Dip in tourism earnings down to change in spending patterns |01 September 2023
The tourism department will unfortunately not be meeting the ambitious USD 1 billion in tourism earnings target this year, as change in visitors’ spending patterns sees a drop in tourism earnings.
Despite growth of 6 percent in tourist arrivals, the Financial Stability Committee of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) raised concerns over the dip in tourism revenue, during its second meeting of the year, held on August 21.
At the beginning of 2023, the tourism department predicted that it would be possible for Seychelles to hit the USD 1 billion mark, by assuming that each visitor would spend, on average, USD 300 per day in Seychelles, based on data from 2022.
However spending patterns have quickly changed, reverting back to 2019 and pre-pandemic times, principal secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, confirmed to Seychelles NATION.
“The year 2022 was an exceptional year for travel. Most destinations were still closed, meaning less competition, and household savings were higher than normal. Therefore, along with the revenge travel trends, we assume there were irrational spending patterns,” said PS Francis.
“Spending has since returned to the 2019 linear trend. Although it is marginally higher than 2019, meaning we are still performing better than the 2019 record year”.
The tourism department is still aiming to hit the USD 1 billion mark, albeit not in 2023.
“As we continue to pursue our product diversification strategy and our strategy to tap into higher-value visitors, we expect to see a gradual improvement of overall visitors,” PS Francis added.
Although data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) second World Tourism Barometer findings show that the tourism sector’s recovery has continued into 2023, challenges remain.
Notably, the current economic situation is the primary factor weighing on the recovery of international tourism. High inflation and rising oil prices, leading to higher costs means “tourists are expected to increasingly seek value for money”.
Up until August 27, a total of 226,888 visitors had arrived in Seychelles.