Fishing Is All Year Round Unlike Tourism. Time For Change!

The year 2014 proved to be unexpectedly more challenging for tourism in the Seychelles than anticipated, as the archipelago’s tourism marketers had optimistically projected a 3 percent growth over their record breaking year of 2013, when new arrival records were set.
For much of 2014 did arrival figure lag behind those of the previous year, and only a strong performance in December will make it possible to match last year’s record, with even money at present if it is slightly over or under that yardstick.

Insider information from several sides though also confirms that revenues per passenger were down compared to previous years, posing yet another challenge for the marketing team, which only yesterday provided some key data from the 2014 arrival statistics.
It is apparent from those stats that Britain, for long in the top five, is no longer even in the top six, having been pushed down the ranks by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and China, the latter showing one of the fastest growth rates of any country of origins for the Seychelles, this year up by nearly 80 percent, similar to the trend seen over the past few years.
It also shows that the sentiments often expressed here on behalf of stakeholders, that the French market needed the return of nonstop flights to Mahe, were justified as Germany outpaced France and took the lead as the country with the most visitors to the archipelago. Condor, flying nonstop from Frankfurt to Mahe under a scheduled flight operation, for some time considered the early launch of a second flight, but eventually showed some caution as they postponed their final decision which in reality means another frequency would realistically only come on line for the winter season 2015/16.
Visitors arrivals as of week 47 of 2014
Country of tourists origin No. of visitors
Germany 33,124
France 29,759
Italy 18,224
Russia 12,823
China 12,585
United Arab Emirates 11,898
Resource allocation will next year reflect this new constellation to recapture lost numbers in particular in France but also other European markets which had gone ‘soft’ during the past 11 months, a wise choice considering that Europe still accounts for nearly two thirds of all visitors to the Seychelles, which makes the current 4 percent Europe wide loss all the more important to reverse.
Regular sources from the islands also raised two added issues which are worth exploring some more.
Although Air Seychelles is upping flights to and from Abu Dhabi and is launching flights to Dar es Salaam, Antananarivo and Mumbai, is the lack of nonstop flights to France seen as a setback for the tourism private sector and the country’s tourism marketers. This decision, some say taken in Abu Dhabi rather than in Victoria, has led to growing support for a new airline venture, Seychelles Airlines, which however has not received regulatory approvals as yet, leading to suggestions that vested interests if not outright foul play is keeping the new airline, which notably said they would fly nonstop to Paris, out of the skies.
A second major shift in policy may also be on the cards as one of China’s largest touring companies, CAISSA Touristic, has proposed to fly charters from China to Mahe, giving their passengers those coveted nonstop services, were it not for decades of deliberate choices and decisions to keep charters out of the Seychelles and rely on scheduled flights, in part of course aimed to keep the quality of visitors in the upper market bracket and avoid the downsides charter operations have brought to other long haul destinations.
‘It is all good to hear that the Chinese are prepared to start a charter to Mahe but official policy so far has been and it so remains, until a change is officially announced, that airlines coming to the Seychelles must operate scheduled flights, not charters. We are watching how this dilemma is solved, because obviously we need more visitors to fill our beds, in the new resorts and of course right across the locally owned B&B’s, guest houses and holiday apartments. It is those where our own people have heavily invested in and which consumed their nest eggs and is to provide them with long term sustainable income. Some of my colleagues and I are very cautious because to change that policy also means that Air Seychelles will have to drop any objections and you are aware of the linkage between government and the national airline right up to chairman level.

The tourism lobby will want to see a change in that policy and the airline and its backers and supporters in government will very likely object and try to halt it like they halted the new airline. If there is a change in policy, arrival numbers from China can very quickly double and more but if not, it might be a do or die for tourism.
We are at crossroads now and whichever direction Seychelles take will shape the next decade and more. If charters were to be allowed we will certainly be able to fill more beds in locally owned establishments. We also need more hotels in the 3 and 4 star category, priced similarly to those in say Zanzibar or Kenya or Mauritius. If charters are not allowed, we may have to see the market stagnate for a while because Europe is still in economic difficulties, the Russian market is affected by sanctions and the Chinese prefer nonstop flights over changing planes in other locations. As you said, those are hard choices to be made and I don’t envy those who have to make them and fight to get them implemented’ said one regular contributor in an extended exchange of emails and social media messages.
The just ended annual marketing conference of the Seychelles Tourism Board, during which some of these challenges were no doubt discussed, some in open forum and some of the more touchy subjects rather more in private, was also presented with the new sales collaterals, a new destinations video, a new proactive website and new printed brochures, the latter however apparently playing a lesser role today compared to past practices.

