‘We have a story to tell’: Seychelles is not just about white sand beaches

This East African country, known for its tropical vegetation and white sands, is an idyllic place for a typical beach holiday.

However, the new Seychelles tourism promotion plan aims to offer more than the usual resort package.

David Germain, Seychelles’ regional tourism director for Africa and the Americas, says the new government wants to diversify the tourism industry and attract international travelers with indigenous cultural experiences.

“We have a story to tell visitors. Seychelles is not just about beaches. We don’t just promote the natural beauty of the country. To add value to experiences, we add culture,” reveals Germain.

Seychelles recorded over 120 international tourist visits in 2020. Mahe-based travel agent Amy Michel of Mason’s Travel expresses optimism about the development of cultural fusion niches.

“Seychelles has 115 islands and each of them has a different atmosphere and something new to see, such as cultural diversity. It is a destination that people book three to six months in advance to discover something different than the beaches,” she says.

Seychelles’ tourism economy is the main source of income for the island’s 90,000 inhabitants. The majority of the population is of Creole origin.

In order to support the development of cultural tourism, the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts received in 2021 funding of more than 70,000 dollars (64,000 euros) from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity of the Seychelles. ‘UNESCO. The money will be used to conduct research into the viability of shifting to a culture-based economy.

Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Louis Sylvestre Radegonde has formed a committee to develop strategies that will capitalize on culture.

“I am determined to support the revival of tourism in Seychelles. More than ever, the tourism industry in Seychelles will evolve in a competitive environment,” he said.

“My goal is therefore to apply a new perspective to tourism development with an emphasis on quality products with value for money. The need to reassess product and pricing strategies will be central to the success of the development and growth of tourism”.

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