Upward tourism trend: Visitor numbers to Seychelles surpasses figure from 2020
The 114,859th visitor arrived in the island nation on a Qatar Airways flight on Monday. (Tourism Seychelles),
(Seychelles News Agency) - Visitor arrivals in Seychelles have surpassed last year's figures, showing that the tourism industry is well on the way to recovery, the nation's top tourism official said.
The 114,859th visitor arrived in the island nation on a Qatar Airways flight on Monday, surpassing the 114,858 who visited the archipelago last year.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, marked the achievement at the airport. She said that given the difficult year in the travel industry, every milestone calls for celebration.
"Today, we mark this important achievement with gratitude. Only two weeks ago we welcomed our 100,000th visitor for the year. The number 114,859 today is a significant number as it shows that Seychelles remains a preferred destination for visitors. The figure is also a testament to the passion and dedication of the work done by our offices around the world, our industry partners and all Seychellois helping in the restart of the pillar of our economy," said Francis.
The Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) sees the continued increase in visitors as a positive sign.
The chairperson of SHTA, Sybille Cardon, told SNA on Tuesday that the tourism industry is definitely recovering.
"What is interesting now is that we are having more visitors from Eastern countries and they are booking stay in every hotel category while before we had more European who chose to stay mostly in large hotels. But we are learning to adapt to this new tourism and it is interesting," said Cardon.
She highlighted, however, that this year's tourism performance cannot be compared to last year.
"Last year, we lived in uncertainty. We did not know if and when we will be having visitors to our establishment so everything slowed down. This year, especially since we opened our orders we are now certain that we will be getting visitors," said Cardon.
Seychelles reopened its borders on March 25 to relaunch its tourism industry, two months after the government began its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Furthermore, a dynamic diversification strategy has been carried out and since then there has been a steady increase in arrival numbers from Seychelles. With Seychelles now on the approved travel list for the UK as well as Italy, as well as the resumption of flights by Condor and of Air France later in October, local tourism and hospitality operators are anticipating better times ahead of the half-term and winter holiday.
This was echoed by Cardon who said that "now for the majority of tourism establishments, it is almost like we were before we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are looking forward because we are already having bookings up to next year so it is very positive." added Cardon.