The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent honeymoon in idyllic Seychelles has handed these islands a major publicity coup, as all eyes focus on them as “the” honeymoon destination in vogue.
Seychelles is reputed for being one of the most romantic locations on Earth and with its crystal blue waters lapping white sandy beaches, it’s been easy for it to top the list of all dream holidays.
Many refer to the sun-kissed islands of the Indian Ocean as the true Garden of Eden, and following the royal couple’s secret love retreat on one of the 115 islands of the archipelago last month, interest has soared indescribably in the destination.
The majority of tour operators on the islands’ major markets have seen queries on the destination doubled, and some travel sites have also revealed that searches on the islands, as well as flights, increased by over 250%.
The Seychelles’ destination website – www.seychelles.travel – also saw hits triple, and the most visited categories were general information, islands, and accommodation. The Seychelles Tourism Board has also confirmed an overwhelming increase in the number of online queries in the last month, citing there are days when these doubled or tripled the usual number. People from all over the world want to know more about the islands and what they have to offer. Many of the queries are also from people who want to follow in William and Catherine’s footsteps to tie the knot or honeymoon in Seychelles.
The chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange, said the islands have never received such an unprecedented level of publicity in one go before, and it has helped to increase the visibility of the destination all over the world.
“Destinations usually get a lift when celebrities holiday there, and in the case of Seychelles, the royal couple has given us an incredible visibility, which is today continuing in the press,” the tourism chief said, adding that these are expected to translate into solid bookings in the months ahead.
The islands were on the cards from the beginning as the honeymoon destination for the future king and queen of Britain, and the couple followed in the footsteps of so many celebrities and sports stars before them who have found tranquility and total privacy in the tiny Seychelles islands.
SEYCHELLES IT WAS … NOT KENYA AND NOT MUSTIQUE
It was to the tropical islands of Seychelles – not Kenya and not Mustique – that the newly-married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to for their honeymoon last month.
They spent ten days on the eco-retreat island of North, celebrating the start of their married life together.
A few countries and islands have been tipped as the possible honeymoon destination, but the couple went for ultra-exclusive Seychelles, a place they had visited during their eighth-year courtship when William had whisked Catherine off to the private island of Desroches in 2007.
After a “memorable and special ten days,” as Buckingham Palace described it, the sun-tanned couple left the islands thoroughly happy and content.
They were seen off at the Seychelles International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam; the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange; and the Seychelles High Commissioner to Great Britain, Patrick Pillay, along with the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Forbes and his wife.
Minister Adam said the people of Seychelles were honored that the royal couple had chosen Seychelles for such an important occasion in their lives.
“The people of Seychelles are truly honored that Prince William and his wife chose to return to Seychelles for this special holiday, and we are proud to have been able to offer them a peaceful and private getaway.
“We hope their stay was everything they had hoped for, and we look forward to welcoming them back to our shores again in the future.”
Tourism head St.Ange spoke of the level of attention the destination has received and said he was pleased that Seychelles “had been able to offer the royal honeymooners the level of seclusion they deserved for such an important occasion as their honeymoon.”
“It was also pleasing to note that they left happy and clearly content with their stay,” he said.
High Commissioner Pillay, who also attended the wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey on April 29, said that: “In a world of so much turmoil, they bring a welcome and much-needed breath of fresh air with their warmth and humility.”
PHOTO: Image via gilt-edge.com