Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that the upwards trends in visitor arrivals has been sustained since the beginning of the year.
By Sunday March 5, a total of 56,639 visitors disembarked in Seychelles, representing an eight percent increase from the same period in 2022.
The ninth week of the year saw 7,542 visitors arriving mainly through scheduled flights, for holidaying purposes.
Arrivals over the week exceed those of week nine of 2022 by 14 percent.
Since the beginning of the year, despite remaining as the strongest market, there was a slight decline in arrivals from the European region, with a slight drop of three percent from 45,876 in 2022, to 44,381 this year.
As for arrivals from the Oceania region, it spiked by 271 percent, with 341 visitors arriving, in comparison to only 92 during the same time period last year.
So far, some 4,000 more passengers arrived this year from the Asia region compared to the same period last year.
The region contributed 9,029 visitors up until the ninth week this year, an 86 percent increase from the same timeframe in 2022, where there were 4,847 last year.
France, Germany and Russia were the top three European markets, while arrivals from Israel were highest from the Asia region.
As for the month of February, some 30,000 visitors arrived over the course of the month.
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) records state that arrivals reached 30,285, an 11 percent increase from February 2022.
Of them, 95 percent flocked to the island paradise to enjoy the sun, sea, sand and scenery as holiday makers, with the average length of stay being 9.3 nights.
The vast majority of visitors arrived on commercial flights, while only one percent arrived through private planes, with one percent by cruise ships, and another one percent by chartered planes.
Interestingly, 12 percent (3,586) were returning visitors, while 88 percent were first time visitors.
As is usually the case, Seychelles’ key European markets contributed 77 percent of visitors, amounting to 23,173 during the month of February.
A further 14 percent arrived from Asia, with five percent from Africa, and three percent from America.
Statistics indicate that hotel establishments have been faring well thus far since the beginning of the year, with 90 percent of visitors choosing accommodation in such establishments.
The year was off to a positive start for the tourism industry, with an increase of eight percent in arrivals as compared to January 2022.
Some 23,315 visitors arrived in Seychelles in January 2023, with the vast majority, representing 96 percent, for vacationing purposes.
The average length of stay was just slightly above that of visitors who arrived in February, at 10.3 nights on average.
Of the visitors, Europe contributed 16,608 or 71 percent, while 16 percent were from Asia.
Interestingly, there was a slight decline of around nine percent in arrivals from Europe this year as compared to January 2022, whereby there were 18,213 visitors.
The month also saw a significant spike in arrivals from Oceania, from 21 visitors in January 2022 to 126 in January 2023, indicating a 500 percent increase.
Arrivals from Asia also saw a significant increase of 134 percent as compared to the same time period last year.
If considered in terms of country of residence, Russia was a strong market with 16 percent of visitors, with 11 percent from Germany, nine percent from France and four percent from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international tourists’ arrivals are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, after stronger than expected recovery in 2022.
Based on the UNWTOs predictions, international tourists’ arrivals could reach 80 to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels, depending on a number of factors, including the extent of recovery of travel in Asia and the Pacific, as well as the evolution of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The latest UNWTO Confidence Index shows cautious optimism for January, up until April, higher than the same period in 2022.
This is backed by the opening up in Asia and strong spending numbers in 2022 from both traditional and emerging tourism source markets, with France, Germany and Italy as well as Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia, all posting strong results.