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    Photo credit by Sabi Sabi Game Reseve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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    Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Tourism industry sees visitor length of stays in Seychelles reach new record


The average length of stay of tourists in Seychelles rose over last year’s numbers.

Length of stay jumped up to 10.9 days in January 2014. According to the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, visitors coming to Seychelles during the month of January 2014 increased to 5% compared to January 2013. Seychelles recorded the highest level in length of stay of 11.8 days in August 2010.

The Seychelles National Statistics Bureau figures also show that out of 16,521 visitors who arrived in Seychelles during the month of January 2014, 2,317 were from Russia. The figures represent an increase of 32% on the Russian market compared to the same period in 2013. France, the Seychelles leading market, has been pushed to second position with an average of 2,216 visitors for the month of January 2014. It is to be noted that visitors coming from Russia traditionally land in Seychelles during their annual winter months.

Seychelles also witnessed in January 2014 a boom in the number of visitors coming from China. China not solely showed positive growth but took the third position in January 2014 as one of the Seychelles leading source markets. With the opening up of Chinese routes and aggressive market packages from Destination Management Companies to grasp a fair share of the market, the number of visitors from China increased to 2086 in January 2014, representing an increase of 65% compared to January 2013.

Seychelles Tourism Board’s China Manager described this growth as encouraging. Germany, Italy, and South Africa also listed among Seychelles’ six leading markets in January 2014 are also showing positive growth. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, congratulated the Tourism Board for the remarkable growth of the island’s six leading source markets. “It is clear that decisions you continue to take when you meet for your end-of-year Marketing Meeting with the private sector trade is bringing good returns. Your work is often not seen except when visitor arrival numbers increase and when more pages in tour operators’ programs are featuring Seychelles products. You have to continue to keep Seychelles visible in the four corners of the world, and you have to continue to ensure that Seychelles remains a relevant tourism destination. Together we have been doing this well so far, but we need to continue along on our set course as per discussions between ourselves and our private sector partners,” Minister St.Ange said.

With this positive growth in visitor arrivals for January 2014 coupled with an increase in visitor length of stays, the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture says that the tourism of Seychelles remains on a firm footing.

It is interesting to highlight that Seychelles as a destination has aroused a lot of interest in recent years. This interest is translating to bookings – for example, during the month of January 16,521tourists landed in Seychelles, compared to 12,799 in the same month in 2008. This trend is seen by the islands as very encouraging especially when many other destinations are not enjoying such a performance. For the Seychelles, visitor arrival numbers must be looked at with the island’s population. The Seychelles is today receiving more than three times more visitors per year than its total population and close to five times its total local workforce. “This is an achievement for any country, but over and above these comparative figures, tourism remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.

In January 2008, the average length of stay in Seychelles was 9.5 days for the month of January. By 2010, this had increased to 11.4 days only to drop to 10 days by 2013. For January of 2014, it was back up to 10.9 days. The short holiday breaks with the number of flights landing in Seychelles daily works against long average length of stay. The increase of Chinese holiday makers with three to five day stops in Seychelles will also impact on this figure, but the Tourism Board believes that it remains to have the rooms sold at a good rate than is their preoccupation over just length of stay. The emergence of new attractive packages offered by Destination Management Companies is considered as an important part in changing the pattern and increasing visitor length of stays for this January 2014.

The Tourism Board is now working to see how to have more dedicated airline seats for Seychelles out of the islands main source markets in a bid to better assist tour operator partners sell Seychelles.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .

Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture

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