Seychelles, a short haul destination for India, has carved a niche positioning in the Indian outbound travel market.
The island country, establishing itself as a honeymoon destination in India, has started attracting Indians from across the segments. “With quarantine regulations easing, we expect tourism from India to see an uptick. The overarching sentiment will continue in favour of priority to safety and hygienic hotel properties, incorporation of strict safety protocols at public places and restaurants. We are very hopeful of achieving part of pre-pandemic numbers from India in 2022,” Lubaina Sheerazi, CEO and Co-Founder, BRANDit India, says. BRANDit India represents Seychelles Tourism Board in India.
The destination was witnessing significant year-on-year growth in Indian arrivals pre-pandemic. Seychelles’ proximity to the country as well as growth of tourism to other island destinations in the last couple of years are all positive indicators of focusing on India. “We certainly foresee India amongst our priority markets,” Sheerazi replies to a question over India’s positioning in the post pandemic months.
Revealing the plan further, Sheerazi opines that the Board is focusing on the evolving needs of Indian travellers, from attracting the main segment of honeymooners to families and those seeking a more experiential holiday. We also aim to promote a gamut of accommodation options across various categories in multiple islands. “We are setting short term goals, reviewing and aligning them as needed, keeping in line with the global parameters and protocols for the pandemic,” she adds.
Speaking on the segment, she informs that honeymooners will remain an important sector for Seychelles followed by DINKS, young couples and small families. “We also understand the paradigm shift in celebrations of Indian weddings and smaller events and aim to focus heavily on getting small groups for intimate celebrations and weddings from India,” she says.
According to her, on ground events are slowly picking up, more stringent and effective safety protocols are being rolled out around the globe. Many countries are achieving herd immunity and vaccination drives across the globe are at an all-time high. “We foresee the markets to open in stages and bounce back to its former glory by 2023,” she adds.
The Board is looking at scheduling a roadshow, engaging with trade media, conducting workshops and sales visits in key cities of India as well as participating in trade shows in 2022 to further strengthen its trade ties. that allow robust trade and consumer engagement.
“We are hopeful of going back to high arrival numbers from India, engaging with a larger audience pool as well as providing a location for shoots for the Indian entertainment industry and are working towards setting protocols I that space,” she says.