- Tourists attracted by easy access, reasonable restrictions, low COVID cases, good vaccination rates and a natural environment with quiet beaches
- Emirates increases weekly schedule to Maldives & Seychelles over Easter holidays as Middle East demand soars
- Sri Lanka, Cyprus and Greek islands also preparing for summer influx of international arrivals
Island resorts around the world will lead the recovery in leisure travel, according to the latest industry research.
Many island economies are dependent on tourism and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives (28% of GDP) and the Seychelles (over 55% of GDP), which are both expecting a bumper Easter holiday period. With both islands less than four hours 30 minutes away, Emirates has added an extra four flights taking its weekly schedule to 28 flights.
Meanwhile, Air Seychelles is launching a weekly flight to Dubai to cope with the increased demand, which is in addition to two extra flights a week that Emirates is adding to its existing schedule of five weekly flights to Mahe.
“Both islands tick all of the proverbial boxes for tourists,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market. “Even though demand maybe pent-up, visitors will still want direct flights, easy access, reasonable restrictions, low COVID cases, good vaccination rates, open and in some cases isolated resorts, with a natural environment including quiet beaches,” added Curtis.
The Maldives is expecting to have its 500,000 inhabitants vaccinated by August and with less than 100,000 citizens, the Seychelles is hoping for 100% vaccination within the coming months.
And although both countries have a list of approved countries, the Seychelles and the Maldives only require visitors to provide a negative PCR test 72 or 96 hours respectively, prior to arrival, no proof of vaccination or quarantine is required.