Travel + Leisure 2019 World's Best Award has named Seychelles the top island destination in Africa & the Middle East. The nomination results from the annual survey conducted by Travel + Leisure, which allows readers of the New York-based travel magazine to rate their travel experiences around the globe. Readers get to share their opinions on top hotels, islands, cities, airlines, cruise lines, spas, among others.
The best islands by region are rated on a number of characteristics including the destination’s natural attractions, beaches, activities & sights, restaurants, food, people and friendliness and value. The destination’s romantic appeal also features as an optional criterion. For each characteristic, respondents are asked to give a rating based on a five-point scale of excellence.
The event took place Times Square Edition in New York City on Tuesday, 16 July 2019.
David Di Gregorio, the executive board member of (APTA) Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa, of which Seychelles is a member, received the award on behalf of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB). Jacqueline Gifford, editor-in-chief and Jay Meyer the SVP/ Publisher presented the recognition to the destination to Di Gregorio.
Commenting on the award, the STB regional director for Africa & the Americas, David Germain stated that the title results from continuous collective efforts between the Seychelles authorities, including the STB and all its stakeholders. "Achieving the distinction of Top Island in Africa and the Middle East for the third time is a tremendous honour for Seychelles, recognising that the region has much to offer in terms of world-class island experiences," said Germain.
Growing solid trade relations
Germain also pointed out that the STB’s maintains the hard work to maintain solid trade relations with the USA and Canadian outbound tour operators, travel agents and other trade partners in North America. He said that winning the award for the third time is evidence that the STB’s marketing strategy in North America is working.
"The award helps to garner recognition and provides a significant amount of visibility for our islands in North America and the region. The STB will continue to share and present the culture and tourism attributes of Seychelles to both the trade and consumers in the various North American cities, with the aim of increasing tourist’s arrival to Seychelles from this part of the world," said Germain.
According to the latest figures, the North American market has shown an increase by 8% from January to May 2019 in tourism arrivals in Seychelles.
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