Tourists from Sweden will return to Seychelles as soon as the Scandanavian country's population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, said the newly accredited Swedish ambassador.
Caroline Vicini spoke after presenting her letter of accreditation to President Wavel Ramkalawan on Tuesday at State House.
"We are lagging behind in terms of vaccinating our people against COVID-19. Certainly, there is a pent-up demand to move around in the world again. Seychelles is a beautiful country that people would always want to come and visit," said Vicini.
Tourism, the top pillar of the Seychelles' economy, has been badly hit by the global pandemic which halted the operation of many businesses.
Aside from tourism, the discussion between the Swedish ambassador and the head of state touched on the fisheries sector, the second top contributor to the island nation's economy.
Vicini commended Seychelles on the publication of its first report to the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI).
"It is an important transparency measure which will enable us to also get a hold of what is happening to our seas, fish stock and how we can better manage it in a more responsible way. We are very grateful that Seychelles is at the forefront and it should be a collective and global effort," she said.
The report, which was launched in April, summarises key status information on Seychelles' fisheries sector to increase public understanding and appreciation of the sector. It also assesses Seychelles' level of compliance against the 12 transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard.
The Swedish ambassador also congratulated Ramkalawan on his election and said that it was a historical event to have a change in power in Seychelles.
Vicini also met with the Vice-President, Ahmed Afif, and discussions touched mainly on economic issues.
"We had a long discussion on how to gradually relaunch the economy through tourism and types of airlines flying to Seychelles. We also discussed what the visitors are looking for. Swedish holidaymakers are interested in the environment, sailing, snorkeling and the island nation offers just that and more than that," said the Swedish ambassador.
She extended an invitation to the Seychelles' government for a conference in Stockholm in June next year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first environment conference which took place in Sweden in the early 1970s.
Vicini will be based in Nairobi, Kenya for a five-year mandate.