Tourism partners in UAE get a “taste of Seychelles” |02 November 2021
To mark the first official encounter of Seychelles’ Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde with Middle East tourism partners, Tourism Seychelles’ Office hosted a ‘Taste of Seychelles’ event at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers on Tuesday last week.
Alongside Minister Radegonde, various other government representatives from Seychelles attended the event. The Minister for Youth, Sports and Family, Marie-Celine Zialor; the Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries, Jean-François Ferrari; the Mayor of Victoria, David Andre and other notable senior government officials from the Seychelles joined Minister Radegonde in welcoming the guests, who included numerous influential personalities and leading business figures from the United Arab Emirates, as well as various media press, media moguls, and trade partners, to the glittering event.
The minister was also accompanied on this mission by the principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis, and the director general for destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin, both of whom were there to welcome the guests.
Throughout the lively and sophisticated evening, which took place ahead of Seychelles’ National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, the guests were taken on a journey of discovery of the savour of Seychelles, where delicacies such as coconut nougat, banana chips and local beverages were served while they were serenaded by Seychellois vocalist Isham Rath and saxophonist Jean Quatre, two Seychellois celebrity artists.
In his address, Minister Radegonde stated: “As this is my first visit to the Middle East in my capacity as the tourism minister, I would like to thank the people of the United Arab Emirates for their incredible hospitality. Our relationship with the United Arab Emirates has always been close and special. Since our ties to the region began almost two decades ago, the UAE has been the number one Middle Eastern country visiting our islands for ten consecutive years.”
Discussing the effects of the pandemic on the islands, Mr Radegonde noted: “We have been very active in taking the necessary measures in implementing the appropriate travel requirements so that we can protect both our citizens and visitors. Thankfully, our hard work has paid off. At present, approximately 72% of our population has been fully vaccinated. Through this, we can now officially declare Seychelles as a safe country for tourists to visit.”
Commenting on the event, Ahmed Fathallah, Tourism Seychelles’ representative based in Dubai, said: “We are truly thrilled by the turnout at this event. We would like to thank our esteemed guests for making it here today and for extending the warmest of welcomes to Minister Radegonde on his first official visit as the tourism minister to the Middle East. As travel restrictions begin to ease throughout the Arab world, we hope that more and more people are able to see for themselves the multifaceted and culturally rich aspects of Seychelles.”
An avant-goût of the Seychelles experience is available for those who visit the island-nation’s pavilion at EXPO 2020, Mrs Francis noted. “To those who are interested in experiencing their own personal ‘Taste of Seychelles’ here in Dubai, we are happy to inform them that they can now comfortably do so at the Seychelles pavilion located in EXPO,” she said.
Under the slogan ‘Conserving Nature’, Seychelles is using its heightened platform in the EXPO 2020 Dubai to highlight the efforts made by both local and international bodies to protect the country’s natural treasures through maintaining the natural ecosystems and biodiversity of the beautiful islands.”
“It was an absolute pleasure to take our UAE guests on this beautiful voyage to get a taste of our islands. It was an opportune time for the Tourism Seychelles team to network with our industry partners,” said Bernadette Willemin.
With 18,000 visitors recorded from the UAE since January 2021, the country is second top source market for Seychelles.
Press release from Tourism Seychelles