afrol News, 18 January - Seychelles set a new record for arrivals in 2010 with 174,529 visitors. This is the highest number of visitors ever recorded during a year on the tropical islands and is some 17,000 higher than in 2009.
The destination's core markets in Europe have pulled the highest number of tourists, thus contributing in great part to the record-breaking figure, according to information released today by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).
"France, Italy, Germany and UK continue to lead as the top performing markets but good performances have also been recorded from smaller markets like South Africa," according to the STB. But even China was starting to show its strength.
The new record represents a 10 percent growth on the figure of 2009 which was 157,541. However, the standing record of 161,273 visitors set in 2007, with 2008 and 2009 representing difficult years for the Seychellois tourism industry.
The new record comes after Seychelles was able to tap into new markets. "Russia is one market which smacks of potential and many destinations have been trying to tap into it to grow their share market," according to the STA. By end of 2010, Russia was ranked as Seychelles' sixth best market behind France, Italy, Germany, UK and South Africa - in that order.
Other smaller European markets also had perked up their arrivals "following aggressive marketing of the destination and the 2011 results should show a healthy growth now that Seychelles' European tourist offices have been beefed up and activities are being diversified," according to the Tourism Board.
The Board further noted that African continent was showing "its ability to becoming a strong source market for Seychelles after Europe." South Africa has set its own individual record in 2010, as most of the European markets, and has a booming year ahead.
Seychelles now has two tourist offices in South Africa and marketing activities on that market have multiplied, thus reaching a broader base. The Seychelles Tourism Board also stepped up marketing activities in other parts of Africa last year such as in Eastern Africa, where Seychelles was introduced as a new holiday option in countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Far East was Seychelles' new market to develop in 2010 and the region had seen a major boost in marketing activities with the opening of a tourist office in Singapore last year. "Figures are up from China and a host of activities are planned for that region in 2011," according to the Tourism Board.
Also the Middle East remained a lucrative market for Seychelles and one which improves year on year. Emirates last year even launched direct flights from Dubai to Seychelles. "Like other regions, promotion activities are being diversified and are reaching a bigger segment of potential visitors," according to the Tourism Board.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St Ange, has said that the new record achievement is the result of hard work by all stakeholders in the tourism industry. "A lot of hard work has been invested in promoting and reintroducing Seychelles on the international map. We have built on what has been done before to push the destination to another level," he said.
"We will continue to increase the visibility of Seychelles and tap into potential markets this year and further consolidate our achievements," Mr St Ange added.
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