Tourism arrivals into Seychelles are up 11 percent in 2006 when compared to the same period in 2005 to date, building on what was already a strong first quarter.
France continues to be the leading market for Seychelles, bringing in more than 12,000 visitors from January-May 2006. The German and Italian markets have both seen excellent growth, bringing in just over 8,500 visitors apiece over that same period, representing a 20 percent increase for Germany and a 34 percent increase for Italy.
While the UK market has slipped by more than 10 percent, the rest of Europe is showing buoyant results, with significant increases in Austria (up 51 percent), Belgium and Luxembourg (32 percent), the Netherlands (41 percent), Scandinavia (28 percent), Spain and Portugal (33 percent), as well as Russia (21 percent).
Outside of Europe, other key markets like South Africa and the Middle East have seen increases as well. The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has projected some 145,000 arrivals for 2006, a target that would reflect a 12 percent growth over 2005, when nearly 130,000 visitors came to the islands’ shores.
Looking ahead, the indications appear to be equally bright. Recent consultations between STB chairman Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and various French tour operators confirmed that the French market looked set for continued growth, especially in light of positive new developments including the additional Air Seychelles flight from Paris, future promotional activities being planned and the new Seychelles Tourist Office (STO) in Paris, which began operating on June 19 to provide a much larger and more efficent base of operations.
While on his overseas mission, Mr Lalanne also took timeout with Italian tour operators in Rome and Milan to discuss the growth and demand for Seychelles in this market. Mr Lalanne, together with STB marketing manager for Italy Blaisila Hoffman, also held interviews for the appointment of a new marketing executive to help run the Italian STO alongside regional manager Monette Rose.