Russian holidaymakers are continuing to choose Seychelles to enjoy the sun, sea and sand as well as excursions and activities that are relaxed and hassle-free, according to the latest statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics. 
Tourism Seychelles – the Department of Tourism’s marketing arm – said in a press release recently that Russian visitors remain the top market in terms of arrival numbers, followed by France and Germany, after having hit a record high in 2021.
Last year, Russia took the lead with 32,000 visitors arriving in Seychelles – an archipelago in the Indian Ocean – breaking the eastern European country’s 2017 record of 13,191, according to the figures released by the NBS.
The attraction of the tropical islands
Anna Lavskaya, a Russian visitor who came to Seychelles told SNA that she mostly enjoyed the sun and the beach but also went on excursions around Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, the three most populated islands.
“Seychelles has an amazing nature and environment which is safe because there are no wild animals. The ocean water is transparent and warm, and there are many beautiful beaches, tasty rum, and incredible turtles everywhere,” she said.
She added that for her next visit to Seychelles she wishes to stay at a more private accommodation on Praslin as the resort she stayed in on Mahe was extremely crowded and without much privacy.

Lavskaya said that the Seychelles’ waters is transparent and warm. (Gerard Larose) Photo License: CC-BY

Nevertheless, Lavskaya told SNA she has already recommended Seychelles to her friends as it makes for a great family trip or romantic holiday.
This was echoed by the public relations and brand manager of Creole Travel Services, Dianne Dalida, who said that Russian visitors mostly travel as a family or couple and like catamaran boat excursions with a relaxed itinerary as well as private tours and charters.
“We would say that the majority are not often the type to go on nature trails and hikes, as they don’t want to be overexerted when relaxation is what they’re after,” added Dalida.
Furthermore, local tourism companies have also started to hire Russian-speaking representatives to attract visitors from the country. 
Aeroflot’s return marks a new epoch for tourism
The increase in Russian visitors can be attributed to Seychelles tapping into the Eastern European market with the availability of direct flights connecting the island nation in the western Indian Ocean to Moscow.
Since May last year, Russian airline Aeroflot has been running direct flights from Moscow to Seychelles in “Four weekly flights to Seychelles are currently operated on comfortable wide-body A350-900 aircraft.”
Aeroflot told SNA that while many international markets remain closed as a result of the COVID pandemic, the airline is using all international opportunities that are available and ensuring the highest safety standards. 
“In its latest achievement, Aeroflot has just been awarded with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating from Skytrax along with only 17 other global airlines. The highest rating recognises that sanitary and hygiene procedures, and service enhancements rolled out by Aeroflot are meeting an excellent international standard of safe air travel in pandemic,” the company said in an emailed response.

Source: Seychelles News Agency