The Seychelles islands has lately recorded a remarkable upsurge in tourist arrivals from the United Arab Emirates Market (UAE), which has resulted in the country reaching over 10,000 visitors arriving from this market.
More precisely, the weekly Visitor Arrivals Bulletin, issued by Seychelles’ National Bureau of Statistics, shows that Seychelles has, from the start of this year until the week ending October 21, 2012, welcomed a total of 10,052 visitors arriving from the UAE.
This outstanding figure of 10,052 visitors from the UEA reflect an impressing 58% percent growth over last year, which saw a total of only 6,375 UAE visitors arriving in Seychelles. More so, it represents an increase of 142% over 2010 arrival figures from UAE, which was 4,153 visitors.
Remarkably, the UAE currently sits as Seychelles’ fifth leading markets with France still at the helm as islands leading markets with a total of 24,734 visitors. Seychelles’ second best performing market is Germany (22, 812), followed in third place by Italy (20,129), and ranking fourth is Russia (10,334), while UK & Eire is currently sixth with a total of 9,077 visitors arriving in the islands.
To date, Seychelles has recorded 163,715 in visitor arrivals, showing a 7% increase over the 2011 figure of 153,056.
The Visitor Arrivals Bulletin also shows that the performance index of visitors from other Middle East countries are on an upward climb. To date, Seychelles has recorded 5,063 visitors from other Middle East countries, which is 57% above the 2011 figures (3,230).
The overwhelming increase can be attributed to the good air connection that exists between the UAE and Seychelles. Currently, Seychelles is linked up with the Dubai hub through Emirates Airlines which operates 11 flights per week. Also making Seychelles easily accessible to the region are Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Delighted with the significant growth of both the UAE and other Middle East markets, the Seychelles Tourism Board Regional manager for the Middle East, Julie Muirhead, has said that the growth is as a result of their increased presence and activities in these areas.
“The UAE represents a 58% increase YTD at just over 10,000 visitors and the other Middle East markets a 57% increase at just over 5,000 visitors. We are projecting by the end of the year to achieve a combined total of 18,000 visitors from the Middle East which we anticipate will increase its positioning to the number four supply market to Seychelles,” said Ms. Muirhead.
According to Mrs. Muirhead, the increased visitor arrivals from this market mean that the Middle East is now positioned as a primary source market for Seychelles from a previous secondary supply market. Mrs. Muirhead added, “With increased air access to 26 flights per week and further increases planned over the next few months, Seychelles is becoming the Indian Ocean destination of choice for Middle Easter visitors.”
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).