Seychelles no doubt remains one of the most talked about long haul island destinations in the world, punching well above her weight and indeed has much to offer, beyond sand, sun and fun.
Festivals have taken root across the year, from the globally renowned Seychelles Carnival to the Festival of the Sea, in 2015 celebrating its 25th anniversary and to be renamed as the Festival of the Ocean, the China – Seychelles Festival, the India – Seychelles Festival, the Eco Marathon, the annual Festival Kreol, next year celebrating its 30th edition already. Events besides natural attractions, more than half of the Seychelles is by law dedicated to conservation, have put and kept the archipelago on the global map and high profile honeymooners like the Duke an Duchess of Cambridge and the Clooneys, among many other glitterati, have made sure that the island is talked about across the social media and given high profile exposure in the world’s glossiest and fanciest travel magazines and TV Travel programmes.
Opportunities in plenty but then, so are the challenges which need to be resolved, and, given the vocal opposition about a proposed new resort owned by the Emirates’ Group at Cap Terney earlier in the week, so does the question of when is enough enough. What maximum visitor numbers can the Seychelles sustainably receive, considering the added needs for fresh water and electricity but also for trained human resources and how far can the envelope be pushed without colliding with the principles of both the ‘Green’ and the ‘Blue’ economic blueprints.
On the upside stands the increased dialogue between government, stakeholders and ordinary citizens, all of them aware that tourism is and will remain the backbone of the local economy and compromises must be found to keep the archipelago out of an economic downturn which might bring greater challenges than the ones outlined above.


  1. Partilepep Air transporatation polcy isscrewing our tourism industry not because Europe is still in recession or else.
    Direct flight operation is the key to solving the problem and that has been recognized by both National and International experts only partilepep crooks because of the illegal deal done with Khalfia which involved high bribes to Morgan,Michel and his gang is making partilepep hands stay tied becuae the later would not be able to return the high bribes which summed up in millions to Khalfia.
    No Experts both National or International donot understand in fact the never seen something like this in the business world namely that a company which holds thwe higher share in a joint venture or codeshare deal has no power to take decision on how the concerned company would operate and has no infflunece on the minority company but in fact allows the minority company to dictates it will and put forwards its own interest to the detriment of the biggest share holder.This is apolicy of DOOM and shows us how partilepep monekys are under qualified,ignorance when it come to following Business strategies,and how irresponsible they are when it come to putting Seychellois interest before anything else.Partilepep has proven agina that it is not a responsible government ,a government that all its does is for the interests of the whole country but namely to a handful gang mmembers of the one -aprty dictatorial system and its foreign friends like Islamic terrorist Khalfia.

    Having charter flights operation has become a must to all Toursit destinations except PSeychelles because of ridiculous arguments put forward by idiots at pl such as "we donot like charter because it might kill quality or standard of the destination"It is not Charter or cheaper Airlines that kill quality< of a destinations partilepep -charter flights made their own price and hotels owners made their ,Unless for instance a Charter Airline make a deal with certain hotles to sale a package including Flight ticket and hotel accommodation in one then in such a situation there might be a risk of seeing price of hotel rooms decrease.Charter Airlines such a Edelweiss,BELAIR,both Swiss private charter Airline operate for instance tow flights to Maldivies,S Africa ,Mauritius weekly and their operations help these countires tourism industry enormously for they have become one of the main source of transporatation of tourists to these destination.

