The opening of the country’s international airport in 1971 paved the way for the growth of the Seychelles tourism industry. Since the beginning, Seychelles has been the preferred island destination for the ever discerning traveller in search of more than just a sun and sand holiday.
Visitor arrivals have steadily grown from a mere 37,000 in 1975 to around 200,000 visitors in 2011, with most visitors staying an average of 10 nights.
Over the years the tourism industry has contributed to more than 20% of the country’s GDP and 60% of total foreign exchange receipts making it the single largest earner of foreign exchange in the economy. Over 15% of the total work force is directly employed in tourism related businesses including accommodation, restaurants, car hire businesses, airlines, tour operator, dive centres etc.
The unveiling of the new destination brand “The Seychelles Islands, Another World” in March 2007, coupled with the international of the “affordable Seychelles” campaign in 2009 has generated considerable interest in the global travel community, reinforcing the image of Seychelles as a premier holiday destination.
Today there are several leading international airlines, providing non-stop flights from London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Dubai, Doha, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Mauritius, Reunion and Singapore.
1. Eco Tourism Villa
One of the many niche markets ripe for development in Seychelles is ecotourism. This market offers the perfect opportunity to unite tourism development with the local community and the country’s pristine natural environment, while helping to maintain local traditions and culture and to foster sustainable development.
2. Integrated Tourism Projects
We welcome investment proposals integrating a mix of tourism and residential accommodation and range of activities to capture the diversity that the Seychelles Islands have to offer, and indeed transport the discerning traveller to ‘another world…’ especially on our outer islands.
3. Niche Hotels
As part of its strategy, Seychelles will focus on broadening the variety and number of hotels on offer, ranging from niche hotels, eco tourism villas, guesthouses and self-catering establishments to deluxe 5-star properties and magnificent island resorts. There are currently, 25 large hotels in Seychelles with the number of beds in each ranging from 50 to 300.
Today Seychelles boasts some of the world’s most prestigious names in the hospitality industry, including:
• Hilton Seychelles;
• Constance Ephelia Seychelles;
• Four Seasons;
• Constance Lemuria Seychelles;
31 new establishments are scheduled to appear on the scene in the near future including Emirates Holidays, Singita, Shangri la and Oberoi.
4. Mini Cruises
With over 115 islands to sail to, each with their own distinctive features: granite sculptures, coral formations, reefs teeming with life and vibrant colours, exotic birds, beautiful sunsets and sunrises – what better way to explore than aboard a luxury mini cruise ship.
5. Specialised Restaurants
Whether Indian, Japanese, Chinese or Italian…Seychelles embraces culinary delights from across the globe. Home to 84,000 local consumers with a growing disposable income, a rapidly expanding middle class and 195,000+ visitors annually the potential of this sector is growing rapidly. Opportunities for future development : Authentic Japanese/ Chinese; Indian; Thai; Mexican cuisines.
6. Yacht Marinas
There is definite potential for the growth of the yachting industry in Seychelles. The seascape of the Seychelles Islands affords unlimited opportunity for the growth of the sailing industry. Mega-Yachts and Super Yachts, of the rich and famous often make their way to our shores, increasing the prospects to develop and offer infrastructural and logistical services to such clients.
Investment opportunities include sea based dive operations, live-aboard yachting experiences, mini-cruises, excursions, water-sports (in designated areas only) and other leisure marine activities.
Policies & Legislations
Government policy for tourism development will continue to encourage the attainment of the highest standards in the industry and the distribution of the benefits of the industry for the optimum social and economic benefit of the people of Seychelles. However, this emphasis will no way be allowed to compromise the country’s natural environment and biodiversity and its international reputation as an environmental leader. The policy will reflect the dependence of a successful tourism industry upon a clean, protected environment and happy, prosperous society.