Visitors to Seychelles could 'work-from-home' during their beach vacation, tourism minister says
Visitors to Seychelles can combine a bit of work with a holiday visit during a time when much of the world is embracing work-from-home policies. (Giorgio Montersino/Flickr) Photo License: CC BY-SA 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Tourism Board is encouraging visitors to use the island nation as a home office, combining a bit of work with a holiday visit during a time when much of the world is embracing work-from-home policies as part of COVID-19 prevention measures.
"STB is looking at how to bring into the country visitors who will stay longer to work. This does not mean that they will be competing for work with Seychellois - they are employed in the country they come from and in Seychelles, they are working away from home," said the tourism minister, Didier Dogley.
Dogley spoke Tuesday after the seventh and final meeting of the National Integrated Framework for the opening of Seychelles to commercial flights.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home and for meetings to be conducted over digital platforms. Dogley outlined that "we have seen this in Seychelles when there were restrictions on movements - many people had to stay at home to work and up to today. There are people who work two days in the office and spend the rest of the days working from home."
"This is still happening in Europe and there are several destinations that are offering this. We are working on a similar package, where people can come to Seychelles for up to three months, pay an accommodation at a reasonable price, and if the internet system is good, they can work away from home as if they are at home," said Dogley, making reference to the Caribbean islands as an example.
The Seychelles' economy has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and global travel downturn, bringing the local tourism industry to a standstill earlier this year. The 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean reopened its borders on June 1, for leisure boats, chartered and private flights. On August 1, the airport reopened for commercial flights to restart the tourism industry, and since then, over 4,000 tourists have landed in Seychelles.
Dogley said that despite the fact that it does not seem that there will be a big difference in the number of bookings for the remaining two months of the year, "we have noticed that for next year, things will probably be different."
He added that "looking back since the opening on August 1, we have seen that in general, we have done quite well. The number of COVID cases we have registered is quite low and the department of health was able to stay in control. We didn't have any community transmission and nobody lost their lives during that period."