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UAE leads the way as Seychelles continues to prove popular with GCC travellers

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SeychellesTourism Minister to renew MoU with Emirates Airlines during the Arabian Travel Market

Dubai – As its 2018 xperience Seychelles campaign keeps reaching out to travellers from the Arab world, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) is witnessing a constant growth in visitor numbers from that region.

With four daily flights between Seychelles and the UAE; two from Abu Dhabi and two from Dubai, as well as great connections across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Seychelles has become increasingly accessible to visitors not only in search of its gorgeous beaches, and idyllic resorts, but also a safe, beautiful and active destination.

As one of the Seychelles’ main feeder markets to date, the GCC countries sent more than 37,000 visitors to the Indian Ocean archipelago last year. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) considered to be an important emerging market, is currently the Seychelles’ 4th leading market in terms of visitor arrivals so far in 2018.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the 2018 Arabian Travel Market, the Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said: “Our tourism industry is still in its nascent stage, and there is so much future potential. That is why we are renewing our marketing agreements with Emirates Airlines in an extended memorandum of understanding. We are equally pleased to announce that Seychelles will form part of the Expo 2020, and I look forward to visiting the site to see the preparations and progress.”

“The Seychelles has always focused on quality over quantity offering, and while the visitor numbers are expected to grow, they are in line with the Seychelles Sustainable Development Policy, and form an integral and coherent part of the policy,” the Minister added.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Francis said the Middle East, particularly the UAE has been a key and consistent emerging market for the Seychelles, while adding that visitor numbers from other Middle Eastern markets are also starting to showcase their potential.

“We are now witnessing an increase in visitors from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. To note that we have been conducting several promotional activities including roadshows to increase awareness of the Seychelles as a key holiday destination; ideal for privacy, for families and perfect for those seeking complete relaxation or those looking to explore.”

The Manager of the STB office in Dubai, Ahmed Fathallah, said the aim is to maintain and surpass the previous year’s figures.

“For the year 2018, guarded optimism is still the key. We hope for the best, while keeping a close eye on the market situation and travel trends. We are conscious that there may be unforeseen situations, but we are looking forward to an interesting year,” said Mr Fathallah.

UAE nationals, as well as UAE residents, are consistent in their travels to the Seychelles, taking advantage of short travel times, and convenience of visa procedures, and opting for four and five-star resorts across Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Our #Experienceseychelles campaign has helped to increase awareness and subsequently the number of visitors, and we look forward for the UAE to remain among the top 10 leading markets, while welcoming travellers from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,” Mr Fathallah added.

As a country that allows visa-free entry to all nationalities; Seychelles; a 115 island archipelago, is one of the most visitor-friendly countries in the world, where the tourism industry is also the main growth driver.

The island destination is positioned to witness an increase in air connectivity from Europe in 2018, particularly between the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

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