After a 12 month branding and design consultancy, The Union can reveal the new identity and advertising for Seychelles tourism. The new brand was launched in Berlin at the ITB this month. The Union was appointed in February 2006 to create a new brand positioning and identity for the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Government department responsible for tourism promotion and development. Tourism accounts for 70% of the Seychelles GDP.
The agency was also briefed to ensure that the process involved everyone in the tourism trade in Seychelles, so that the Government and private sector worked collaboratively. To do this the agency ran a series of brand workshops throughout 2006, which culminated in presentations to the local trade and tour operators. The new identity and marketing campaign was given Cabinet and Presidential approval in October, and launched locally in the Seychelles by the Vice President Joseph Belmont in December 2006.
The Union-created identity, was developed after global research through Worldwide Partners Inc, The Union’s international agency network. The new identity is designed to present the vibrancy and diversity of the Seychelles, and ensure that the destination is promoted as a lot more that a ‘sun, sand and sea’ holiday.
The Seychelles (population 80,000) consists of over 100 granite and coral islands, and offer not just outstanding beauty (with two UNESCO World Heritage sites) but also a vast range of unexpected experiences. The islands are actively promoting eco-tourism, with unique flora and fauna, nature trails, hill walking and scuba diving. However golf, luxury five star resorts, kayaking, sailing and deep-sea fishing are also available The outer islands are the location of the world’s best salt water fly fishing, much sought after in the US market. Last year the islands recorded 140,000 visitor arrivals, which is an all-time high. However the Seychelles government has just set a cap on tourism growth, in order to protect the islands environment for future generations.
One of The Union’s key recommendations was to rename the brand, from ‘Seychelles’ to ‘The Seychelles Islands’. This simple, but surprisingly controversial, step is designed to communicate the diversity of experience on offer. (Controversial because to the fiercely proud people of Seychelles, the ‘Seychelles’ is the name of their nation state.)
In March 2007 the Union’s Group Chairman, Ian McAteer, was in Berlin for the ITB trade fair, to help launch the new identity to the European tourism industry. This formally done by the Vice President of the Seychelles, Joseph Belmont, and the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Maurice Loustau Lalanne. The event was attended by over 250 trade representatives.
The Union’s work includes brand design and guidelines, advertising, posters, trade collateral, website design, consumer brochures and trade stands. The agency is currently in the process of shooting a series of 10 TV commercials for airing on CNN and BBC News 24.
Ian McAteer, Group Chairman of The Union, said “Given that tourism is so important to the Seychelles economy we have felt the responsibility to deliver intensely. It was also vital that we were able to bring the local trade along with us. I was delighted to be told in Berlin by a local hotel owner that the new brand had universal approval, which demonstrates the success of our approach.” Lucas Wild, who led the design project at the Union, said “It’s not often one gets an opportunity to re-brand a country. This project has been an amazing journey, and apart from being very pleased with the outcome, the most enjoyable aspect was working collaboratively with our clients at STB and the local trade.”