The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) on Monday launched a digital tourism platform in an effort to increase the visibility of the island nation through the internet and support the local tourism industry with online and digital marketing.
Called ParrAPI, the platform will serve to collect, store and distribute digital tourism information. The first four letters – Parr – represents the endemic Seychelles black parrot, which is also the logo of the platform. API – which means Application Programming Interface – is the service through which the information is redistributed to other operators.
Heading the project was STB’s digital marketing team, which has been working on the platform since 2019. The digital marketing director, Chris Matombe, told the press that “with the introduction of ParrAPI, STB will be in a better position to support and assist the Seychelles tourism industry with its digital marketing.”
“ParrAPI provides us with a more efficient approach to managing large amounts of listings and we can now feature more businesses on our customer platforms,” said Matombe.
The chief executive of STB, Sherin Francis, said that in today’s online travel market place where consumers expect to be able to research, plan, and book their holidays digitally, “the platform will revolutionise how we collect and manage tourism data.”
“One solution that we will get through the system is that we will have up to date and recent information all the time on all operators and activities within the industry,” said Francis.
To make a listing, an operator needs to register its business or service on www.parrapi.com and upload all relevant information for free.
Tourism services that will be able to benefit from ParrAPI are accommodations, attractions, events, operators, food and drink providers, general services, hires, tours and transports.
Information uploaded will be available in four languages – English, French, German and Italian. Operators will also be able to upload photos and videos to better sell their listings. The only instances an operator will have to pay a small fee will be when they are making changes to their listing that requires a translation.
Once an operator has uploaded all of its information on ParrAPI, STB will review the data to ensure that they meet set standards. Once approved the listing will go online.
“Up until today, we were doing this for our website. All operators had to send us their information and we were the ones to upload it to our website. With ParrAPI, operators will upload their information themselves. Once it has been published it will be redistributed to any platform that is connected to the system,” said Francis.
She outlined that to start, listings will be redistributed on all STB systems such as the board’s website and digital app as they are connected to ParrAPI. Eventually, it will be redistributed by any operator who connects to the system.
The number of distributors who can connect to the system to access the information and promote Seychelles’ tourism products and services across the globe is not limited but will come at a cost. This could be a tour operator or someone who has created a booking platform.
ParrAPI will place tourism industry players closer to their target audiences and tap into new markets through a substantial digital presence.
Tourism is the top economic contributor of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.