Seychelles shifts its gears and allows visitors to enter the destination without having to present a negative PCR test.
Effective March 15, 2022, visitors over 18 years, having received the first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine including a booster dose after 6 six months since completing the primary series; will be considered fully immunised. Fully immunisation for visitors aged 12 to 18 years, necessitate the completion of only two vaccine doses.
All fully immunised visitors will therefore be exempted from pre-travel PCR test requirement, while unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test done in a certified laboratory within 24hrs before departure to Seychelles.
Potential visitors having tested positive to the COVID-19 virus -between 2 to 12 weeks prior to travel – are also exempted from pre-travel COVID-19 testing upon provision of proof of infection and recovery.
Only one year after the destination reopened its borders to all visitors around the world irrespective of their vaccination status, this fundamental move aims at making Seychelles more accessible and competitive as a destination.
As safe tourism experience remains essential, all visitors will still require having a travel insurance in addition to their medical insurance cover and are encouraged to book their stay at a certified accommodation. Moreover, it is mandatory that all visitors apply for a Travel Authorization prior to travel.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism Mrs Sherin Francis states that the new measures taken by the country are necessary at this stage of the recovery of the industry.
"The exemption of the PCR test for fully vaccinated visitors is certainly excellent news for Seychelles. With restrictions being removed and many destinations reviewing their PCR requirements for entry it was a necessary step for us as a destination to retain the interest of our potential visitors. As an industry, we are keeping our commitment towards safe tourism and we should not be complacent and remain vigilant to protect our population and our visitors," said Mrs Francis.
The country has also recently eased other restrictions including the removal of the overnight curfew and closing time for entertainment services such as bars and casinos which became effective on March 1, 2022.
- Fashion Week
- fishing seychelles
- virtual Consular conference
Tourism Seychelles kicks off activities in the Nordics by participating in Danish Travel Show, renowned for its extensive array of travel products for customers held from February 25 to February 27, 2022, in Herning, Denmark.
Reconnecting with trade partners and potential travellers in Denmark, Tourism Seychelles attended its first promotional event in Nordics since the pandemic hit two years ago.
As the market opens back for international tourism, with all covid restriction removed in Denmark from February 1, the Danish Travel show came at an ideal time to kick off the events and promote the destination directly to the Danish clients.
Representing the destination, the Director for Nordics Ms Karen Confait, seized the occasion to meet existing partners and network with potential ones including few airline representatives.
"Basing ourselves on the intelligence information received from the market, our team knew it was imperative to attend the event, boost the destination’s visibility and accessibility. Once again, and to continue to maintain our relationship with the trade," said the Nordics Director.
While in Denmark, Ms Confait conducted several trade meetings with the destination’s main partners, to discuss plans for the year and marketing collaborations with Tourism Seychelles.
"Overall, the event has been a successful three days for Tourism Seychelles; it was an incredibly positive start to kick start the market, we have received some very encouraging feedback from consumers and trade alike. We were happy to see that William World Tours, one of our Tour Operating partners also present on the stand, received a sizeable number of booking requests. I had some good meetings with the airline partners and a lot of interest in the destination, partners have shown keen interest to push more fam trips this year," said Ms Confait.
She further mentioned that traditionally Denmark and Sweden were two larger markets from the Nordics and Seychelles remains a popular destination in the two countries.
Seychelles has been participating at the fair yearly prior to the pandemic. The Danish Travel show is one of the largest consumer travel fairs in Scandinavia attracting over 60,000 visitors every year. For this 2022 edition, the fair recorded about 41.252 visitors.
Tourism Seychelles met with Turkish trade partners and consumers in Istanbul, Turkey as the destination featured in the East Mediterranean International Tourism & Travel Exhibition (EMITT) 2022 from February 9 to 12, 2022.
Representing the destination were Ms. Stephanie Lablache, Director for Turkey and Ms. Rolira Young, Marketing Executive from the Destination Marketing section at Tourism Seychelles during the four-day event.
The Seychelles Island stand, was wrapped in scenic pictures of the destination showcasing the pristine beaches and clear blue waters, a perfect opportunity for the team to engage visitors and actively entice them to get to know the Seychelles Islands.
