12.31.16

2016 tourism arrivals is success for Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, Tourism industry at 9:40 pm by Robert Klien

Reviewing tourism in Seychelles for the year 2016, Alain St Ange, the outgoing Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine said: “We started 2016 on a high and today we know that we will finish the year with a 10% increase over last year. So it is a real success story for Seychelles. A success story because we are going against the trend in many other countries where they are either stagnant or even decreasing. The other major success in 2016 was the arrival of extra flights, airlines or planes serving Seychelles. It is a success because a couple of years ago Seychelles suffered when airlines departed.”

Also, Minister St Ange acknowledged the challenges facing the trade where he also outlined certain measures to be taken to counter these challenges. When there is an increase in tourism arrival numbers, it is necessary to manage the expectations of visitors. So, he said that one of the several projects to be undertaken is the upgrading of hotels so that clients can be informed on the level they are and what type of service is expected of them and of what quality they are before the clients come here. Also, tourists must be able to feel they live in security when in Seychelles.

He noted that 2016 started off after a good, successful 2015 where the country finished the year with a Plus 19 increase in visitor arrivals.

As an industry, tourism remained a key driver of growth in consideration of the sector’s contribution to Seychelles’ GDP, foreign exchange earnings and employment generation.

12.04.16

Seychelles is ‘world’s leading honeymoon destination’

Posted in Tourism industry at 2:39 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles is a popular destination for beach weddings and honeymoons, and its popularity of the 115-island archipelago among honeymooners was given a boost this weekend, as the jurisdiction was declared the world’s leading honeymoon destination. This top position was announced at the World Travel Awards grand final ceremony.

The award presentation was held on December 2 in Maldives, in the presence of some 250 hospitality leaders from all over the world.

Seychelles emerged as the world’s best in the honeymoon destination category, ahead of 10 other nominees including neighbouring Mauritius, which has been the leader over the past 4 years.

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s chief executive, Sherin Francis described winning the award as a big achievement. “For me when you mention Seychelles, it’s synonymous to romance, weddings and honeymoon. So the award reiterates the message that is always stressed on during our marketing events, that Seychelles is one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations,” Francistold said.

The World Travel Awards, set up in 1993, recognise the very best travel organisations in the world through a global vote by travel professionals.

08.12.16

New Seychelles-Reunion agreement to promote regional tourism

Posted in International relations, Tourism industry at 10:25 am by Robert Klien

A tourism agreement signed between Seychelles and Reunion is to facilitate the exchange of personnel and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on August 11 following discussions on the sidelines of the Vanilla Islands’ ministerial meeting held recently in Reunion, a French department in the Indian Ocean.

According to the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Naiken, the signing was proof of the partnerships existing between Seychelles and Reunion. The agreement is to strengthen this partnership by looking at common marketing projects and promotional activities.

Particularly, the cruise market is an area that will benefit from the new agreement.

The agreement was signed by the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Sherin Naiken and the president of the Fédération Reunionaise du Tourisme, Azzedine Bouali.

Tourism officers from Reunion will be coming to Seychelles to learn more about the country’s tourism and marketing activities.

The new agreement is set for 3 years, but both parties expressed the hope of taking it further.

02.05.16

Dicaprio donates USD 1 Million to Protect Seychelles’ Waters

Posted in International Organisations, Tourism industry at 2:11 pm by Robert Klien

The American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, an increasingly active environmentalist, is donating USD 1 million to the Seychelles for the island nation’s climate change adaption fund.

The money is the first installment of a USD 5 million grant that several organizations will be giving the small island state in February that will be used to help with biotechnology and the fisheries industry.

The Seychelles minister for environment, Didier Dogley, told SNA the government is also receiving assistance from the U.S. environmental organization The Nature Conservancy.

He said: “A number of them together with Leonardo DiCaprio have agreed to give Seychelles $5 million. This year in Davos he revealed the fact that he had pledged USD 1 million to help Seychelles”.

In January, DiCaprio spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He said that the project he is backing in Seychelles, a collection of 115 islands that depends on the ocean to attract tourists and for the fishing industry. “And in our seas, we have partnered with Google and funded the Global Fishing Watch, which is a revolutionary new platform that will actively monitor and ultimately help end the destructive practices of over-fishing,” DiCaprio said. Additionally, they are backing an effort to protect the size of Nebraska in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Seychelles islands, which is home to vital marine species.

12.13.15

Seychelles sees 207% increase in Indian tourist arrivals

Posted in Tourism industry at 1:21 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles have seen an impressive increase of 207% in tourist arrivals from India for the period January-November 2015, compared to the same period last year.

Seychelles Tourism Board said in a release that the surge in tourist arrivals from India can be attributed to the Seychelles India office’s continuous innovative marketing strategies, educating and handholding the travel trade. It was added that commencement of direct flights between the 2 countries, year-long tourist season and visa on arrival have been other key factors which have boosted the tourist arrivals from India.

“We are thrilled with the phenomenal response from the India market in just the 2nd year of us opening office here”, Seychelles Tourism Board CEO Sherin Naiken said. He added: “I strongly believe that this achievement has been possible in such a short time because of a very good team work with Air Seychelles, the DMCs and the resorts. We are geared up and excited for 2016 and are confident that we will keep this momentum alive.”

06.27.15

Abu Dhabi to build new airport in Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government, Seychelles infrastructure, Tourism industry at 10:42 am by Robert Klien

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is close to finalising the investment into building a new airport in the Seychelles capital, according to Seychelles president James Alix Michel.

He said that the negotiations with ADAC to construct a new airport in Victoria near the existing airport are in the process and it is expected to reach agreement on this important economic and tourism project on an investment basis soon. The president expressed his expectations that this project could largely boost airport traffic and the number of tourists to our country.

