“Vive la France!”: The French once again top tourist market for Seychelles in April
Tourism Seychelles’ mission to increase the island nation’s visibility in Paris is paying off as France overtakes Russia at the top of the visitor arrivals figures, regaining its place as the country which in recent years has traditionally had the most travellers visiting the islands.
In the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, April 24, a total of 14,852 visitors from France arrived in Seychelles. France has surpassed Russia, now in second place with 12,731 visitors. Germany is in 3rd place with a total of 11,587 visitors.
In a press statement on Thursday, Tourism Seychelles, the marketing arm of the tourism department, said that to increase Seychelles’ visibility as a destination in France, its office in Paris spent a month and a half on the promotional road.
The team “travelled between France and Belgium attending consumer fairs, namely Tourissima in Lille, Vakantie Expo in Antwerp, Destination Nature Paris and Salon des Vacances in Brussels,” said Tourism Seychelles.
Participants at the different events got an insight into current traveller sentiments and trends especially now that visitors now have high expectations and are more selective in terms of what they want out of a holiday.
“The fairs presented the perfect opportunity to put Seychelles back in the minds of potential holidaymakers as they planned their Easter and summer holidays,” said Tourism Seychelles.
To encourage French holidaymakers to travel to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, last month France eased the health control measures at its borders for travellers going to and from the island nation. Seychelles was moved from the orange COVID-19 list to the green list on March 14.
Additionally, a traveller is only required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated upon arrival in France. Alternatively, if not vaccinated, a person needs to present a negative PCR test of fewer than 72 hours or a certificate of recovery from the virus of more than 11 days and less than six months.
On the same day, Seychelles’ health ministry said that vaccinated people can travel to the island nation without the need for a negative PCR test.
French Ambassador to Seychelles, Dominique Mas, said he was confident that “this easing of the rules will encourage our compatriots to come and enjoy the hospitality of Seychelles.”
Tourism Seychelles said that as global conditions improve, it will continue to push forward with its mission to increase the destination’s visibility and attempt to increase visitor arrival figures. It will also stress the nation’s dedication to the safety of its population and guests.
Tourism is the top contributor to the island nation’s economy followed by fisheries.
Seychelles has surpassed the 100,000 mark and recorded a total of 104,126 visitor arrivals from the beginning of this year to date. This represents an increase of 469 percent compared to the same period in 2021, which had a total of 18,284 visitors.
Seychelles closed its borders beginning of 2021 to curb the surge in COVID-19 active cases and reopened them to all visitors on March 21.