While in Istanbul, the team met with several trade partners and some potential influencers eager to collaborate with the destination, to showcase Seychelles as a safe and easily accessible destination.
Speaking after the event, the Market Director for Turkey, Ms. Stephanie Lablache stated that there is an increased interest in the destination.
"Turkey is a market with great potential for Seychelles, and Tourism Seychelles’ participation at EMITT was to enhance the visibility on the market. It was a fruitful event as it has allowed us to make new contacts and expand our network, increase business opportunities, and strengthen our existing contacts. The various partners we met are eager to develop their business in favour of the destination, with few of them wanting to connect with local DMCs and hoteliers from the Seychelles to be more attractive to Turkish visitors," said Ms. Lablache.
She further stated that with three direct flights weekly from Istanbul, the destination is more accessible for Turks.
EMITT is the first activity on the Turkish market for 2022 and annually attracts around 40,000 industry professionals and tourists looking for new, safe and exciting travel opportunities from destination and travel service companies from across the globe. Seychelles participated alongside some 842 exhibitors, including 103 countries.
The Seychelles recovery seems to be reaching its full circle after two years of struggles and assiduous efforts from the local tourism stakeholders. Visitor arrival figures have hit the 20,000 visitors mark again, with 21, 566 tourists recorded for the first month of 2022.
With only 7,737 arrivals less than the number recorded in January 2019, for 2022, the tourism sector is slowly but surely presenting signs of a successful year for an industry considered the main pillar of the economy for Seychelles. In parallel to the arrival forecast figures shared by the Tourism Seychelles, the Director General for Destination Marketing, Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, during her presentation to partners at the marketing meeting held earlier in January.
Estimations from the Tourism Seychelles shows that the destination is anticipating between 36,000 to 76,000 visitors more than in 2021, when the destination recorded a total of 182, 849 visitors. The 2021 figures being, in turn, an increase of 59% in the numbers of arrival compared to 2020, where the destination recorded 114,858 arrivals.
Mrs. Bernadette Willemin mentioned with satisfaction that the destination is headed towards brighter days if the sanitary situation worldwide does not worsen in the course of 2021.
"The destination is slowly achieving small milestones, which surely will be transformed into bigger ones soon. Our efforts to keep our industry from succumbing to the pandemic are slowly paying off. When we compare our 2021 visitor arrival numbers to that of 2019 before the pandemic, which was our best year ever, with 384,204 visitors, we can count ourselves lucky to have been able to regain around 50 per cent of our business back. We are more determined to complete the cycle this year by reducing the gaps of the 2019 arrival numbers as much as possible," said Mrs. Willemin.
She further explains that as part of its marketing strategy, the Tourism Seychelles team will enhance its focus on boosting the demand for Seychelles on top markets mainly composed of Seychelles traditional market countries such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom while increasing the visibility and accessibility on the fast-growing markets, namely Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and tactical markets, which were very instrumental in starting the recovery.
The reports from the Seychelles National Statistics Bureau (NBS) show that the old continent is regaining its place at the top of the performing countries on the arrival charters for January 2022, Russia keeps leading the charts followed by France and Germany.
As per the latest arrival figures ending February 6, released by the NBS, 27, 123 visitors have landed in Seychelles so far, with an average number of 675 visitors per day. On the top six countries list, the destination remains a hit for Russian visitors amounting to 6,470 visitors, followed by France in second position with 3, 254 and Germany in third position with 2,484 visitors. Ukraine, United Kingdom and Switzerland are next on the list with 2,010 visitors, 1,062 visitors, and 800 visitors respectively.
She added that the event opens the door for the destination to host large-scale events that will increase its visibility and boost Fashion Tourism. International coverage of the Seychelles Fashion Week was provided by two media houses from Ghana and South Africa.
Seychelles Fashion Week creates a global platform for local designers and artisans to showcase and promote their craft, as well as the creole culture on the global stage, increasing international recognition for the destination and its treasures.
Founded in 2018, the event sees the collaboration of various Ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, tourism industry partners, agencies, media partners and generous sponsors.
The island destination was placed in the spotlight as the annual Seychelles Fashion Week launched its fourth edition on Friday November 26, 2021 at L’Escale Hotel on Mahe.
