Seychelles’ new tourism policy based on public-private partnership earns them recognition as far away as China


The Seychelles tourism performance of record tourist arrival numbers in 2010 is attributed to the success of the new tourism policy of the country, which is based on public-private partnerships and the strategy of diversification of the island nation’s source market, according to the Seychelles Tourism Board. This is what the Chinese Xinhua News Agency reported this week as they baptized Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles director of tourism, as a “tourism guru.”

Alain St. Ange had told reporters on Sunday that the number of arrivals for the first four months represents a growth of 13 percent over last year and 1 percent over 2008, when the Seychelles registered the highest number of visitors.

Xihhua News Agency reported that the good performance of the Seychelles tourism industry shows that this economic pillar of the archipelago has resisted shocks of global economic recession, or better still, the recent threat to aerial transport by the Iceland volcanic ash. They say that Alain St. Ange attributed the performance to the new tourism policy of the Seychelles government of President James Michel, which is based on public-private partnership now in place in the islands and on their Tourism Board’s new strategy of diversification of the island’s tourism source markets.
Xihhua News Agency said that Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles’ tourism guru, explained that the new tourism policy was a win-win strategy where the state regulates the industry, while the private sector drives the industry.

On diversification, the island’s tourism guru noted that the Seychelles had succeeded in moving away from its dependence on the traditional European market thanks to the aggressive work on the emerging markets where he says that their strategy has attracted increased number of visitors from such countries as South Africa, already the sixth source market for the Seychelles. The South African market has the potential of doubling the arrivals since the country is also a hub for visitors from other countries, especially those from the United States. There are also visitors from the Reunion, Kenya, India, and China, which constitute the emerging markets with great potential.