Seychelles Tourism as an industry continues to provide employment opportunities to thousands of Seychellois. When the industry stagnates, as it has done in the past, the impact on our small Nation is devastating.
Former Seychelles Tourism Minister Alain St. Ange who now has his own consulting company St. Ange Consulting told eTN: “We are continuing to enjoy increasing visitor arrival numbers, a trend which is predicated on a solid foundation of years of hard work by the Tourism Industry. Seychelles must continue to rally its forces to work for its tourism industry; our success in the Industry must not be taken for granted.”
Arrival figures just received from the Seychelles Tourism Board show that the trend of the last 9 years continues unabated, with record growth in visitor arrivals. A new high was reached at midnight 31st of December when 349,861 tourists had entered the archipelago through both airport and seaport. Compared with 2016, when that number stood at 303,177, did this represent a rise of just over 15 percent on a year on year basis, almost twice the official estimate for the year by tourism planners.
Tourism Board CEO Sherin Francis attributed the phenomenal growth last year and throughout the decade to a number of reasons, one being the growth in airline arrivals on Mahe, the revival of cruise tourism and sustained marketing efforts in existing, new and emerging marketplaces.
The top three countries of origin of visitors to Seychelles were Germany, France and notably the United Arab Emirates while only China, among the top ten, showed a decline in numbers.
New flights already on the horizon with the launch of twice-weekly flights by British Airways on the 24th of March and of thrice-weekly flights by JOON, an Air France company, with BA and AF returning to the archipelago after a prolonged absence.
The signs for 2018 are already seen as having the potential for another record as the cruise ship season until April will also see a rise in port calls compared to last year.