174,530 and counting was the message from Mahe in the Seychelles last week, when the archipelago’s previous arrival record, established in 2010, was broken with weeks still to go until the end of the year. Notably, the “record breaker” arrived on the latest airline flying to the Seychelles, Etihad, which is now coming 4 times a week to Mahe.
At hand to receive the “winning couple,” Florence and Arnaud Gambert from France, was Seychelles Tourism Board Chairman Barry Faure, with his Tourism Board’s Chief Executive Alain St. Ange also on board of the same flight, after witnessing the opening of the Seychelles Embassy and Tourist Office in Abu Dhabi/UAE by the island’s President, Mr. James Michel.
This is a major achievement by the Seychelles, which has been promoting itself as a destination of choice, a destination of “THE” choice, since the tourism board was “privatized” and more, so since Alain St. Ange became Chief Executive Officer. What makes this early record even more remarkable is the current economic gloom and doom talk in the world’s key economies, showing that the diversification of target markets by the Seychelles, giving added focus to new and emerging markets, has paid off handsomely. The liberalization of air transport to the Seychelles, mainly taken advantage of by leading carriers from the Gulf region like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and now Etihad, has also significantly raised the profile of the archipelago through joint promotions, with 25 weekly flights reaching Mahe by the end of 2011 from almost any point on the globe with one stop only, and has aided continuous growth of the tourism industry.
It was the first visit by Florence and Arnaud Gambert from France who are in Seychelles for a week to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. They have booked to stay at the Seychelles Banyan Tree Resort on the main island of Mahe.
“That we have broken last year’s impressive record shows that the tourism policy of the government is working. Today it is clear we are on the right path. It also shows clearly that the idea of positioning our offices in key market areas and putting our own people who are selling Seychelles from their hearts in these markets has also helped to promote our destination and ensure Seychelles remains at the forefront when the world economies are suffering and our main target markets are going through financial turmoil,”Alain St.Ange said at the Seychelles International Airport after welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Gambert to Seychelles.
Seychelles, truly is “Another World,” which, by the way, is and remains “Affordable Seychelles,” where holiday makers on a tighter budget can enjoy the archipelago’s unique Creole hospitality just as much as the world’s rich and famous.