With two fashion shows taking place on Saturday, November 27, the event saw the presence of international fashion designers and influencers from destinations such as Paris, Qatar, the UK and USA
Present at the launch, delivering a short speech, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Sherin Francis, expressed the industry’s excitement over the event. "Seychelles has the potential to become a popular fashion destination, with our pristine paradise serving as an inspiration for other designers and influencers," said Mrs Francis.
All we received today the excellent and very encouraging information by Mrs. Louisa Agricole about the COVID situation in Seychelles.
There is a graph in this information (enclosed in this message) and my strong advice is to send this graph with a very short information and a nice title to local media. Later you can take questions and respond to them based on the information we receive regularly from The Ministry.
This graph speaks like a thousands of pages of information and can really help our tourism. Put it also on Social Media, on your Consular web sites send it via email to all tour-operators in your countries. You must always quote the source - Ministry of Heath of Republic of Seychelles.
Please, as we spoke at our Consular Meeting with the H.E. Minister Radegonde and PSs excellencies Fock-Tave and Francis - use every single opportunity to promote Seychelles among local and international media. These days, but also always, it is crucially important to our beloved country.
I use this opportunity to thank the Ministry and especially to Louse Agricole for the very professional regular weekly information we receive and what we needed always!
October has proven to be a bountiful month for our tiny paradise, especially with increased air connectivity and visibility and as we welcome the return of visitors from some of our traditional markets ahead of the winter season.
In the latest sequel of our digital campaign, Experience Seychelles, we showcase the wonders of our nation under three pillars; ‘Grand Diversity’, ‘Nature’s Sanctuary’, and ‘Creole Rendezvous’. Released at the beginning of October, the main video was a sensation on YouTube with some 238,000 views in only 3 weeks.
As our teams around the world intensify their work on the various markets making Seychelles more accessible to international partners, our labours bore fruit as on October 11, 2021, we welcomed our 114,589th visitor for the year, surpassing the 2020 figures.
Remaining prominent on the international scene, our pristine paradise received recognition through 3 prestigious accolades at the World Travel Awards 2021, crowned Indian Ocean's Leading Cruise Destination 2021, Leading Honeymoon Destination 2021 and finally Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination 2021.
Seychelles marks the end of creole heritage month on the international stage with the exuberant celebration of its National Day at the Dubai Expo 2020. With an entire day in the spotlight, our island nation gave the Expo audiences creole spectacles showcasing our islands’ extensive beauty and rich heritage.
Taking a leap in restarting tourism in June 2020 and the complete reopening of our country to tourism in March 2021 presented its challenges, but it has also shown us the resilience of our industry which is sure to carry us towards further success.
As the author Matshona Dhliwayo would say, “A rose started off a bud, a bird started off an egg, and a forest started off a seed.”
Director General for Marketing - Tourism Seychelles
Emirates renews its commitment to Seychelles at Expo 2020
Emirates has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tourism Seychelles at Expo 2020. The agreement reaffirms the airline’s commitment to the island-nation and outlines joint initiatives to promote trade and tourism to the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ SVP Commercial West Asia & Indian Ocean, and Sherin Francis, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Tourism Seychelles. The agreement was signed in the presence of H.E. Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer.
The ceremony was also attended by Emirates executives: Orhan Abbas, SVP Commercial Operations Far East; Abdulla Al Olama, Regional Manager Commercial Operations Far East, West Asia & Indian Ocean; Oomar Ramtoola, Manager Indian Ocean Islands; Silvy Sebastian, Business Analysis Manager West Asia & Indian Ocean and Bernadette Willemin, Director General for Destination Marketing at Tourism Seychelles; and Noor Al Geziry, representative of Tourism Seychelles in the Middle East Office.
Ahmed Khoory, SVP Commercial West Asia & Indian Ocean at Emirates, said: "Emirates has shared strong ties with Seychelles since 2005 and the island nation remains a very important market for us. The agreement signed today is a strong testament to our commitment and support to the island-nation. We thank our partners for their ongoing support and we look forward to continue growing our successful partnership."
On his part, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde said: "Emirates airline has been constant and steadfast with their support towards Seychelles and we are indeed grateful for that. Therefore, we would like to express our support for the coming year with the hope that it will be a better year for both Seychelles and the airline."
