(Forimmediaterelease.net) Seychelles tourism has started on a good note this year as its main markets are doing well except for France which is still taking time to pick up. The chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Sherin Francis said this during a press conference this week.
According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics for the week ending March 26 total of 7,675 visitors arrived in Seychelles during week 12 of 2017.
A total of 81,187 visitors arrived in Seychelles from the start of the year until March 26. This was 18% above that of 2016 (68,887). Overall visitor arrivals from Europe increased by 16% compared to the same period last year. Increases in visitor arrivals from the main European markets were recorded – Russia (30%), UK&Northern Ireland (26%) and Germany (24%). Decreases of 7% was recorded from the French market and 5% from Italy.
Visitors from Africa increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. An increase of 9% was recorded in the number of visitors from the South African market.
Asia recorded an increase of 21% in visitor arrivals. United Arab Emirates recorded an increase of 36% while China decreased by 9%.
Visitors from Oceania increased by 33% whereas from America, an increase of 68% was recorded in visitors compared to the same period last year.
Mrs. Francis said in 2016, the French market performed well but since the beginning of this year, the performance from this European market has been slow. The decline in the French market is not only for Seychelles but for other destinations in the Indian Ocean as well, she added.
“We have also noticed that there is a trend on France in regard to last-minute bookings and we are now in a period where a lot of hotels do not have rooms available. Some hotels have stopped sales until the end of April.”
France is still the market which most of our visitors are coming from except for the week ending March 26, whereby Germany has since taken the throne.
The good performance on the German market is thanks to the twice weekly direct Condor flights, adding that the figures are expected to peak further with the new flights from Düsseldorf. STB is also expecting to see an increase of German-speaking visitors from other European countries namely Switzerland and Austria.
Speaking about the Russian market, Mrs. Francis said it looks very positive and STB is expecting a good performance from this market.
The United Arab Emirates and other countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as the Italian market are also performing well.
In regard to the Chinese market, Mrs. Francis said STB has recorded a decrease in visitor arrivals from China.
She said it was not possible to increase figures from this market during this year’s Chinese New Year due to the fact that Air Seychelles stopped its operations to and from this Asian country. Efforts were made by STB to bring in a chartered flight for the Chinese New Year but this was not achieved.
Mrs. Francis added that in May, STB will relaunch its strategic campaigns in China to help bring in more visitors from this country.
STB will target a specific group of Chinese travelers, these are the high-end segment – those who take three or four vacations in a year, have more spending power and who prefer not to go to places where the mass is going.
She added that Seychelles can cater for these groups of visitors as we already have the types of hotels that they prefer.
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