The Seychelles and Abu Dhabi have a close relationship, with the latter providing $55 million in financial aid in the past decade and Etihad Airways bought a 40% stake in state carrier Air Seychelles in 2012, which has helped the airline to record profits for the past 3 years.

The country also is working with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala in the oil sector, along with other companies from Japan, Australia and Latin America, and the UAE’s Masdar recently launched a wind energy unit in Victoria port with a capacity of six MW, the first of its kind in Seychelles.

05.23.15

Seychelles and Brazil sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement

Posted in International relations, Tourism industry at 1:36 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles and Brazil have signed a bilateral air services agreement (Basa).

The document was signed on behalf of Seychelles by Barry Faure, secretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport and the outgoing Brazilian ambassador to Seychelles Francisco Carlos Soares Luz.

The signing of the Basa finalised discussions that took place between the two jurisdictions and aviation authorities during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) air services negotiations conference held in December 2013 in South Africa.

Barry Faure said, “The air services agreement which we have signed today will finalise this function, this modern framework which encompasses all the major requirements for commercial operations in this modern age of civil aviation, thus ensuring full compliance with international civil aviation’s safety and security rules and procedures”.

He said that the signing will act as a gateway for further development of the two countries’ bilateral relations.

The Brazilian ambassador expressed his hope that Brazil and Seychelles will sign other agreements of this kind to foster tourism.

05.17.15

Seychelles ranks 2nd for tourism competitiveness in Africa

Posted in Tourism industry at 1:23 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles was ranked 2nd in Africa in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015. Compared to the 2013 report, the jurisdiction dropped from 38th to 54th place globally out of 141 countries, with its overall index result sliding from 4.51 to 4.

The main factors in the lower rankings were Seychelles’ indices for price competitiveness, cultural resources and business travel.

At 1st place in the region were South Africa, while Seychelles’ neighbouring island of Mauritius was placed 3rd.

The 115-island archipelago of Seychelles is famous for its crystal-clear warm waters, picturesque tropical beaches and population of just 90,000 people that has a reputation as a small but luxurious holiday destination, welcoming just over 230,000 international tourists in 2014.

To determine the rankings in the biennial report, not only arrivals were taken into account but also 14 sub-indices under four pillars:
– Enabling Environment,
– Travel and Tourism Policy,
– Infrastructure and Natural,
– Cultural Resources.

The report is compiled from numerous reputable data sources, including the World Bank, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Tourism Organisation.

12.19.14

Seychelles Budget Increases Taxes

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction, Tourism industry at 7:18 pm by Robert Klien

In his 2015 Budget Speech on December 15, Seychelles Minister for Finance, Trade, and Investment Pierre Laporte has had to announce further tax-raising measures, in order to ensure future fiscal sustainability.

The Government’s medium-term fiscal strategy, first put in place in 2008 following a default in debt payments and including an International Monetary Fund-agreed target to cut its debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) to below 50% by 2018, has been thrown off course by global economic uncertainties.

As a result of those external pressures, both of Seychelles’ 2 major industries – tourism and manufacturing (canned tuna and brewing) – suffered slowdowns and provided lower business tax revenues. However, eventual tax collections have been rescued in 2014 by higher value-added tax (VAT) and import duty receipts held up by increased retail sales and domestic construction activity.

The Government’s revised projection for total revenue, excluding grants, in 2014 is USD 414.5 million, which is 7.6% higher than in 2013. Given the global economic situation, this is much more favorable fiscal outcome than could have been expected, Laporte said.

To bolster tax revenue, while also reducing excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption, Laporte is to hike excise duties by 20% on all drinks with an alcohol content in excess of 16%, and by 50% on all tobacco products. This is applied on both imported and local products.

Also, the Minister increased the levy on privately registered motor vehicles by 50% and doubled vehicle testing fees, while also raising road tax.

Furthermore, to facilitate payment of taxes, online tax services will be expanded in 2015 to include the submission of business tax and presumptive tax returns. Taxpayers will be able to register their businesses and update their business status and contact details online.

The Government will allow small businesses to choose either the presumptive tax system (based on 1.5% of their turnover), which was introduced in 2014, or follow the normal business tax system.

Laporte also announced changes to VAT for 2015.

Finally, the Government considers the international financial services sector as having significant potential. Laporte’s Ministry has recently initiated consultations with key stakeholders to develop a Financial Strategy for Seychelles. Progress has also been made in assessing the feasibility of introducing a framework for Islamic finance in Seychelles, with recommendations due in early 2015.

Laporte noted that the tougher stance of the OECD on offshore financial centers does not appear to have had a significant negative impact on Seychelles in 2014. The Government’s most immediate priority for the financial sector, however, is to restore Seychelles’ compliance with OECD standards on tax information exchange by mid-2015.

The Government has strengthened cooperation with the country’s international partners, and, apart from signing the agreed Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act intergovernmental agreement with the United States, Seychelles also expects to sign the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters early next year, following parliamentary approval of an amendment to the Seychelles Revenue Commission Act.

09.26.14

Seychelles is top destination for expensive hotels

Posted in Tourism industry at 5:52 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles, as well as Maldives, Monaco, Mauritius and Aruba are the most expensive destinations for hotels, according to new data from HotelsCombined, the world’s leading hotel price comparison site

Seychelles, as well as Maldives, Monaco, Mauritius and Aruba are reportedly the most expensive destinations for accommodation, with travellers in these locations spending the most per-night on hotels.

Glamorous islands and coastal locations are the most expensive holiday destinations, while Bolivia, Laos and Nepal are the cheapest ones.

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