Seychelles records 16% growth in UK visitors
Exotic holiday hot-spot the Seychelles has seen a huge rise in visitors from the UK, with 17,286 British visitors entering the country from January to 2 Sept 2018.
The figure, which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics, represents a 16 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Britain is the Seychelles’ fourth biggest European incoming market, after Germany, France and Italy. During the period Jan–Sept 2018, the number of European visitors grew by seven per cent.
Seychelles welcomed 235,640 international visitors in the year to date, only one per cent more than 2017. Yet, records from the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) show that the country’s first semester earnings have increased by 27 per cent compared to the same period last year.
These figures reflect the Seychelles’ sustainability efforts as a country that relies on tourism for 29 per cent of its GDP. One initiative is to work together with hoteliers and business to eliminate the use of plastic by 2020.
Sherin Francis, chief executive of Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), was delighted to discover that so many tourists prefer Seychelles as a holiday destination.
“Thanks to the efforts of all parties within the industry, we have been able to achieve amazing growth in tourism earnings,” she said. “For a small country like Seychelles, where we emphasise conservation, it is important to get more out of each tourist instead of relying on tourism arrivals.”
Arrivals to the Seychelles are expected to rise steadily as airlines increase their services to the archipelago. British Airways launched new direct flights from London this year, while Air Seychelles has increased the frequency of its services between Seychelles and Johannesburg. Edelweiss Air’s planned service to the islands launches this month (September 2018).