Paradise Seychelles is Covid-19 Free.

After 9 weeks of battling tirelessly the deadly Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, Seychelles-the small island holiday destination in the Indian Ocean with a population of less than a hundred thousand inhabitants- is now Covid-19 Free.

The country, which reported a number of 11 cases in total, has announced the last infected patient tested negative for a continuous number of days and is now considered to be healed from the Covid-19 virus.

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Seychelles in March 2020 as the announcement of the first two cases of COVID-19 was made on March 14, 2020.

The number of cases on the island increased slowly during the next three weeks and reached its peak on April 6, 2020 when the 11th case was confirmed including the only two local transmitted cases following which there has been no other positive cases reported on the islands.

Behind the successful handling of the delicate situation, resulting from this pandemic is the local authority known as the Public Health Authority under the supervision of its Seychelles' Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Jude Gedeon.

The public health team reacted promptly and effectively to establish emergency protocols with the directions of the WHO, to respond to the covid-19 crisis to treat the active cases and curb the spreading of the Covid-19 virus within its population. Provision for quarantine facilities and an immediate rapid response team was created from the time WHO had declared Covid-19 a pandemic in mid-January.

Following the detection of the last person subjected to the infection and acting in a precautionary manner to restrain the inflation of infection numbers in the Seychelles, a travel ban order imposed by the authorities came into effect at midnight on Wednesday April 8 in Seychelles, restricting movement for citizens except essential service workers. This measure was maintained for 21 days.

On April 28, 2020, Seychelles’ President Danny Faure announced a lifting of restrictions on the movement of people on May 4, while travel restrictions will end on 1 June when the Seychelles International airport will reopen on June 1, 2020.


For the moment, Seychelles is free from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Seychellois authorities remains on high alert for any eventualities. The Public Health Authority alongside other organisations are working hard to keep citizens, expatriates and visitors safe from the pandemic.

As announced by the President on April 28, 2020, visitors and returning residents arriving in Seychelles will be subjected to strict measures imposed by the Public Health Authority, including a 14-day compulsory quarantine.

Speaking about the destination being free from Covid-19, the Minister for Tourism Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Minister Didier Dogley stated that the exceptional work done by the health authorities has been tremendous and it has enabled the Tourism stakeholders to get back to the drawing board to plan for the arrival of our first visitors.

“As the situation around the world remains precarious, it is a blessing for our small nation to have been able to curb the spread of the Covid-19 on our shores. As a destination, this is a very big advantage for Seychelles; there is a lot of preparatory work here on the ground with our partners to make sure that Seychelles sends a strong message of being a safe destination. When the world opens up and people start travelling, safety in regards to COVID 19 is going to be a major factor for visitors planning to go on holiday,” said Minister Dogley.

He further mentioned that with the opening of the airport on June 1, 2020, Seychelles will be in a very strong position to market itself as a safe destination; something that most tourists will be yearning for after being confined to their homes for months.

Composed of 115 islands, the Seychelles Archipelago land of lush vegetation and natural pristine beauty lies scattered across their secret corner of the western Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, some thousand miles away.

All cases have been reported and treated on Mahé. No cases have been reported on the inner island of Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette Island and the Outer Islands.

New dates for EXPO Dubai 2020

The new date’s announcement made by the Expo 2020 Dubai team followed the decision of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) after the two-thirds of its Member States voted in favour of postponing the next World Expo by one year.

The exhibition of some 192 countries including the Seychelles at the EXPO 2020 will be delayed by one year as the world faces an unprecedented difficult situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Expo 2020 Dubai, which will retain its brand as EXPO 2020, will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Seychelles announced its participation to the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region in August 2019 and was gearing up to showcase the destination's natural environment, opportunities for investment and its achievements towards sustainability and conservation during the six-month event.

Speaking on behalf of the Expo Committee in Seychelles; Mrs. Sherin Francis, Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive mentioned that the postponement of this much-anticipated Expo 2020 event was inevitable.

“Although unfortunate, the announcement for the postponement of EXPO 2020 like all major events planned this year was to be expected. Given our current situation, the feasibility of the event was close to impossible. Nonetheless, from our side work continues to make sure that we are ready in time for the show and this remains despite the shift in date,” said Mrs. Francis.

In a communiqué, Expo 2020 Dubai stated that the team remains committed to hosting an exceptional event that will celebrate humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation – including major technological advances in the fields of medicine and science.

