Seychelles has surpassed the total number of visitor arrivals for the whole of 202, well on the path to the recovery of its tourism industry in the seventh month of 2022, Tourism Seychelles - the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism - said on Friday.
The 182,850th traveller landed in the island nation on Wednesday, July 27, making the total figure slightly above the figure for January 1 to December 31 of 2021 when 182,849 passengers landed in the 115-island archipelago of the western Indian Ocean
The director general for destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin, said that Seychelles is "delighted to once again be celebrating a significant milestone in our journey towards the recovery of the local tourism industry."
Willemin said that "reaching 2021 figures in only seven months is an achievement that would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of the government and private sector. We are keeping our eyes on making yet another hit in our 2022 arrival numbers."
Emphasising on the importance of remaining competitive as a destination, Willemin added that the tourism team has been focused on reinforcing its marketing strategies and intensifying its online presence.
"As a destination, we are striving to remain diligent and continue to maintain a strong presence in all our markets, through our participation in the various trade and consumer events taking place. However, we also bear in mind that like the COVID-19 pandemic and recently, the Russia-Ukraine unrest, including other global situations can quickly change, which in turn, could affect the progress that we have made," she added.
The tourism department forecasts that Seychelles will end the year with around 258,000 visitors. This figure is the country's best-case scenario for the year, which also represents about two-thirds of visitor arrival numbers in 2019 - the best year so far for the industry - when the island nation welcomed over 428,000 visitors to its shores.
According to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Europe remains Seychelles' top market source, with France being the first followed by Germany and Russia.
Seychelles' tourism industry was greatly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, where like many countries, it had to close its borders. In March 2021, the country reopened its borders to all visitors, with the exception of South Africa which was experiencing a pronounced outbreak at the time, to relaunch its tourism industry.