The High Commissioner of Seychelles to Sri Lanka, Conrad Mederic (third from left) flanked by Amia Jovanovic–Desir, Seychelles Tourism Board Director for India, Australia and South East Asia, Elsie Sinon, Senior Marketing Executive, Pradeep Durairaj, Commercial Manager, SriLankan Airlines and Seychelles Country Manager designate.
by Zacki Jabbar
A tourism workshop held in Colombo recently, revealed the potential for increasing outbound travel and tourism between Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner of Seychelles to Sri Lanka, Conrad Mederic, addressing a Destination Tourism Workshop organised by the Seychelles Tourism Board in collaboration with the Seychelles High Commission at the Taj Samudra, said that both countries had an abundance of attractions, rich heritage, unlimited potential and resources, which could be used in promoting them as travel destinations.
“There is great potential in increasing both outbound travel and tourism between Seychelles and Sri Lanka”, he stressed.
The workshop was a sequel to a similar initiative organised by the Seychelles High Commission, in collaboration with the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) in Colombo, last September.
“Not only can our tourism sectors benefit from cooperation, but as neighbors residing in the same oceanic waters, it should be in our interest to explore each others cultures, places of religious and historical importance, as well as in encouraging our people to truly experience what is on offer”, High Commissioner Mederic said.
He adding that both Seychelles and Sri Lanka have UNESCO world heritage sites, as well as providing interest and enjoyment to thousands of tourists from across the world.
He said that Seychelles, once considered to be the original Garden of Eden discovered by explorers many centuries ago, gave tourists an endless offering of leisure activities, a wide selection of accommodations with plush amenities as well as the experience of enjoying Creole culture and rich African influences.
Tourists could also enjoy Island-Hopping, by taking planned excursions to Island’s that surround the main Islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
With visas being granted on arrival, Seychelles, comprising a population of little over 90,000, was an archipelago that offered peace and tranquility, complemented by a safe and secure environment, blessed with a generous abundance of “our very own paradise on earth”, a rich variety of breathtaking beaches, laced with pristine white sand, guarded by turquoise and cerulean ocean waters, swarming with diverse aquatic life and ancient coral reefs, Mederic explained.
He requested the outbound travel sector, which participated in the workshop, to facilitate better options by creating more inclusive and price flexible packages for Sri Lankans to explore what Seychelles had to offer, which included its nature reserves and UNESCO world heritage sites of Vallee de Mai and Aldabra Island, that was home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises and Coco de Mer or the Sea Coconut, found only in Seychelles.
“These are unique symbols of our culture and heritage. Our wonderful archipelago nation has all these and much more to offer. What I have touched upon, is just a layer of an entire world, that is unrivalled in its beauty.”
While thanking SriLankan Airlines for being the only air travel company to provide direct flights to Seychelles from Colombo, the High Commissioner suggested further modifications in ticket prices, to encourage more tourists to visit Seychelles.
The STB team facilitating the event comprised Amia Jovanovic–Desir, Director for India, Australia and South East Asia and Elsie Sinon Senior Marketing Executive.
Jovanovic-Desir said that the objective of the workshop was to provide travel agents with a better understanding of Seychelles and also instil in them, that it was a marketable destination.
Her presentation gave insights into the Island-Hoping concept, diverse attractions and hotel price range for different income brackets and the particularities of Seychelles, in comparison to somewhat similar destinations.
Elsie Sinon said that their hard work had paid off, with the STB providing 70 travel agents with the necessary tools to promote Seychelles as an idylic place.
Pradeep Durairaj, Commercial Manager of SriLankan Airlines and Seychelles Country Manager-designate, said that SriLankan flies thrice weekly to Seychelles on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. He described it as a profitable route, with flying time being around four hours.