Better cooperation and exchanges are expected in the field of tourism between Seychelles and South Africa after the two countries’ respective tourism boards signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the INDABA trade fair last week in Durban.
The MOU was signed on behalf of Seychelles by the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St Ange and Sthembiso Dlamini, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the South African Tourism Board.
Several talks and discussions were held between the two bodies in the past year, leading up to the realisation of this agreement which now covers numerous areas of prolific cooperation between them.
In the presence of several representatives of both tourism boards, the agreement was signed and toasted to as both Minister St Ange and Ms Dlamini said they look forward to further strengthen ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries.
The agreement promotes promotional efforts and collaboration in developing the tourism industry of both countries as they seek to: jointly position Seychelles and South Africa as touristic destinations and increase their market profiles as preferred destinations; collaborate on marketing activities, tourism campaigns and travel trade promotions aimed at increasing the market share of both countries; provide access to each other’s pool of marketing intelligence especially to increase the marketing efficiencies of both countries; collaborate on efforts to increase the countries’ exposure in the global market and improve communication between the two parties in order to foster a closer working relationship.
Minister St Ange, who has been instrumental in pushing for such an agreement between the two bodies, reiterated of why he felt ‘Africa should work with Africa’, if the continent is to move forward and be a more attractive product on the international tourist market.
“South Africa has been and remains a strong source market for Seychelles and it is a country with which we share excellent relations. But there are more we can do for each other and this agreement will lead the way to better cooperation and exchanges between the two parties, which will help to position both destinations at a new level on the international tourist market,” he said.
Ms Dlamini also spoke of the need to work together in order to develop a common approach to developing the two countries’ tourism plan and strategies.
“Collaboration is central to all we eandevour to do as SA Tourism to grow and support the tourism industry in the country, and on the continent. We are very excited that our initial discussions with the Seychelles have borne fruit in the form of this MOU. We are looking forward to future engagement to realise our shared vision of taking our destinations to new levels of success.”