Seychelles Tourism Minister Reflects on 2023 Performance and Presents New Year Forecast

In a recent interview held on Friday, 5th January, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister for Tourism and Foreign Affairs, provided comprehensive insights into Seychelles’ tourism landscape for the year 2023. The discussion highlighted the trends, challenges, and strategies shaping Seychelles’ tourism industry.

To elaborate on the progress of the previous year, the Director of Strategic Planning, Mr Chris Matombe, presented a detailed overview of Seychelles’ tourism performance in 2023, emphasising growth areas and challenges faced.

The report featured an in-depth analysis comparing visitor arrivals in 2023 with previous years, shedding light on the factors influencing these fluctuations, such as geo-global impacts, air connectivity, and market limitations. 

One notable achievement highlighted in the report was the increase in visitor numbers in 2023, with a total of 350,879 visitors entering the country—an impressive rise of close to 20,000 visitors compared to 2022.

The breakdown of the visitor statistics revealed that Germany contributed the highest number of visitors, with a total of 54,925, followed by France with 42,410 visitors and Russia with 38,172.

While the figures showed the factors that have created certain drawbacks, Minister Radegonde addressed the impact of global events on Seychelles’ tourism, emphasising the resilience and adaptability of the sector in response to challenges. Despite unforeseen circumstances leading to a drop in certain markets, it has not stopped Seychelles as a destination from drawing in visitors. “Seychelles has demonstrated remarkable resilience amidst global challenges, and our commitment to sustainable tourism remains unwavering,” said Minister Radegonde.

The Minister shared insights into the proactive initiatives undertaken by the government to boost tourism, including policy measures, promotional strategies and product development. He also spoke on the importance of yield and the quality of visitors, acknowledging the need to consider the carrying capacity of the islands.

The discussion touched upon the economic influence on tourism and measures taken to ensure sustainability, aligning tourism growth with aspects such as environmental and cultural conservation. The Minister emphasised the necessity for a collaborative effort in maintaining the sustainability of the sector, as well as improving the quality of both service and the destination. “Government initiatives, coupled with community involvement, are pivotal in ensuring Seychelles remains a premier tourist destination,” he explained.

To conclude, Minister Radegonde, along with Mr. Matombe, conveyed an optimistic outlook, outlining their projections and strategic initiatives for 2024. The Department of Tourism anticipates a 5 percent upswing in visitor arrivals, with a targeted goal of reaching 368,500 visitors by the end of 2024.

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