The communique further explained that the delay allows all participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19, and allows the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.

The Seychelles pavilion which is to be situated within the sustainability petal in the thematic districts places the destination at a prime location amongst the world eco-friendly champions, providing an excellent platform for Seychelles to showcase its achievements and successes in that area.

STB & CBS collaborate to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on tourism

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) is conducting an important survey in collaboration with the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry. 

The STB’s Strategic Planning and Market Intelligence section, consisting of Mr. Adrian Nanty and Mr. Jean-Francois Figaro, are working alongside the CBS Team to ensure that relevant data is collected from local tourism establishments.

The section’s Director Mr. Nanty says this is a very important study for both STB and CBS, to better understand the potential stress that the COVID-19 situation is putting on the industry, hence it is vital that all local tourism establishments participate actively to assist the team in gathering comprehensive and accurate data.

“For CBS, the survey aims to gather valuable insight on the financial repercussions the pandemic is having and will continue to have on tourism-related businesses, primarily tourism accommodations establishments. This includes assessing the ability of local establishments to cover existing debts and the flexibility of credit-granting institutions to support their clients,” says the CBS Governor, Ms. Caroline Abel.

Tourism being the country’s main economic pillar, the halt in passenger flights as a result of measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, means a decline in not only visitor arrivals but also tourism earnings. CBS’ preliminary estimate shows that the annual growth in tourism earnings is to contract by 70 per cent in Euro terms compared to 2019.

“Travel may have come to a standstill, with no incoming flights, but that does not mean that our work has stopped, as much has been invested in this industry, which has long been our bread and butter. We have a duty to keep abreast with developments within the industry at all times and STB will continuously monitor the impact of the current pandemic and offer its support while working diligently to help the industry to bounce back after the crisis," says STB’s Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis. 

The survey to assess the financial impact on tourism establishments is the fourth such study conducted by STB since initial travel restrictions were put in place in February and there will be further studies to keep up to date with developments.

Seychelles Tourism Board                                                               Central Bank of Seychelles

Botanical House, P.O. Box 1262                                                     P.O. Box 701, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

Mont Fleuri, Mahé, Seychelles                                                        Tel: + (248) 4 282 000; Fax: + (248) 4 226 104

Tel: + (248) 4 671 300                                                                     Website: www.cbs.sc

Website: www.seychelles.travel                                                

 

 

 

The first edition of the Seychelles Nature Trail postponed.

Announced in October 2019 by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), the first Seychelles Nature Trail (SNT) was scheduled for May 3, 2020 on Mahé. 


The decision to postpone the 25km run event around the main island of Mahé has been taken in early February 2020, following the announcement made by the Government of Seychelles to limit all public activities in view of the fast spread of the Coronavirus- COVID 19.  


Speaking of the postponement of the event, STB representative in Reunion, Ms. Bernadette Honoré stated that the Seychelles Nature Trail is a collateral victim of the coronavirus situation around the world. 

As the worldwide situation has evolved in the past weeks forcing airlines to stop operations and airports to close down, it was clear that the much anticipated first edition of the Seychelles Nature Trail event will have to be pushed for 2021, a situation regretted by the organising committee and sponsors.

"We are saddened to announce that the Seychelles Nature Trail cannot take place and must be cancelled on the date initially fixed. As an organisation, it is important for us to follow the government’s recommendation of prioritising public health and prevention measures within our Archipelago. We are confident that when the situation is contained worldwide we can determine a new date for the Seychelles Nature Trail,” said Chris Hamer, Run Director of the SNT.  


The STB team conveyed its utmost gratitude to all the registered runners for the enthusiasm shown towards the event.
“Thank you for having given us all your confidence in the organization of this major Seychellois event and for having responded to the call for the discovery of this innovative activity for Seychelles,” stated Bernadette Honoré.

The Seychelles Nature Trail is organised by the STB in close collaboration with the Nature Tail committee in Reunion, the National Sports Council (NSC) and the support of the other local partners Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Absa, Cable & Wireless, SeyPearl and SkyChef. 


The event, which is targeted for sports enthusiasts, aims at propelling the Seychelles’ engagement towards green tourism and enticing visitors to explore the destination’s lush biodiversity.

Seychelles Tourism Board invites Tourism Trade Partners to join in online campaign

The first phase of this online campaign entitled: Dream Now, Experience Seychelles Later was activated on April 7, 2020, across all Seychelles destination platforms which are managed by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Digital Marketing team. 

