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An evolving product is the key to growth

Frederic Veyrier, Director of Operations, Raffles Praslin Seychelles talks to TBMEs Charmaine Fernz about the importance of Middle East guests and new focus areas….


The year so far…                                   

The Middle East is an important market for us as guests from this region (year-to-date) represent 14.5% of total visitors in all of Seychelles. The year-to-date occupancies too for 2017 (YTD) is 37,812 guests as compared to 26,220 (YTD) in 2016. This resulted in a 44% increase especially boosted by the launch of Qatar flights to Male.  Going into particulars, the occupancy of Middle East guests at Raffles Seychelles in 2016 was 1,374 (4.4%) while in 2017, it is 1,224 (5.2%) year-to-date.

How important is the Middle East market for the property?

With the Middle East leading emerging market population boom over the past decade, demographic and social change is a key issue. The region is young, with 40% of its people under the age of 25; and expected to rise by almost 50% over the next 25 years. The travel and tourism industry today finds itself at the helm of a multi-faceted demand shift driven by these generational and demographic changes. The hotel is well-positioned to meet this demand with its heritage and freshness that appeal to these segments.

Which countries are stronger in terms of guest numbers from this region?

If we have to take year-to-date statistics, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands at 23,340 while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are at 14,472.

What strategies are being adopted to promote the property in the Middle East?

We are working on a dedicated awareness campaign through media and the travel trade. An intensive campaign has also been rolled out to target direct consumers. The locational advantage of the destination to the Middle East makes Seychelles great weekend getaway or short-stays. We are also looking to boost the number of short-stays in our property along with the family segment.

How does the property cater for Middle East guests?

Our team in the GCC and at the hotel are familiar with the region’s culture and traditions, we pay special attention these factors along with the privacy and superior standards.

What are key USPs of the property?

The location of our property is certainly our USP which provides a micro-climate environment, a luxury resort in a middle of nature, a place where you can hide from megalopolis and re-energize yourself. The proximity of several places to discover including just a five-minute drive to the Anse Lazio beach, close to island (Curieuse, La Digue).

We also offer a variety and selection of food ranging from local, Pan-Asian, European, Japanese and even Arabic. We have the biggest spa in Seychelles offering 13 pavilions with a large selection of treatments using local natural product as well as international brand products from Kerstin Florian. Our staff members is our biggest strength as they hail from 26 different countries. They create that unique atmosphere in the property and there is a lot of interactions and communication with the guests to make sure that they fell at ease and we can satisfy all their expectations and wishes.

What are the technological innovations adopted within the property?

We offer high-speed Internet TV across the property which was recently introduced. In 2017-18, we are working on a project for a new device named Handy which helps to communicate with the property. This would be for guests staying at the resort and staff. The introduction of Handy should increase relation and follow-up of our guest’s expectations.

What are your focus areas for 2018?

We are looking to develop our exposure in all markets with the support of our sales and marketing team. We will also look at an increase in visits of partners along with participation in many more tourism fairs. Creation of new packages with a special focus on culinary and wellbeing packages.