The Seychelles tourism industry took an unfortunate knock when its national airline pulled out of its nonstop direct flights to Europe. But indicators from the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment is today showing a very significant increase in the foreign exchange generated from the tourism sector, going up 3.1 % compared to the same period last year.
The news gets even better when one considers the reason for this success. As Seychelles draws near the end of the peak period of its tourism season, the number of visitor arrivals and the positive trend in the tourism industry has enabled the country to map out a clear picture of the general health within the industry.
At this point, the index is showing positive signs of progress, with a 6% growth compared to the same period in 2011. But the biggest threat to the continuing good performance of Seychelles tourism industry remains the chronic downturn of the European market, which is experiencing a progressive slowdown.
France and UK are both down by 20% and Italy 12%, respectively. At this point, renewed focus on new emerging markets might just be the industry’s solution for sustaining growth in the long term. China, South Africa, and United Arabs Emirates markets are the Seychelles emerging markets, and they are performing better than anticipated. Arrivals from the UAE are going up by 62%, China 121%, and South Africa by 15%.
The performance index of German visitors, the “engines” of the European Union, has increased by 23% with 17,183 total visitors compared to 14,011 in 2011. On the other spectrum, Russian tourists are on the rise by 55% with 9,092 visitors compared to 5,876 in 2011.
The indexes compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics are a clear indication of the current and future performance of these markets that will continue in 2012 despite the ongoing economic hurdles.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).