Taking over the internet in a wave of positivity amidst this recent time of global crisis, the Tourism Board is currently striving to ensure that Seychelles remains at the forefront of potential visitors’ mind. 

The goal of this campaign is to continuously promote the destination as a potential tourism destination through organic reach.

The first phase of the campaign, which composed of a series of messages including splendid photos of the beautiful Seychelles and its various features, has been very well received on the various online platforms and has engaged wide audiences' interest towards the destination.  

This was followed by a strikingly emotional video released on April 15, 2020, which was shared over 300 times over Facebook in less than 24 hours. 

The second phase of the campaign, which will be actively engaging the Tourism trade to join STB in the campaign in promoting the destination will be activated in the coming days. The Tourism Boars also calls on the public to be a part of this campaign, by sharing their experiences in the Seychelles on various social media platforms while using the hashtags #staysafe #dreamnow #experienceseychelleslater.

Speaking of the campaign, the STB Chief Executive; Mrs. Sherin Francis stated the importance of working in unison during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Working side by side with our partners is our priority at all times. Through this campaign, I am again emphasizing on the increasing need for us as an industry to come together and work collectively as a team’ and use the following message and hashtags on our different social media channels, in order to increase our reach globally. This is also to ensure that Seychelles as a destination keeps a universal presence online,” said Mrs. Francis

 In a time where traditional marketing methods cannot be applied, this digital campaign Dream Now, Experience Seychelles Later, which will be using the mentioned hashtags seeks to ensure that Seychelles remains at the top of visitors’ minds whenever they think of a holiday destination. 

The campaign also strives to share positive posts to inspire audiences during this difficult time while the pandemic continues to cause havoc globally. 

Message from Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive

The world as we know has taken a challenging turn on 30 January 2020, when the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

We anticipated that we would be affected as a destination but even more so as individuals, we were concerned for our families, friends, acquaintances, business partners all over the world.

The past few weeks, we have witnessed the spreading of an aggressive virus that has proven difficult for the medical corps around the world to understand and manage. Our thoughts go to everyone around the world as we are all affected by this crisis.

Over the past few weeks, I believe people have realized that the tourism industry is a very fragile one; everything that happens locally and internationally can affects the industry we all depend on as a country.

It is a sad moment for us to see the industry we cherish be brought to its knees; borders closing, airlines and cruise companies shutting their operations, hotel partners announcing reduction of their activities.

The fast evolution of the situation makes it very difficult at this point for us as the Tourism Board to estimate and analyse the impact and damage to the industry and much less to plan the recovery of our industry. These sad days is fuelling our motivation as a Tourism Board to work harder to make sure that our industry now critically incapacitated shines again when brighter days will come.

We are currently working on various plans to bring Seychelles Tourism to a new dawn basing ourselves on a short-term and a long-term plan.

Our short-term plan would be on the assumption that the situation does not deteriorate. If people are required to stay in confinement at home or if there is a countrywide fear, we will have to wait for these to pass before it can be executed.

Since at STB, we believe there are positive things that come out of everything even from crisis as this one, we now have the possibility to shift our marketing efforts locally and provide some supports to partners who are willing to tap into the staycation segment. We are looking forward to this new challenge!!!

On the long run, our recovery plan to get back on our feet as a destination after this crisis will depend on six major things including:

 

  1. The status of COVID 19 in Seychelles does not deteriorate,
  2. When and how fast Seychelles re-open its border to the European,
  3. When and how fast we will be able to re-establish flights with our main European markets
  4. The ability for our tourism services to get back on its feet
  5. The propensity for travel given we know the world has entered into a global recession
  6. Last but not least how much marketing funds we have available to re-launch ourselves in our main markets.

 

Above all, for our plan to work, we will need your continued support.

 

I would like to commend all STB staff for their dedication in this time of need. A special thought to the frontline staff at the Seychelles International Airport, at the Praslin Airport, the La Digue Jetty and also all staff stationed in the four corners of the world.

 

I am grateful to the industry partners, as most of them have responded positively in all instances when contacted by our teams. This has reassured us in showing that they have our industry at heart and are dedicated towards its wellbeing.

 

My message to the industry and our partners is to remain strong in these trying times, encourage travellers to postpone and not cancel their travel. To all of our travellers, I am urging you to postpone your travel, stay home and travel later. Remember we are all in this together.