Union of minds helps create new tourism look

THE recent Berlin International Tourism Fair saw the unveiling of a brand new look for Seychelles Islands’ tourism – the work of Edinburgh-based creative agency, The Union.

The rebranding, for the Seychelles Tourism Board, follows 12 months intense work by the agency, including a presentation to the islands’ president.

Tourism is said to account for 70 per cent of the Seychelles GDP.

The unveiling follows news that The Union has unseated rivals, Leith Agency, as the Scottish company earning the highest advertising spend in Scotland – as estimated by trade magazine, Campaign. Leith had been number one in Scotland on that score for over a decade.

As far as the Seychelles brief was concerned, the agency was asked to ensure that the process involved everyone in the local tourism trade, so that the government and private sector worked collaboratively. To do this, it ran a series of brand workshops throughout last year, which culminated in presentations also to the local trade and tour operators.

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.

Last year, it was reported the islands were visited by a record 140,000 people. However, the Seychelles government has just set a cap on tourism growth, in order to protect the islands environment for future generations.

One tough challenge was to convince locals that the brand be renamed, from ‘Seychelles’ to ‘The Seychelles Islands’ – to reflect the fact that over 100 islands make up the Seychelles.

Says The Union: “This simple, but surprisingly controversial, step is designed to communicate the diversity of experience on offer. It was controversial because, to the fiercely proud people of Seychelles, the ‘Seychelles’ is the name of their nation state.”

In Berlin, The Union chair, Ian McAteer, helped launched the re-brand, in the company of the vice-president of the Seychelles, Joseph Belmont, and the chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Maurice Loustau Lalanne.

The event was attended by over 250 trade representatives.