Seychelles records US $268m from January to November 2021 from visitor earnings |11 January 2022
From January to November 2021, Seychelles recorded a sum of US $268 million from visitor earnings.
This compares to the sum of US $221.35 million recorded in 2020 and US $589.68 million in 2019.
For last year an average of US $1695 per visitor was recorded.
This shows that even though the year 2021 has been a very challenging one for tourism in Seychelles, due to the different impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Seychelles has not fared too badly and this is thanks to the concerted effort of all concerned stakeholders and authorities in tourism, the director general for marketing in the department of Tourism, Bernadette Willemin, has said.
Ms Willemin revealed these figures in a press meeting yesterday morning at Botanical House.
With regard to the number of visitors who disembarked in Seychelles in 2021, Ms Willemin said our country ended the year with a total of 182,849 visitors which is 59% more than the number recorded in 2020 when a total of 114,858 visitors arrived in Seychelles.
Ms Willemin noted that it is important to compare these figures to those of the best year in our tourism history in terms of visitor arrivals and this is the year 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
“During that year we recorded a total of 384,204 visitors to our shores and this, when compared to the past year, shows that we have lost a total of 52% of our tourism business,” Ms Willemin stated.
Furthermore Ms Willemin remarked that the biggest five tourism source markets for last year were in the following order: Russia, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany and Israel.
Ms Willemin went on to note that at the beginning of last year when many countries of our source tourism markets from Western Europe were facing some travel restrictions, we tapped markets from Eastern Europe and she said this largely helped us to sustain our business and fill the void.
“The interesting thing that we observed is that after travel restrictions were eventually relaxed in these parts of Europe, business suddenly picked up and that showed us that our traditional markets, specifically from Western Europe, are very resilient and has been providing us with a significant volume of business,” Ms Willemin remarked.
Meanwhile she also pointed out that on their part at the ministry they had started to tap and explore business opportunities from Eastern Europe long before the Covid-19 pandemic struck contrary to what many people would think.
“Eastern Europe has always been a region that forms part of our priority areas for tourism marketing and promotion which is in line with our market diversification strategy. But we also explore business possibilities in other parts of the world namely in Asia, Africa and the Middle East which we consider a very important region for us,” Ms Willemin remarked.
She went on to note that we have also received a significant number of visitors from the Israeli market from which she said they are always trying to attract more visitors.
Meanwhile Ms Willemin has recognised and acknowledged the concerted effort of all actors in the tourism business noting that the Tourism department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism alone would not have been able to bring the total of 182,849 visitors to our shores.
“The Tourism department has done its part by ensuring Seychelles remains visible on targeted international markets, we have ensured we diversify our business, we restrategised to try and secure a significant volume of business, but alone we would not have succeeded,” Ms Willemin remarked.
She also highlighted and commended efforts on the ground including guidance from the Public Health Authority which she affirmed has been crucial in allowing them to successfully complete part of their work.
She further noted that the work and effort by the tourism industry as a whole and the different airline companies has all helped to prepare our country to receive all the visitors last year.
But what does the future look like? Ms Willemin stressed that it remains the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure we continue to develop our tourism in the best way we want it to be developed to ensure visitors get the best experience, quality service and products for their money in order to benefit us all.
Meanwhile with the new Covid-19 variant, booking cancellations are affecting many countries and Seychelles has unfortunately not been spared. Ms Willemin has admitted that there have been some cancellations on forward bookings but up to now the situation is not alarming.
“We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure we find the best way to address areas left empty by the situation. But in spite of the situation we have opened our doors to visitors from neighbouring African countries like South Africa and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” said Ms Willemin.