Following the impact of the pandemic on its economy and international operations, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has announced various changes to its overseas offices.
According to eturbonews.com, on the Chinese market, the STB offices in Hong Kong and Beijing will no longer be in operations in these two cities and its activities will be conducted from the STB office in Shanghai.
In Europe, as of March 2020, the STB office in France will move from its current location to the premises housing Seychelles’ Embassy. Furthermore, the STB office in Italy will close following the retirement of the Director for Italy, Turkey, Israel and the Mediterranean, Mrs Monette Rose as of 1 January 2021. Henceforth, STB will be represented by a Rome-based PR and Destination Representation Company, ITA Strategy srl- headed by Ms Danielle Di Gianvito.
With more than 25 years of experience, Ms Danielle Di Gianvito has a strong background in the travel industry; she has worked with airlines and several international Tourism Board on the Italian and Spanish markets. To ensure continuity and maintain an authentic link with the Seychelles islands, Mrs Yasmine Pocetti – former STB Marketing Executive will also join the team at ITA Strategy srl and she will be working on the Seychelles account.
In addition, the STB office in the UK will cease physical operation by the end of February 2021. The Marketing Executive for the UK based office Mrs Eloise Vidot will be working from home while the Director for that market Ms Karen Confait will be based back at the STB headquarters.
The STB Director for Russia, CIS & Eastern Europe, Mrs Lena Hoareau will also be based at the STB headquarters.
Additionally, as of the end of February 2021, the STB office in South Africa will also be closed, its Director, Ms Christine Vel will be operating from the STB headquarters, while the STB Regional Director for South Africa, Other Africa and Americas, Mr David Germain will remain in South Africa maintaining an STB presence on the market.
Speaking about the changes in the STB operations, Mrs Sherin Francis, STB Chief Executive stated that the decisions are purely based on cost reduction but at the same time retention of the team.
We are also mindful that now more than ever, we have to make sure that we remain even more strategic and targeted and stay focus on our mandate,” said Mrs Francis.
In late November, Mrs Francis addressed a long communication to all STB Staff and collaborators explaining the very difficult predicaments the organisation is facing.
An extract taken from her communiqué reads as follows:
“The measures to be applied are to ensure that firstly STB can get through the year, but at the same time maintaining as much of its meagre resources; both human and financial for the eventual recovery of the country. The uncertainties that lie ahead of us requires as much planning and foresight while we acknowledge we are in a time where we have little information or data that can guide us through.
To coin a gentler metaphor, normally, the purpose of a fiscal rigour is to prepare us for a rainy day. I think we can all agree that that proverbial rain is already falling today and falling hard. Failing to buy an umbrella, when it is raining and when you can still afford one, is not prudent. It is foolish,” said the STB Chief Executive.
In the same communique, Mrs Francis also expressed her gratitude to her team locally and overseas for their immense support and continued commitment in these difficult times. She encouraged everyone to not be discouraged and to look forward to sunnier days ahead.