse of the Middle East market and nurture its rapid growth.


“The Middle East is such an intriguing market for Seychelles, in that there are a number of different segments of the market that can immediately identify with the destination and its product, not to mention the fact that Seychelles is little more than four hours away,” says Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the chairman and CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB). “The idea of Seychelles and all that it offers, from the luxurious resorts to the small, charming guest houses, and from the private island hideaway to an adventurous and diverse island-hopping experience, caters to just about any type of traveller.”


Dubai-based Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy, which represents the STB in the region, expects the Middle East market to remain solid for the archipelago, especially with many top hotel brands entering the Seychelles landscape as soon as this year, and with investors from the region enthusiastic about the possibilities for the islands.


“With the newfound air capacity, and with Dubai along with other cities in the region growing rapidly, the Middle East market has great potential for Seychelles,” says Julie Muirhead, general manager for Mohamed Al Geziry. “The interest from prominent investors from the region certainly shows how much confidence there is in the destination.”


STB has targeted a 33 percent increase for tourism arrivals to Seychelles from the Middle East, this on top of last year’s impressive growth. If the projections are true to form, the region would be the Seychelles’ top market outside of Europe, which accounts for 80 percent of the country’s total arrivals.


According to Francis Mondon, the general manager of the Plantation Club Resort & Casino, with the new flights from the region the potential for the market isn’t in question. “It comes down to how well we sell and position ourselves in the market,” he said, noting that Seychelles could better tap into the large expatriate workforce while maintaining and strengthening its position with Middle Eastern nationals.







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