The luxurious allure of Seychelles reflected in visitor arrival numbers | 03 September 2020
The resumption of tourism is off to a good start for the tropical paradise of the Seychelles Islands once again as the destination opened its international airport for chartered and private flights in June 2020 and reopened to scheduled flights on August 1, 2020.
Hidden in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the tropical islands has made a name for itself among travellers even before the global pandemic.
Speaking to the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation about the tourism performance since January, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) chief executive, Sherin Francis, stated that by the end of March the country had recorded around 88,000 visitors, which confirmed the predictions of the 3-4% increase made at the beginning of 2020.
On the way to a slow yet steady recovery from the impact of the worldwide situation, the destination has seen 2,359 visitors from June to August 23, according to the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Although the destination has always welcomed a wide variety of tourists, one of its popular segments remain luxury travellers, which were predicted to rebound faster during this period.
In July alone, the islands welcomed 475 visitors through chartered private flights with 87% from the UAE, followed by Russia with 4% and 3% from the UK.
With the return of scheduled flights from August 1 to 23, 2020, the country recorded 1,754 visitors arriving to its shores. According to the NBS figures there were a total number of 1,040 passengers from scheduled flights, and the number of passengers from private flights were 714. There were in total 41 private planes landing in Seychelles for that same period.
Although the figures may seem smaller compared to the same period for 2019, with a recorded drop of 63% in comparison to the same period, the small but constant number of visitors arriving is a great step in building the confidence of global travellers and also shows that safe travel is possible. It also illustrates that Seychelles remains in the minds and hearts of many tourists. To date, 91,402 visitors have travelled to the islands for the year 2020.
Mrs Francis further explained that throughout the various surveys conducted by the Market Intelligence team of the STB, the trends and growing travel segment being witnessed was expected.
“Given the current global situation, the numbers are very encouraging. This shows that our communications are reaching its intended target. We hope that as restrictions are relaxed and should the global situation not worsen, the arrivals figures will improve,” said Mrs Francis.
Mrs Francis further mentions that the tourism board has been continuously advocating safe tourism, a strategy which Seychelles adopted for the restart of tourism.
Seychelles is renowned for its very niche type of market, remaining a favourite among both luxury and nature travellers with its secluded location and ample activities centred on the destination's pristine features. Mass tourism is not something that is being promoted.
In fact, the allure of the destination has been magnified with the increased desire of travellers to escape and reconnect with their loved ones and with nature. The islands’ lush rainforests, turquoise waters, vibrant fauna and remarkable landscape manage to capture all who disembark on its shores.
Photo sources: STB News Bureau