Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture has congratulated the SHTA (Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association) for organising the training session which concentrated on eMarketing, Social Media and the likes.

Minister St.Ange who had been invited to address the training session at the ICCS Conference Centre in Victoria said when he took to the podium that the SHTA, the Association representing the tourism and hospitality industry in Seychelles, needed to be congratulated for staging a training session focused on eMarketing.

Speaking in the presence of Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Freddy Karkaria, the Chairperson of the industry’s Association, Eddie D’Offay, the Vice Chairperson, Kate Carolus, the CEO of the Association and the trainer who had flown to Seychelles from Australia, the Minister told the group of small Seychellois Hoteliers and Members of the DMCs (Destination Management Companies) that sitting idle and doing nothing was not an option anymore. “No one can expect to fill their hotels unless they were involved in some form of marketing” Minister St.Ange said.

The Minister’s points were taken up by the Australian trainer who agreed that hotels, large or small, needed visibility and he concurred that properties needed to be savy in their approach and not to put all their eggs in one basket when dealing with OTAs.

Minister Alain St.Ange told the small hoteliers present at the meeting that their properties remained dependant on personalised management and service. “If you have something unique to your property let the world know. In so doing you are creating the plus for your property in the market place” the Minister said before using as an example the congratulatory Trip Advisor Certificates many properties in Seychelles had received. “Many of you have received this certificate, but it was only after Treasure Cove and L’Archipel Hotel informed the Tourism Board that they had been singled out by Trip Advisor that others followed. This was a clear plus for you because your clients had said you were good. Just keeping this certificate on your wall will only remind you and your staff that you are good, but when you get it circulated for the whole world to know that your clients have recommended you for a Certificate of Appreciation, you are placing yourself ahead of the pack” Minister St.Ange said.

The meeting was also an opportunity for Minister St.Ange to implore the small Seychellois owned hotels to use the press who come to Seychelles to cover the events organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to increase their own visibility. “For intense at the last carnival we have over 109 press houses in the country. Few, only a few small hoteliers moved to seek coverage to help increase their own visibility, and today as reports on Seychelles are coming out we can read about the hotels and resorts who firstly participated in the carnival, and secondly those who hosted the press when they were in Seychelles. The CEO of the Tourism Board will continue to go out fishing, but when she brings the fish and offload the catch on Beau Vallon beach you need to come down to collect what you need for your dinner table. If you do not do that you will not get the fish for your own home. I am saying this to again invite you all to work with the Tourism Board as partners and in so doing benefit from the increase in visitor arrival numbers Seychelles is today enjoying” the Minister said. The Australian trainer agreed with Minister St.Ange that press reviews are today picked up by their online version and often referred to also by Google Alerts. This the trainer said ensures that the hotel name and their website increases in reference importance.

Minister Alain St.Ange said after this SHTA meeting that this was a needed session for the trade. The small hotels of the islands are in fact the largest hotel the country has when one analyses the number of rooms falling in the category of small home grown hotels. “We have been after the Seychellois to claim back their tourism industry. Today more Seychellois have a small tourism establishment than ever before. This is what we wanted as this will ensure Seychellois work together to defend their industry, and they will work with the Government to consolidate their industry for the long term” the Minister said.

Minister St.Ange will again this week be doing his door-to-door visits of hotels, large and small, in the West Side of Mahe and he will also be meeting with Culture based entrepreneurs as well.

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