Visitor arrivals to Seychelles have dropped 70 percent this year compared to the same period in 2019, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures, startling numbers that show how deep the COVID-19 travel crisis has his the island nation’s tourism industry.
Figures from NBS last Wednesday show that from January to November, 97,740 visitors disembarked in Seychelles compared to 324,252 for the same period in 2019.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has been hard-hit by a global travel downturn, despite the fact the island nation has seen no deaths from the virus.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Francis, told SNA that people are still “too scared to travel and this is translated in the low number of visitors arriving here. We are not doing okay, we are around 90 percent down from our usual arrivals.”
She said with the downturn in travel globally, the tourism industry — the top contributor to the Seychelles economy — is still very much unpredictable.
“At STB we are struggling to put together a forecast as people are booking their flights at the last minute. Prior to COVID-19, Seychelles was a destination where tourists booked their holiday well in advance,” added Francis.