afrol News, 9 April - Island hopping is no longer defined to the Caribbean or Aegean, but growing more popular in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles has found that tourism marketing on the close-by French island Réunion and a tighter cooperation is gaining quick results.
Last year, Seychelles tourism authorities and stakeholders for the first time went on a promotional tour to the sister Indian Ocean island of Réunion. It paid off. The trip resulted in Air Austral introducing a second flight from its Réunion base to Seychelles and a growth in island hopping tourists.
This year, therefore, Seychelles sends a strong delegation comprising of tourism and cultural officials to Réunion this weekend for yet another Seychelles promotional tour. Two ministers join the trip.
Last year, the Seychelles tourism officials met with different tour operators in two cities in Réunion to update them on developments on the tourism market as well as with the press to spread the awareness on Seychelles, as also the Réunionnais public increasingly is travelling on holidays abroad.
"The exposure proved to be a huge success which saw the visitor arrivals from that market increased during the third quarter of the year and which is on a consistent rise since the beginning of 2010," according to authorities.
Speaking ahead of this promotion, the Seychelles' director of tourism marketing, Alain St Ange, said that Réunion is an emerging market which is doing very well and they feel it should be given the support to produce better results.
"The figures picked up faster than we expected and it shows that our promotional tour last year was necessary to reactivate that market and bring Seychelles back in the minds of the Réunionnais public," he said.
He explained that they are going back with a cultural group so as to show a different aspect of the destination and to get the Réunionnais public to associate them with the cultural similarities that bond the two countries.
"There are so many points in common that bond the two countries and we want to incite the Réunionnais through these to visit our islands," Mr St Ange added.
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