Seychelles: UN World Tourism Organization invites Seychelles President to visit


The President of Seychelles has been invited to visit the headquarters of the United Nations World Tourism Organization in Spain, said the UNWTO Regional Director for Africa.

This director, Elsia Grandcourt, a Seychellois national, told reporters that during her courtesy visit to Wavel Ramkalawan at the State House on Thursday, she issued the invitation on behalf of UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Grandcourt, former Director General of the Seychelles Tourism Board, joined UNWTO as Regional Director for Africa in August 2013 and is based at headquarters in Madrid, Spain. She is currently back in the western Indian Ocean island nation on vacation.

She said her discussion with the president focused on the Seychelles tourism industry.

Seychelles reopened its borders in March to revive its tourism industry which has been severely affected by a drop in travel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grandcourt said that while the tourism industry around the world has taken a hard hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, “I think Seychelles has made some good decisions.”

“We see that the vaccination program that has started and the protocols in place in the various tourist establishments have given tourists the confidence to come back to Seychelles,” she said.

Tourism is the main contributor to the Seychelles economy, and although visitors do return to the archipelago, they do not come from traditional markets.

From May to June, Russia topped the list of visitors to Seychelles with 11,328, or 26% of the total. Next come the United Arab Emirates with 6,359 or 15% of the total, followed by Israel with 5,746 visitors.

Traditional markets are countries like Germany, France, UK and Northern Ireland that have attracted the most tourists over the past five years.

“The type of visitors is different now that visitors to traditional markets are no longer flocking to Seychelles. We must always adopt good practices because we must regain the trust of travelers. To travel, people must first and foremost feel safe. get on a plane and they also want to see that the destination they choose for their vacation takes action to ensure their safety, ”said Grandcourt.

She added that the travel industry will have to adapt to new conditions in the future.

“The pandemic is constantly evolving and we have to adapt. Many countries have not yet opened their borders to visitors. The good news is that every time a country opens its borders to visitors, others can follow suit and adopt good practices that will support the industry, ”she said.

Seychelles has been a member of UNWTO since 1991, and Grandcourt said the organization has always had good relations with Seychelles as a destination.

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