Seychelles Tourism – an unstoppable juggernaut


(Posted 04th May 2016)

When writing about the Seychelles islands does normally one superlative chase the next, for the archipelago’s crystal clear waters, its 114 granite and coral island and Silhouette which is reportedly of volcanic origin making it 115 overall, the terrestrial national parks like Morne on the Mahe and Vallee de Mai on Praslin, the marine parks, the erstwhile garden of Eden – the Aldabra Atoll – and of course the hospitable and friendly Creole people who play host to tourists from across the world.

Earlier today did the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism release their arrival data for the first three months of the year, and as stated here before is already a double digit growth visible for 2016.
Following the record breaking year of 2015, when arrivals to the Seychelles rose by a staggering 19 percent, this is no mean feat considering that world economics are not entirely on the sunny side of the balance sheets.

Wrote Mr. Alain St. Ange, Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, when releasing the data: ‘We work hard to keep the lines of dialogue open between the public and its private sector members. Secondly the marketing strategy by our Tourism Board is working and thirdly the islands have been able to work the industry that remains the pillar of its economy outside politics. As a country that remains so dependant on tourism, it is so important that Seychelles continues to be united in its work to consolidate its tourism industry‘.

A total of 73,262 visitors arrived in Seychelles during the first quarter of 2016. This represents an increase of 11% in visitor arrivals compared to the first quarter of 2015. The average length of stay of these visitors was 10.1 nights and 93% of the visitors were on holiday.

The six leading markets for the three months of 2016 are:

Country No. of visitors
France 11,631
Germany 8,736
China 5,212
United Arab Emirates 4,950
Italy 4,897
UK & Eire 4,077

The estimated tourism earnings for the first quarter as per the Balance of Payments obtained from the Central Bank stands at SCR 1.2 billion an increase of 37%compared to the first quarter of last year. Please note that estimates of tourism earnings represent foreign exchange inflows into the Seychelles’ economy to tourism establishments and related businesses as reported by commercial banks and bureau de change.

The data confirm the leading countries of origin for visitors to the islands broadly reflect the same trends as last year with only France pulling away from Germany as leading provider of tourists at a faster rate than in 2015.

While, as is the case everywhere, there are periodic contentious issues between the Seychelles Government and the country’s tourism private sector, often about the cost of doing business, procedures for obtaining work permits for expatriate staff or inter private sector issues over the roles of guides, taxi drivers and their access to guests in hotels and resorts, are discussions held in an open atmosphere and on a regular basis with the Minister and his key staff sitting down with the private sector and even meeting them one one one during resort visits.

The result is that the industry stands broadly united and leaves not chinks in their armour for competitors to exploit when they travel from trade fair to trade fair and from sales mission to sales mission, standing together to promote and market the country first before vying for sharing the cake at home.

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