The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) is closing some of its overseas offices as a means to cope with the ongoing pandemic and its economic impact on the country, the board announced over the weekend.
STB’s chief executive, Sherin Francis, said that the decisions are purely based on cost reduction and at the same time retention of the team.
“These are difficult times for the industry and the changes are unavoidable. We have to find creative ways to maintain our operation and operate at a minimal cost. 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 Francis.
Two offices based in China, namely those in Hong Kong and Beijing, will no longer be in operation. Their activities will be conducted from the STB office in Shanghai.
As of March, this year, the office in France will move from its current location to the premises housing Seychelles’ embassy. STB’s office in Italy will close following the retirement on January 1 of the Director for Italy, Turkey, Israel and the Mediterranean, Monette Rose.
The tourism board will be represented in Italy by a Rome-based Public Relations and Destination Representation Company, ITA Strategy srl – headed by Danielle Di Gianvito. To ensure continuity and maintain an authentic link with Seychelles, a former marketing executive from STB, Yasmine Pocetti, will also join the team at ITA Strategy srl, where she will be working on the Seychelles account.
The UK-based office will cease physical operations by the end of February. The marketing executive of this office, Eloise Vidot, will be working from home while the director for that market, Karen Confait and the director for Russia, CIS & Eastern Europe, Lena Hoareau, will both be based back at the STB headquarters.
Additionally, as of the end of February, the STB office in South Africa will also be closed and its director, Christine Vel, will be operating from the island nation, while the regional director for South Africa, other Africa and Americas, David Germain, will remain in South Africa maintaining an STB presence on the market.
In a previous communique to her team, Francis said that “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,” she said.