Insights and Future Directions for Seychelles Tourism in the Korean Market

Insights and Future Directions for Seychelles Tourism in the Korean Market

Every May or June, Seoul’s COEX hosts the Seoul International Travel Fair (SITF), the only international travel exhibition in Korea, organized by KOTFA. Unlike other countries where such fairs are organized by government tourism boards, SITF is hosted by a private company, KOTFA.

At SITF, government tourism boards or embassies from major tourist destinations around the world participate to attract Korean travelers, who are significant players in the international tourism market.

In 2023, we had an insightful conversation with Ms. Amia Jovanovic-Desir, who oversees the Asian region for the Seychelles Tourism Board. Known for her proactive and diligent approach, Amia tirelessly promoted Seychelles at her booth throughout the SITF. Unlike other marketing managers who do not follow up after the event, Amia stands out by implementing agreed-upon actions and maintaining continuous communication, demonstrating her professionalism as a marketer.

As we wrap up SITF 2024, we focus on the theme “People We Met at SITF 2024” and highlight an interview with Amia from the Seychelles Tourism Board. This article introduces the future development directions for Seychelles tourism in the Korean market, as discussed with Amia.

Interview with Amia, Director for Korean Market of Seychelles Tourism Board


Interviewer: Thank you for joining us today, Amia. Can you share your insights on the potential of the South Korean market for Seychelles tourism?

Amia: It’s a pleasure to be here. The South Korean market holds significant potential for Seychelles tourism. Our islands’ uniqueness and diversity provide a major competitive edge over other destinations. For over 20 years, we’ve focused on attracting South Korean travelers because Seychelles offers an ideal setting for honeymooners and nature enthusiasts. The magical Vallée de Mai and the Coco de Mer, the world’s largest nut, are just a few of the natural attractions that make Seychelles a dream destination.

Ms. Amia Jovanovic-Desir, The Seychelles Tourism Board

Interviewer: What specific segments of the South Korean market are you targeting?

Amia: We are particularly targeting four key segments: honeymooners, nature enthusiasts, Free Independent Travelers (FIT), and water lovers. Honeymooners find Seychelles to be the perfect romantic getaway, while nature enthusiasts appreciate our rich biodiversity. FIT travelers, who seek personalized and flexible travel experiences, will find our islands’ offerings appealing. Lastly, the crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life attract water lovers for activities like diving and snorkeling.

Interviewer: What strategic marketing approaches are you implementing to attract South Korean tourists?

Amia: Our strategic marketing approach involves several key activities: Collaboration with Key Tour Operators: We are building strong partnerships with major South Korean tour operators to create attractive travel packages and ensure seamless travel experiences.

Fam Trips and Media Engagement: We organize familiarization trips for travel agents and invite influential TV crews to showcase Seychelles’ beauty. This generates positive media coverage and word-of-mouth promotion.

Joint Promotional Activities: We engage in co-marketing campaigns with South Korean partners, participate in media trade events, and tailor our marketing efforts to specific consumer segments.

Interviewer: What challenges do you face in promoting Seychelles to the South Korean market?

Amia: There are several challenges we face. First, we do not have a dedicated representation office in South Korea, which limits our direct engagement and market insights. Additionally, South Korean travelers prefer direct flights or short connections, which are currently limited, impacting travel convenience. There’s also a lack of profound knowledge about Seychelles among South Koreans, resulting in lower visitor numbers. Lastly, budget constraints limit our ability to execute extensive marketing campaigns and activities.

Interviewer: Despite these challenges, what are your plans to overcome them and boost arrivals from South Korea?

Amia: To overcome these challenges, we are focusing on enhancing our collaboration with tour operators and increasing our media presence through fam trips and TV coverage. By targeting specific consumer segments and participating in media trade events, we aim to raise awareness and knowledge about Seychelles. Although budget constraints are a challenge, we are cautiously executing our marketing activities to ensure maximum impact.

Ms. Amia and Winnie at the booth

Interviewer: Thank you, Amia, for sharing your insights and strategies. It’s clear that Seychelles has much to offer the South Korean market, and we look forward to seeing more South Koreans enjoying the beauty of your islands.

Amia: Thank you for having me. We are excited about the potential of the South Korean market and are committed to making Seychelles a top destination for South Korean travelers.

Interviewer: In conclusion, it’s evident that Seychelles holds immense appeal for the South Korean market. With its unique natural attractions and romantic settings, it’s a perfect destination for honeymooners and adventure seekers alike. Despite the challenges, the dedicated efforts by Amia and her team at the Seychelles Tourism Board highlight their commitment to making Seychelles a must-visit destination for South Koreans. We look forward to seeing the fruits of these efforts and welcoming more South Korean visitors to the beautiful islands of Seychelles.


By Howard Jungchan Lee/Korea Travel News