The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has launched a new campaign targeting to boost support for the importance of the tourism industry and its contribution to Seychelles’ economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Yes! is a communications and media campaign which started this weekend with adverts in daily newspapers. Educational spots on broadcast and social media will also run until December 4.
The chief executive of the board said that the Tourism Yes campaign is a joint collaboration between the board, the department for Tourism, the Seychelles Tourism Academy and the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA).
“Now we are gathering momentum, for instance, yesterday (Sunday) there were three airlines that landed at the airport and for the first time in one day, we received the most visitors since the airport reopened. That is the time to sensitise the public about tourism which is an industry for Seychelles, and brings benefits for the whole country,” Sherin Francis told journalists on Monday.
Francis said that everyone in Seychelles should work together to re-launch the sector which in 2019 brought the country $576 million or about 48 million per month.
Everyone in Seychelles should work together to relaunch the tourism sector said Francis. Photo License: CC-BY
Louise Testa from the SHTA explained that the campaign has two major objectives. “Firstly, we are reinforcing the different health protocols set by the public health department. These protocols have been set to keep all of us safe. Some people think that when the airport is opened, we are bringing in the disease which will spread in the committee and affect us. But if we observe these protocols it will not come to that,” said Testa.
Testa added that tourists are much needed for the island nation as this is the main source of foreign exchange earnings, which is crucial for the economy.
According to Testa, the second objective of the campaign is to disseminate information to the public as to why Seychelles needs tourists. The SHTA representative said it is important that people realise that tourism brings food that is sold in grocery stores as well as food on every resident’s plate.
The principal secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, said that the impact of COVID-19 on the economy is being felt on the country with the authorities warning of very little earnings after the country temporarily closed its borders earlier this year.
“As we are slowly relaunching tourism, we need to consider this seriously and it is important to give visitors whenever they come back their due value, and appreciate that they have come and helped the country,” said Lafortune, adding that giving them value for their money is also important.
The principal secretary stressed that if the local community observes health protocols and keeps Seychellois safe from COVID-19, this will encourage visitors to come to a safe destination.
Since the reopening of the Seychelles International Airport on August 1 up to October 11, 4,539 visitors have come to the Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. According to the tourism officials, in that number three visitors tested positive for COVID -19 once they were on the islands.