Swiss visitor Sandro Gianella, accompanied by his partner Nathalie Goddi, was completely taken by surprise upon his arrival at the Seychelles International Airport on Saturday July 16, when he was called aside to be greeted as the 100,000th visitor to the islands this year.
The couple from Switzerland arrived on the Emirates EK707 flight from Dubai and Mr. Gianella stepped down on the Seychelles soil as that lucky visitor to clock the 100,000th milestone. He was welcomed by the Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive, Alain St. Ange, and his deputy CEO, Elsia Grandcourt.
As part of his prize for reaching that target, 28-year-old Mr. Gianella was presented with the Seychelles Tourism Board gift bag, which also included a voucher for a boat excursion for two in the Sainte Anne Marine Park sponsored by the Calypso Glass Bottom Boat and a dinner for two at Les Cocotiers Restaurant, sponsored by the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa.
Ms. Goddi, on the other hand, received a warm tropical island’s welcome with a lovely frangipani garland placed around her neck.
Mr. Gianella, a manager by profession, said that they owed their visit to Seychelles to a friend from the Praslin island, who often travels to Switzerland.
“I’m very happy to be here and feel very lucky since many people in my country know about Seychelles,” he said, full of emotions.
He explained that they will be spending two weeks in Seychelles and hoped to enjoy the islands to the maximum.
“We are planning to enjoy Seychelles – relax a bit, do some fishing, diving, snorkeling – and make the most of this paradise,” Mr. Gianella added.
It is to be noted that Seychelles has this year clocked its 100,000th visitor way ahead of last year, which was in the month of August. Statistics show that arrivals are approximately 10,000 more than last year for the same period, thus showing a 9% growth.
The Seychelles Tourism Board chief said they will make Switzerland know that one of their visitors has clocked that very important milestone for the islands this year.
“We will be sending communiqués to their part of the world to let Switzerland and other nearby areas know that their visitors to our country were well-received and acknowledged upon their arrival,” said Mr. St. Ange.
Mr. St. Ange also said that Seychelles is so far performing well in terms of tourist arrivals, and this is an encouraging sign for the tourism industry.
“It shows we are progressing and that we need to continue to work on our weaknesses to ensure our numbers remain positive,” he said.