Information has just emerged from the paradise islands of the Seychelles that the year 2016 ended on a high note with 304.149 visitors recorded entering the archipelago over the period January to December.
This figure constitutes a further double-digit growth of over 10 percent after the year 2015 saw a growth of nearly 20 percent.
France, Germany and the UAE now are the three leading sources for tourists to the Seychelles, followed by Italy, the UK and Ireland combined and then China, which has seen a sharp rise in popularity among Chinese travelers, many inspired by events like the Carnival for which performing artists keep coming to the islands.
As Alain St. Ange stepped down from his position as Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine will this set of data no doubt affirm his successful run in the government’s tourism administration, first in 2008 as Director of Tourism Marketing, then as CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and since April 2012 as Minister responsible for the country’s vital tourism industry.
He, together with a group of gifted individuals at the tourism board and the ministry, triggered a marketing juggernaut which has become the envy of many destinations around the world.
Activities like the Carnival International de Victoria, the all new Festival Creole, the Seychelles Ocean Festival and a number of ethnic celebrations in honour of the various population groups living on the islands, have catapulted the Seychelles into the league of one of the most talked about and reported about destinations in the world, punching well above their own weight when it comes to numbers of resorts, visitor numbers – despite yet another record – and the size of the Seychelles population.
Leaving on such a high note will no doubt also now fuel Alain St. Ange’s campaign for the post as Secretary General of UNWTO, where a successor to Dr. Taleb Rifai will be chosen at the General Assembly in Beijing in May this year.