Seychelles surpasses 2020 visitor arrivals |12 October 2021
Seychelles has achieved yet another milestone in the tourism sector as the 114,859th visitor landed in the country yesterday, officially surpassing the total number of visitors recorded for the whole of last year, which was 114,858.
The 114,859th visitor – German couple Tim and Marlien Gentges – stepped onto the Seychelles soil from Qatar Airways flight QR 678 which landed at 7.40am.
On board the flight from Doha were 233 passengers and crew.
Qatar Airways flies weekly to Seychelles, arriving in the morning and leaving at night.
As they emerged into the arrival lounge after passing through custom formalities, the German couple received a special welcome from the principal secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, who also presented them with a bouquet of flowers to mark the occasion.
Also present were other staff from the tourism department.
Local dancers and musicians from cultural group ‘Tanmi’, were also present to welcome them and other passengers from the flight with traditional music and songs as the destination celebrated yet another milestone in its tourism performance.
The Gentges said they consider themselves lucky to have been the ones to surpass the 114,858 mark in visitor arrivals recorded for the whole of last year.
“We are very lucky; the people are so friendly and with the beautiful flowers, we are so overwhelmed. We don’t know what to say. It’s very nice for us,” Marlien said.
The couple, in their thirties, are here on an eight-day honeymoon. It is their first time in Seychelles. They said they chose our country because they wanted to see the islands.
“We love travelling and we haven’t been to the Seychelles. We wanted to see the islands and we thought this would be a great place for our honeymoon,” Marlien said.
PS Francis said that although the figure is way below the 2019 visitor arrival figure, any little achievement, considering the difficulties to bring our tourism industry back on its feet in this time of the pandemic, is a great milestone.
The total number of visitors for 2019 was 384,204, from 351,235 in 2018.
“Given the difficult year the travel industry has gone through, every milestone calls for celebration. Today, we mark this important achievement with gratitude. Only two weeks ago we welcomed our 100,000th visitor for the year. The number 118, 859 today is a significant number as it shows that Seychelles remains a preferred destination among visitors. The figure is also a testament to the passion and dedication of the work done by our offices around the world, our industry partners and all Seychellois helping in the restart of the pillar of our economy. It is a proud day for our destination, as we have done in only 10 months what we had assumed as the worst-case scenario in our recovery strategy,” PS Francis said.
PS Francis commended the decision to open our borders to travellers which is bringing positive results for the tourism industry.
She noted that although the sector is globally still in difficulty amid the restrictions and changes in marketing and travel pattern, among others, especially from our main markets, the tourism department will continue to push to bring our tourism sector back on its feet.
A dynamic diversification strategy following the tourism industry collapse after the onset of Covid has seen a steady increase in arrival numbers from Seychelles’ top current feeder markets including Russia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel, Germany, France and Switzerland.
With Seychelles now on the approved travel list for UK as well as Italy, the resumption of flights by Condor and of Air France later this October, local tourism and hospitality operators are anticipating better times ahead of the half-term and winter holiday season as its traditional visitor source markets in Europe kick into gear.
Linking its economic recovery to a nation-wide vaccination programme, public health protocols as well as rigorous Covid-safety training and certification of businesses, tourism and hospitality operators, Seychelles was one of the first destinations to reopen its borders fully to visitors in March 2021, a strategy which is clearly paying off for the country for whom tourism is the main economic pillar.
Patrick Joubert/Press release from the tourism department