While in the Seychelles recently it emerged in discussions with leading stakeholders and tourism planners that the island is considering a cap on tourism arrivals, probably by 2017 or slightly later, when overall arrivals reach a mark of between 300,000 and 350,000 tourists, the final figure to be decided upon by the country’s tourism planners in the near future.
Planners are concerned that in order to reach that capacity, most suitable places on the main islands would have to be developed for beachside resorts and felt that capping arrivals at that stage would be the best way forward if tourism is to be sustained long term and the environmental impact to be dealt with and be mitigated accordingly.
This laudable policy will at that stage also result in existing properties likely going at a substantial premium, if sold, while any surplus demand for holidays to the archipelago will need to be regulated by the market through higher tariffs.
However, considering the natural beauty of the islands, and the challenges of delivery electricity and water to the resorts, hotels, other businesses, and the residential areas, the move is probably the best way forward and will keep the Seychelles away from any form of mass tourism and yet offer intact nature and beaches to those visitors opting to go there.
The message for investors is equally stark, that they should invest now or else miss the proverbial train, as the year 2017 comes nearer and arrival numbers reach the magical marks.