The fairs provided the perfect opportunity to put the Seychelles back in the minds of potential holidaymakers. (Seychelles Tourism)
Tourism Seychelles’ mission to raise the island nation’s visibility in Paris is bearing fruit as France overtakes Russia at the top of visitor arrival figures, reclaiming its place as a country that in recent years has traditionally hosted the most travelers in the islands.
In the latest figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday April 24, a total of 14,852 French visitors arrived in the Seychelles. France overtook Russia, now second with 12,731 visitors. Germany is in 3rd place with a total of 11,587 visitors.
In a press release on Thursday, Tourism Seychelles, the marketing arm of the tourism department, said that to increase the visibility of Seychelles as a destination in France, its office in Paris spent a month and a half on the promotional road.
The team “traveled between France and Belgium to attend consumer fairs, namely Tourissima in Lille, Vakantie Expo in Antwerp, Destination Nature Paris and Salon des Vacances in Brussels,” said Tourism Seychelles.
Attendees at the various events got a glimpse of current traveler sentiments and trends, especially now that visitors now have high expectations and are more selective in terms of what they want from their holidays.
“The fairs provided 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, France last month eased health screening measures at its borders for travelers to and from the island nation. Seychelles has been taken out of orange COVID-19[feminine] list to the green list on March 14.
In addition, a traveler is only required to provide proof that he is fully vaccinated upon arrival in France. Alternatively, if not vaccinated, a person must present a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a certificate of recovery from the virus more than 11 days and less than six months old.
On the same day, the Seychelles Ministry of Health said those vaccinated can travel to the island nation without needing a negative PCR test.
The French ambassador to Seychelles, Dominique Mas, said he was confident that “this relaxation 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 visibility of the destination and attempt to increase the number of visitor arrivals. It will also underscore the nation’s dedication to the safety of its people and guests.
Tourism is the main contributor to the economy of the island nation, followed by fishing.
Seychelles has surpassed the 100,000 mark and recorded a total of 104,126 visitor arrivals since the start of this year to date. This represents a 469% increase compared to the same period in 2021, which had a total of 18,284 visitors.
The Seychelles closed its borders in early 2021 to curb the surge in COVID-19[feminine] active cases and reopened them to all visitors on March 21.