    Moroever,partilepep cannot argue that charter flights would damge quality--for CONDOR has proven thecontary and that Partilepep is now welcoming a Chinese private Airline to operate direct flight from and to china speaks volume against partilepep arguememnt that"Charter would affect price.More hotles and non -stop hotles contructions would affect price and quality in the future if partilepep does not stop building everywhere ,anyway .The solurtion as said before and repeatedly to partilepe's monkeys is weneed to dfevelop OOFFSEASON tourism to make the actual high season longer,and use the existing hotels rather than building at all costs without real long term objectives and real reasons than to pelase Arabs and allow them to dispose Seychellois from aprt of their best spots and help destroy our environment by Arbs who have not inherited the notion of environment protection and its importance ,WHy?they do not have forests.
    Sustainhable is to develop a country to fulfill the needs of its actual population while taking into consideration the need of future generation--that is leaving space,land,for them in order to do their own things which would be needed to amtch their own needs and that of their kids.

    What can NOGS and the Businesses in the TOurism industry do?In fact a lot.The tourism industry is the main industry in Seychelles' economy,it is the one that keeps paritlepep alive after bankrupting the country twice.

  2. Pl tries to tells Euriopeans are not traveling due to recession.ACcording to french govt statistics 6 millons french nationals travel abroad in 2014 and germans a few millions more.
    The problem is not because europe is re ession but the crooked policy follows by pl croiked system .PL can compares maldives.maueitius statistics and would find out that the nunbers of europeans visitors to the two destinations has in fact increase this year.The problem of seychelles is D connectivity notging more.

  3. Statistics in the above article shows that EUroepans alone outnumber Chinese and Emirates combine when it come to tourists producer.Can PAPA/MAMA whatever his name ,Pl why is it important to operatehundreds of flights between Madagascar,Mumbai,Dar el salaam ?Are the tthree COuntires the main world tourists supplier in the world Partilepep ,MAMA/PAPA?And who the hell is PAPA doing in a National company that owes the biggest share in a deal made with Eithad?Should a Seychellois be a the head of their NAtional company?

  4. New ari carft forAirsey to do what.Bring more passagers not to Seychelles but to UAE as Michel told us.It seems Airsey for pl is a personal/private business and it seems that by thinking so,Pl has made a deal for thmelseves with ETIHAD or Khalfia --and they are sharing benfit and pocketing money either monthly or annually which aresent directly to their private bank account in swiss or in Arab countries.There is no reason otherwise Why Pl would ignore the facts that we need our National Airline to operate direct flights to our main market and continue to sing Khalfia's song.There must be something in this deal they are hiding and the only explainantion is that Pl has made unoffificla Airsey theirs and pocketing big ananual bribes to keep the deal going though opposition of the Seychellois just like the on going illegal sell out of our patrimony.CaPe Terany a National Park has been illegal sold to Khalfia and been allowed to destroy and disposed Seychellois from another big important piece of their patrimony.

    Be it Khalfia,ALLAH,Mohaamamd Khalfia would have to give us our illegally obtained land back WHY'Becuase Seychellois and their rule of alws say it clear --No Foreigners have the right to posses Land in Seychelles and this law would be implememnted without exception--Why without exception?Becvuase we believe in justice,equalitiy and respect of rule of laws and foreigners would abide by them too regardless if theycall Kings,mQueens in their own countires.they are not our kings and would never be regarded as such.

  5. Pl caaled the new air craft Emirates not because of our group of coral islands call Emirates but to please Khalfia because Emirates here is about EUA Emirates.Pl of course think by using Emirates it would hide the really meaning Pl want to give to the name.

  6. I was told that the next aircraft would be named Kamel,even Bin Laden Or Mohammaed.

  7. We have Italians,Germans,French but what about all the many euroepan countires left among them rich countiries like Sweden,Norwy,Holland,FinnLand and thoers ...All these countires' people also travel in mass each year?Why have we still not develop these potential markets in Euroepans richest countires like thoe I mentioned and Swisszerland,Liechtenstien,Austria,etc....

    The thing is we still 90 percent of EUROEPAN market which we have not exploited,developed and most of them are richest countires than Italy,Frenhc and German at least citizens in those countires are higher paid than Italy;French and Germany and they do travel as much as French and German the problem is Pl has failed to developed these important markets.

  8. Warning !Watch Seselwa China rice have been toxicated by polution danger for health.


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