- The last statistics show a drop in the number of visitors to Seychelles and that it could in part be due to a perceived high cost of holidays in this country. The Seychellois government soon is to announce measures that should help lower prices and curb the decline, according to the Minister for Tourism.
The government of Seychelles acknowledges that there has been a downturn in the number of tourists visiting Seychelles and is nevertheless addressing the situation and will soon announced measures that should help curb the decline.
Vice-President Joseph Belmont, who is also the Seychellois Minister for Tourism and Transport said in declarations to Reuters that "it is true that we have been going down. Government, the trade ... everyone is aware. The issue should be redressed, and the government is tackling that," Mr Belmont said, according to a government release.
Minister Belmont added that his Ministry and the Seychelles Tourism Marketing Authority have been in touch with the operators in Seychelles and the government will soon announce the measures that will help to curb the actual decline in the tourism sector.
- This will include activities that will help redress the perception that a visitor may not get value for money, the Seychellois Tourism Ministry said.
Mr Belmont announced that arrivals dropped by 7.7 percent to 122,038 people in 2003 compared with a record high 132,246 in 2002. The Ministry noted, however, that despite the decline, revenue earned from tourism receipts increased to approximately US$ 146 million in 2003, compared with US$ 124 million the previous year.
The Tourism Minister attributed this to the fact that Seychelles had added three new five-star hotels to its previous portfolio of five luxury hotels, as well as offering incentives to hotels that invest in major refurbishment, extensions and upgrading to five-star status. This, however, has rather contributed to cement Seychelles' reputation as a high-cost destination.
The Ministry nevertheless said that though the Seychellois government is trying to find ways of adjusting costs downwards, many international tourists do not mind paying these high prices, "as long as the quality of service is good."
- Sometimes people do not mind if they feel they are getting value for money and they are not being taken advantage of, Mr Belmont said. Many had saved to purposely get the "unique Seychelles experience," the Minister added.
During the last decades, Seychelles has become an economic success story, largely due to its ability to attract large-scale luxury tourism to the Indian Ocean archipelago. The strongly regulated Seychellois economy has however stagnated during the last few years, partly as consequence of the worldwide drop in the tourism sector.
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