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Seychelles closes the year 2014 with 1 increase in tourism arrival

Seychelles closes the year 2014 with 1 increase in tourism arrival ( Seychelles closes 2014 with a 1% increase in its tourist arrival and a drop of -8% in tourism earnings. In 2014, 232,667 visitors came to Seychelles compared to 230,272 in 2013. Tourism earnings slid to US$315million in 2014, compared to US$343 million in 2013. The year 2013 was a pretty good one for the tourism Industry. Seychelles scored a record high in tourism arrivals - 230,272 in 2013 compared to 208,034 in 2012. Tourism earnings jumped from US$310.3 million in 2012 to US$343.6 million in 2013, and Seychelles set a promising forecast of closing 2014 with a 5% increase.

2014 was hence a volatile year for the country’s tourism industry. Qatar Airways, which was then generating profitable business for Seychelles because of its high frequencies coupled with competitive pricing, pulled off during the course of 2013, upsetting arrival flow for 2014.

Ethiopian Airlines which followed suit, to only resume in October 2014, persisting lack of direct flights and tumbling tourism arrivals figures, on top of generating European markets and global economic instability, have all weighed high in upsetting the country’s total arrival figures.

Although in 2014, tourism arrival figures at the beginning of the year showed a slow growth, keeping the Seychelles Tourism Board on its feet to reach its forecasted 5% increase, the month of April, which traditionally stood as the strongest month in terms of tourism arrivals, retrograded to second position. October took over as the dominant month, with 23,312 visitors - 197 more arrivals than the second best of April.

The Seychelles Tourism Board explained that with resumption of the Ethiopian Airlines and Air Austral flights in October, the increase in chartered flights and Air Seychelles/Etihad airlines flight frequencies contributed to grow the tourism arrival figures during the month of October, ending the year on a 1% increase.

The Seychelles Tourism Board explains that if 2014 started on a similar growth pattern as in October, it will play positively in growing its tourism arrival figures. Seychelles would have closed on a more symbolic figure instead of only 1% growth. The Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism, Board Sherin Naiken, said based on the October 2014 arrival figures, she is convinced more flight frequencies is the answer to grow the country’s tourism arrivals.

“Travelers coming to Seychelles should be in a position to travel and plan their holiday any time during the year. We have come at a point in time, where travelers no longer book their flights one or two months in advance, but they want to travel when it best suits them,” she said.

Miss Naiken argued availability of seats on airlines for travelers coming to Seychelles is not the answer to grow tourism arrival figures.

In 2014, the Seychelles Tourism Board revised its list of top 7 generating markets. France, the country’s source market generating 60% of business, remained in the lead. The next ones in rank are Germany, China, South Africa, India, United Arab Emirates, and Russia.

The Seychelles Tourism Board explains that these markets have the right ingredients to grow more than 60% of the country’s total arrival figures. Other markets, which the Seychelles Tourism Board lists as its secondary markets, such as Reunion, will compensate the remaining 40% of business.

The Seychelles Tourism Board said China, closing the year with 13,349 in 2014 or 6%, ranked sixth behind United Arad Emirates, has the potential to grow. The opening of a Seychelles-Mumbai route in 2013 puts India in a favorable position to grow in business and become as influential as China. Miss Naiken said growth of the Indian market will depend not only on the Seychelles Tourism Board’s marketing strategies but all players of the tourism industry.

“There is business to gain in India. But this can only be achieved through concerted efforts of all partners. We now have the flight. We know the needs of Indian travelers. Now we need hotels and trade partners to work closer with Indian outbound tour operators to agree on a reasonable and affordable package for Indian travelers. It can only work if we cater to their needs as travelers.”

The Seychelles Tourism Board said it will continue to support its secondary markets and create the right condition for growth.


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