A press Conference held at Seychelles International Airport yesterday showcased the success of the island's tourism and aviation sectors as a new record in visitor arrival numbers were announced.
The tourism industry of Seychelles has known another feat this year, with a record of more than a quarter of a million tourists arriving in the islands.
A total of 254,017 visitors have visited Seychelles up until December 10, which represents an increase of 19% in arrivals, or 40, 309 visitors more when compared to last year.
This great news for our tourism industry was announced on Friday during a press conference held at the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) Offices at the Seychelles International Airport.
Attending the press conference were the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan, principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, chief executives of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Gilbert Faure and Air Seychelles Roy Kinnear, deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Nathalie Didon.
Also present was the chairperson of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority’s board of directors Captain David Savy along with other management staff of the organisation.
Speaking at the press conference, Minister Morgan said it is an important moment in the development of the aviation and tourism industry of the Seychelles.
He added that this attainment is vital in terms of the strategies that the government through the tourism and transport ministries that ensured the island's tourism and aviation industries kept performing, and ensured the continued development of air connectivity with the world.
Minister Morgan said there are now eight airlines flying to Seychelles, with an average of nine flights per day.
"This is a remarkable achievement for a small country like Seychelles", Minister Morgan said.
He also spoke on the R200m being invested in the development of the airport infrastructure, which he said is important as the country’s tourism and aviation industry is moving forward.
“This achievement gives our national airline confidence to keep moving forward. Air Seychelles will keep diversifying its routes and I am happy to say that as from early next year our national airline will be have direct flights to Beijing China,” the Minister responsible for air transport said.
Minister St.Ange on his part congratulated the Seychelles Tourism Board as it is the core body which markets Seychelles as a tourism destination, adding that it has to keep working hard to consolidate the position of Seychelles in the world of tourism.
He added that it is a milestone for Seychelles to have achieved this feat, getting one quarter of a million visitors to its shores.
Minister St.Ange spoke on the various markets which are continuously growing. The French market, which is top on the list, has seen a growth of 15%. Minister St.Ange said the direct flights from Paris have helped greatly.
He also talked on the other top markets such as Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
Minister St.Ange said the Seychelles Tourism Board must keep marketing Seychelles efficiently and must ensure that the islands remain visible across the globe if Seychelles is to remain relevant as a tourism destination.
"We must all be proud that Seychelles has been able to make its tourism industry work, an industry which is the pillar of the economy. It is on the right track and we must keep working hard to keep it growing. With no marketing by the Tourism Board, the small hotels in our tourism industry with no marketing means and who are today not being featured by Tour Operators will simply not work.” Minister St.Ange said adding that whilst the Ministry of Tourism and Culture remains responsible for policy and administration matters it was the Tourism Board that had the mandate to market Seychelles as a tourism destination.
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