Seychelles tourism industry records 11 percent growth in visitor arrival

Seychelles tourism industry records 11 percent growth in visitor arrival

The Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics has published the 2011 accumulated visitor arrival numbers and confirmed that a record-breaking number of tourists holidayed in Seychelles in the year 2011.

In 2011, the government’s Independent National Bureau of Statistics confirmed that 194,753 came to Seychelles. This is a growth of 11 percent over the 2010 figures. The visitor arrival figure is well over 2 times the total population of the Seychelles and just under 5 times the country’s adult population.

Although the European market was adversely impacted by the global economic crisis and by the euro financial crisis, France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy remained Seychelles’ top markets.

China emerged as the best performing potential market for 2010-2011, shooting up with 97 percent growth, whereas the Middle East Market posted for the first time ever a strong growth rate of more than ten-thousand visitors, which represents a 44 percent increase.

On the Middle East Market, the United Arab Emirates recorded a 2 percent increase in tourism arrivals to the Seychelles - the highest in this region for 2010-2011.

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Statistics from the NBS show the inbound tourism flow increased in 2010-2011 in these leading markets: France is up by 12 percent, Great Britain by 8 percent, and Germany has risen by 10 percent. Italy’s market continues to generate a flat increase, whereas Russia has taken a nosedive of 6 percent.

The market share remains the same with Europe recording a 75 percent market share, Africa 12 percent, and Asia 10 percent.

In 2011, the Seychelles Tourism Board projected a 7 percent increase in tourism arrivals, but this was surpassed by 4 percent, which means the rise in tourist arrivals was 11 percent for the year.

This increase came despite the uncertainty in the tourism industry triggered by the financial crisis in the euro zone, the cutting back of Air Seychelles’ flights, the two freak shark attacks on Seychelles’ shores, and pirate attacks on the region’s African Coast.

While 2011 was, in general, a good year for the tourism industry, the challenges were complex and numerous. The Seychelles Tourism board had to cautiously address these challenges, and is now prepared for the new year and its many challenges.

With the planned arrival of new airlines (Transaero Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Austral, and Blue Panorama), the Seychelles Tourism Board is pinning its hopes on a strong target of attaining 200,000 visitors in 2012 - a modest, three percent increase. The Seychelles government has also confirmed that it is working on having new direct weekly flights to China to help kick-start this important potential market.

Tourism is a dynamic and competitive industry that requires the ability to constantly adapt to consumers’ needs. The local and international media have been in the forefront in giving their support to the Seychelles Tourism Board to revive this industry, and the Seychelles Tourism Board would like to express its appreciation to them for their support. In the coming weeks, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s management team will be meeting with all the local media houses to give them an update on the work of the Tourism Board and to see how the board can better work together with them for the continued success of the tourism industry.

Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said that the tourism industry as a whole needed to be congratulated for a job well done in 2011. “The SHTA, the [Seychelles] Hospitality&Tourism Association, stood behind the team at the Tourism Board in its efforts, and this has made it possible for Seychelles to achieve this first ever record in visitor arrival numbers,” Alain St.Ange said. “The government of the country has also supported the efforts of its Tourism Board and on more occasion than one, the President of the Republic himself led working visits in potential markets to help facilitate the work of the country’s tourism industry,” St.Ange said in ending.