#COVID19 proves a game changer for Seychelles as arrival leadership board changes in 2021

(Posted 22nd January 2022)

Former arrival heavyweight Germany found itself relegated down the ranks, as the leadership board in 2021 changed substantially from the past – of course largely as a result of the pandemic and travel restrictions by both Seychelles and visitor source countries.

Top of the leaderboard for 2021 was Russia with reportedly 31.392 visitors, aided by regular flights of Russian carrier Aeroflot between Moscow and Mahe.

(Picture courtesy of STB)

Second for last year came the United Arab Emirates with 21.699 visitors, followed by France – previously always in contention for the top spot, with ‘only’ 18.425 visitors.

Germany dropped down the ranks with, compared to the past, just 17.673 visitors while tourists from Israel added 10.551 arrivals to the annual statistics.

Overall did 182.849 visitors come to the archipelago, thereof only 591 by sea and 182.258 by air.

This is a far cry from 2019, the best year for Seychelles tourism ever, when 384.204 tourists visited the islands, spending just short of 600 Million US Dollars in the process. In 2021 this figure was cut to approximately 268 Million US Dollars but up from 2020 when only 221 Million US Dollars were earned.

(Data courtesy of Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics)

Arrivals into the Seychelles are now also made easier as a contactless biometric ‘gate’ is now in operation, which captures visitors and in split seconds compares the pictures submitted by travelers when filing the mandatory travel authorisation, within which health data are contained. The system was developed by Travizory in conjunction with the Seychelles’ Ministry of Transport under which portfolio Civil Aviation falls.

Meanwhile, and following a rise in arrivals, has the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association called on the government for the easing of restrictions on the employment of expatriate staff, pointing at insufficient locally available staff for a number of key positions across the industry.

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