2011 notches record 11% increase in visitor arrivals


14-January-2012

The Seychelles destination drew a record number of tourists last year

According to the NBS, 194,753 visitors came to Seychelles last year, representing a growth of 11% over the 2010 figures.

The 2011 visitor arrivals figure is well over two times the total population of Seychelles and just over five times the country’s adult population.

Although the European market was adversely impacted by the global economic crisis and by the Euro financial crisis, France, UK, Germany and Italy remained Seychelles’ top markets.

China emerged as the best performing potential market for 2010-2011, recording a 97% growth whereas the Middle East Market posted for the first time ever a strong growth rate of more than 10,000 visitors, which represents a 44% increase.
 
On the Middle East market, the United Arab Emirates recorded a 58% increase in tourism arrivals to Seychelles -- the highest in this region for 2011.

Statistics from the NBS show the inbound tourism flow increased in 2011 on these leading markets.

France went up by 12 %, while UK grew by 8% and Germany rose by 10%. Italy’s market continues to show a flat increase whereas Russia has taken a nosedive of 6%.

The market share remains the same with Europe recording a 75% market share, Africa 12% and Asia a 10%.

In 2011, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) projected a 7% increase in tourism arrivals but this was surpassed by 4%, which means the rise in tourist arrivals was 11% for the year.

This increase came despite the uncertainty in the tourism industry triggered by the financial crisis in the Euro zone, the cutting back of Air Seychelles’ flights, the two freak shark attacks on our shores and pirate attacks on the region’s African coast.

While 2011 had been a good year for the tourism industry, on the other hand the challenges have been complex and numerous.

With the planned arrival of new airlines (Transaero, Ethiopian, Air Austral and Blue Panorama), the STB is pinning its hopes on a strong target of attaining 200,000 visitors in 2012: a modest, 3% increase.
 
The Seychelles Government has also confirmed that it is working on having new direct weekly flights to China to help kick-start this important potential market.

Tourism is a dynamic and competitive industry that requires the ability to constantly adapt to consumers needs.

 The local and international media have been in the forefront in giving their support to the STB to revive this industry and the board would like to express its appreciation to them for their support.

 In the coming weeks, the STB’s management team will be meeting with all local media houses to give them an update on the board’s work and to see how the board can better work together with them for the continued success of the tourism industry.

Alain St Ange, the chief executive of the STB, has said that the tourism industry as a whole needed to be congratulated for a job well done in 2011.
 
“The Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association stood behind the team at the STB in its efforts, and this has made it possible for Seychelles to achieve this first ever record in visitor arrival numbers,” Mr St Ange said.
 
“The government has also supported the efforts of the STB and on more occasions than one, the President of the Republic himself led working visits in potential markets to help facilitate the work of the country’s tourism industry,” Mr St Ange said.

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