Thursday, 26 November 2020

Tourism News

The Seychelles Islands Remains a Tourist Favourite

The mystical Seychelles Islands remain a fantasy escape for travellers across the globe and, although the vicious pandemic has dwindled travel, the destination maintains its allure. On the path to a slow yet steady recovery, the tropical paradise has seen the arrival of 98,894 visitors as of November 15, 2020.

Based on data provided by the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, since re-opening to commercial flights on August 1, 2020, the Seychelles International Airport has seen the arrival of 9,272 visitors.

Since then, the local tourism industry’s traditional markets have remained steadfast with the UAE as the top visiting region with 3,065 visitors, followed by Germany with 2,328, Switzerland with 1,495, the UK with 662 and France with 298.

In week 46, the airport saw 1,154 arrivals, with traditional markets remaining strong during this time hailing 628 visitors from Germany, 218 from Switzerland, 83 from the UAE, 72 from South Africa and 55 from Austria.

Additionally, since the resumption of Air Seychelles flights to South Africa, there has been an increase in the number of visitors from the region from 11 in week 45 to 72 in week 46.

Reviewing the recent tourism arrival numbers, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive, Mrs Sherin Francis stated that the current situation leaves little room for predictions of trends as travellers are now booking very close to their travel date.

“During the last quarter of 2019 alone, Seychelles received 104,079 visitors; therefore, the numbers presented this year may seem dull in comparison. However, looking at the bigger picture, these same figures are monumental for the local tourism industry. At current, our marketing approach is flexible and in constant evolution. We are doing so without deviating from the very crucial goal of keeping our people safe,” said Mrs Francis.

Mrs Francis further stated her gratitude to the local industry, international partners and the airlines who are pushing for Seychelles to remain visible and accessible during these challenging times.

Keeping abreast on client’s sentiments regarding the safety of visitors in the destination, a small-scale pilot study was conducted by STB’s Strategic Planning and Market Intelligence Team in collaboration with Hilton Northolme. The data collected comes as a beacon of hope for the local tourism industry.

With support from Hilton Northolme, the Market Intelligence Team was able to evaluate tourists’ travel motivations during the COVID-19 pandemic, assess their perception of the destination during the COVID-19 pandemic, measure the percieved level of safety and satisfaction in Seychelles during the pandemic as well as capture issues and challenges faced by travellers when travelling to Seychelles during the ‘new normal’.

The findings revealed that 100% of respondents stated that they felt safe being in Seychelles during this time, with 81% claiming to feel very safe. Furthermore, 100% of respondents claimed that they would recommend travelling to Seychelles during this time and 17% responded that they came to Seychelles to seek refuge from the pandemic.
The study is expected to be repeated with a bigger sampling.

As the pandemic sweeps across the globe and fears of travel are on the rise, Seychelles has made safety central to its recovery strategy. As the main marketing body for the islands, STB has been advocating for safe travel through a myriad of campaigns and participation in virtual summits and webinars that address the safety of travellers and tourism recovery.

“Safe tourism is not an option for Seychelles but rather a must. This is not only for the safety of our people but especially for the restart of our industry, which was, until we were hit by the pandemic, a flourishing one. Our commitments to safe tourism have been ably supported by our various partners on the tourism task force,” said the STB Chief Executive. 

Submitted by Seychelles Tourism Board