Seychelles charms feature at South Korea’s Hana Tour International Travel Show 2019 (HITS) |28 June 2019
Korean travellers and partners had a glimpse of the beauty of the destination as Seychelles featured at the 13th Hana Tour International Travel Show from June 7 - 9, 2019 at KINTEX exhibition centre, Goyang City in South Korea.
The three-day exhibition saw the participation of over 700 organisations and companies, including tourism boards, airlines, and hotels.
Seychelles, represented by its marketing body the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), was lodged within an 18sqm stand with the destination brand image design focusing the beach, the granite feature, which commanded the attention of many visitors to the stand.
The Seychelles delegation included Amia Jovanovic-Desir, the director for India, South Korea, Australia and South East Asia; Judy Yun, newly appointed representative for the Seychelles on the South Korean market; Jean-François Figaro, senior officer Strategic Planning & Market Intelligence; and Jill Freminot, e-marketing executive.
Aside from meeting with the Seychelles team to discuss about the destination and its features, an assortment of events were organised at the stand to retain visitors’ interest.
The activities included the spinning Roulette through which each participant had to mention the word Seychelles as many times as indicated in order to receive a branded water bottle. The spinning Roulette saw the participation of over 600 visitors, which were a combination of families, couples and children.
Visitors were also invited to take a photograph at our stand with the Seychellois staff and the iconic coco-de-mer, the heaviest and largest nut in the world. Visitors were then invited to upload the photo on their social media page with the hashtags #Seychelles #HITS.
The highlight of the STB’s participation at the HANA 2019 remains the lucky draw, which saw the signing up of more than 5,000 visitors, all wishing to be the lucky winner of a return trip to Seychelles for two persons.
During the 3 days, the various visitors – including individual visitors, FIT, potential honeymooners, as well as retirees – showed their extensive interest in Seychelles as a holiday destination.
As part of its participation at the HANA 2019, the STB conducted a rigorous study on the Korean market. The exercise was successfully conducted by STB’s senior officer - Strategic Planning & Market Intelligence, Jean-François Figaro whose main objective was to facilitate the Consumer Insight Survey designed for this exhibition.
The aim of the study was to generate important insight into South Korea as a source market for the Seychelles and better understand the needs and desires of South Korean travellers.
Speaking about the collection of figure at the HANA 2019, Mrs Jovanovic-Desir mentioned that it is essential for the tourism board to have a better understanding of the challenges faced by the STB office in Korea and Korean tour operators in their attempt to successfully promote and sell the destination.
To achieve these objectives Mr Figaro, together with other members of the Seychelles team, gathered responses from more than 275 participants over the three-day period through the administration of survey questionnaires.
The STB’s presence at the HANA 2019 caught the attention of numerous Korean media representatives and Mrs Jovanovic-Desir offered several media interviews to share the latest information and further promote the destination.
“Most of the tour operators and agents that we have met are focusing on the honeymooner’s segment and visitors who visited our stand believe that Seychelles is only for the high-end clients. I have thus informed them that Seychelles is a destination which caters for demand from a broad range of income brackets. We will continuously identify the appropriate marketing strategies and tools in order to increase the Seychelles’ image in South Korea, with the aim of changing this negative mind-set of the consumers,” said Mrs Jovanovic-Desir.
“Seychelles is known as a dream and paradise holiday destination that people wish to visit once in their lifetime. This fair definitely helped to raise Seychelles visibility and people’s awareness towards the destination,” added Mrs Yun.
While in South Korea, Mrs Jovanovic-Desir and Mr Figaro guided by Mrs Yun met with some key players and trade partners in Seoul in a series of sales calls organised ahead of time. These included visits to tour operating companies including Honeymoon Resort, Mode Tour, Vanilla Island and Dream TNE.