The agreement outlines mutually beneficial activities to boost trade and tourism to the country, including trade shows, trade familiarisation trips, exhibitions, and workshops.
Emirates launched operations to Seychelles in 2005 and the airline currently operates daily flights to the island-nation, utilising its wide-body Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Emirates was the first international airline to resume passenger services to Seychelles in August 2020, coinciding with the country’s re-opening to international tourists. Since January 2021, Emirates has carried close to 43,500 passengers to the island-nation, from more than 90 destinations, including top markets, United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Russia, Belgium and the United States of America.
"Taste of Seychelles"
"Taste of Seychelles" event celebrates Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles first official encounter with tourism partners in the United Arab Emirates
On the occasion of the first official encounter of Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism with Middle East tourism partners, Tourism Seychelles’ Office hosted a "Taste of Seychelles" event at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in the evening of Tuesday October, 26.
Alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, various other government representatives from Seychelles attended the event. The Minister of Youth, Sports and Family, Marie-Celine Zialor; the Designated Minister and Minister of Fisheries, Jean François Ferrari; The Mayor of Victoria, David Andre and other notable senior government officials from the Seychelles joined Minister Radegonde in welcoming the guests, who included numerous influential personalities and leading business figures from the United Arab Emirates, as well as various media press, media moguls, and trade partners, to the glittering event.
The Minister was also accompanied on this mission by the Principal Secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis and the Director General for Destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin both of whom were there to welcome the guests.
Throughout the lively and sophisticated evening, which took place ahead of Seychelles' National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, the guests were taken on a journey of discovery of the savour of Seychelles, where delicacies such as coconut nougat, banana chips and local beverages were served while they were serenaded by Seychellois vocalist Isham Rath and Saxophone player Jean Quatre, two Seychellois celebrity artists.
In his address, Minister Radegonde stated, "As this is my first visit to the Middle East in my capacity as the tourism minister, I would like to thank the people of the United Arab Emirates for their incredible hospitality. Our relationship with the United Arab Emirates has always been close and special. Since our ties to the region began almost two decades ago, the UAE has been the number one Middle Eastern country visiting our islands for ten consecutive years."
Discussing the effects of the pandemic on the islands, Mr. Radegonde noted, "We have been very active in taking the necessary measures in implementing the appropriate travel requirements so that we can protect both our citizens and visitors. Thankfully, our hard work has paid off. At present, approximately 72% of our population has been fully vaccinated. Through this, we can now officially declare Seychelles as a safe country for tourists."
Commenting on the event, Ahmed Fathallah, Tourism Seychelles representative based in Dubai, said; "We are truly thrilled by the turnout of this event. We would like to thank our esteemed guests for making it here today and for extending the warmest of welcomes to Minister Radegonde on his first official visit as the tourism minister to the Middle East. As travel restrictions begin to ease throughout the Arab world, we hope that more and more people are able to see for themselves the multifaceted and culturally rich aspects of Seychelles."
An avant-goût of the Seychelles experience is available for those who visit the island-nation’s pavilion at EXPO 2020, Mrs Francis noted; "To those who are interested in experiencing their own personal 'Taste of Seychelles' here in Dubai, we are happy to inform them that they can now comfortably do so at the Seychelles pavilion located in EXPO."
Under the slogan ‘Conserving Nature’, Seychelles is using their heightened platform in the EXPO 2020 Dubai to highlight the efforts made by both local and international bodies to protect the natural treasures of Seychelles through maintaining the natural ecosystems and biodiversity of the beautiful islands."
"It was an absolute pleasure to take our UAE guest on this beautiful voyage to the taste of our islands. It was an opportune time for the Tourism Seychelles team to network with our industry partners," said Bernadette Willemin.
With 18, 000 visitors recorded from UAE since January 2021, the country is second top source market for Seychelles.
Large-scale virtual Consular Conference 2021
On October 4, a large-scale virtual Consular conference began. The main priorities of the foreign policy of the Government of the Republic of Seychelles, ways to promote them, as well as options for increasing the income of Seychelles through external investment and tourism were identified and discussed.
The conference began with the President's opening speech.
Minister Radegonde spoke on every topic.
The RSO has a fairly extensive foreign policy representation, the country is represented by 88 consuls in 61 countries of the world.