With the introduction of three weekly flights by Air Seychelles to Hong Kong this year, China is set to become an increasingly important secondary tourism market for Seychelles.
This is the view expressed by Seychellois Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, the Seychelles Marketing Manager for China, at last week’s mid-year review of tourism performances, held at Le Meridien Babarons Hotel in Seychelles.
By the second week of June 2013, a hike of 67% in Chinese visitors had arrived in the Seychelles archipelago, over the same period last year.
According to Mr. Lai Lam, though the Maldives is still the beach destination receiving the lion’s share of Chinese visitors, mainly because it is nearer to the Asian mainland, Seychelles is becoming increasingly well-known on the Chinese market, notably Hong Kong and Beijing.
Mr. Lai Lam noted the Seychelles Tourism Board’s (STB) recent participation in the ITE Tourism Fair in Hong Kong and the Beijing International Expo as important promotional events, and the recent production of a promotional video in Chinese as an important marketing tool.
Mr. Lai Lam also said that since this year Seychelles has received some 40 pages of coverage in the Chinese media, including one cover story.
He said in 2013, the number of Chinese vacationers traveling abroad, is expected to increase to 100 million from 83 million last year and as such, the Chinese are overtaking the USA and Germany as market sources for world tourism. The average spending per Chinese vacationer is US$3,000.
Mr. Lai Lam confirmed that 80% of Chinese nationals traveling abroad, seek information prior to traveling.
It was also emphasized at the 2013 mid-year review that though Chinese holidaymakers are willing to try foreign cuisine, they also regard the availability of their own culinary dishes as important.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .