Banner year for visits: Tourism earnings in Seychelles rise 20 percent in 2017
(Seychelles News Agency) - The year 2017 has been good for Seychelles’ tourism industry, which has seen a 20 percent increase in tourism earnings over the previous year, the tourism minister said on Monday.
“We have, since November, set a new tourism arrival record. The important point is the corresponding tourism earnings which up to November 2017, the Central Bank of Seychelles figures indicate an increase of 20 percent,” Maurice Loustau–Lalanne said in an address at the end-of-year marketing meeting of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) at Kempinski Resort at Baie Lazare.
The National Bureau of Statistics recorded 326,523 visitors entering the country by December 10, representing a 16 percent increase as compared to the same period last year.
Germany led the market with 48,218 arrivals, a 29 percent increase from last year. The chief executive of STB, Sherin Francis, describes the country as “one of our fastest growing markets.”
|Talking about the increase in new flights to Seychelles this year, Francis said that the new airline dynamic alongside the existing ones from Europe should help to maintain and reinforce certain markets on that continent. (Vanessa Lucas, Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY|
STB's director for Germany, Edith Hunzinger, is predicting a 10 percent increase for 2018 although Air Seychelles is no longer flying directly to the country.
“Even if Air Seychelles has stopped its flights to Düsseldorf, I haven't noticed any difference in the market's figures as Condor has reintroduced it winter flights. We need to see what happens in May, June and July next year as that is the period that Air Seychelles started that flight,” said Hunzinger.
France sent the second-most number of visitors, despite a 5 percent drop from 2016; the United Arab Emirates was third, sending 34 percent more visitors in 2017 than in 2016.
Italy follows in fourth place and the minister said that “this is one market in Europe which needs a direct flight. We are working hard to find a solution as the lack of direct flight to Italy is hampering its growth.”
Talking about the increase in new flights to Seychelles this year, Francis said that the new airline dynamic alongside the existing ones from Europe should help to maintain and reinforce certain markets on that continent.
|The National Bureau of Statistics recorded 326,523 visitors entering the country by December 10, representing a 16 percent increase as compared to the same period last year. (Vanessa Lucas, Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY|
The market with the largest drop in visitor arrivals was China, with a total of 11,710 visitors entering the country this year compared to 14,194 in 2016, a drop of 18 percent.
On the challenges that the tourism ministry faced this year, Loustau-Lalanne said that they have already started an exercise to deal with unlicensed tourism establishments which is a problem for the country.
The minister also spoke on the attacks on visitors and said the ministry is already working closely with the police force to identify the most affected areas, where more patrolling by security officials will be increased.
Francis said that “2018 will be another challenging year particularly because of increase and more aggressive competition and various uncertainties that exist in the travel industry.”
Though STB is foreseeing these challenges next year, the board remains optimistic and has set a target growth of 8-10 percent.