Emirates strengthens commitment to the Seychelles

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In a major move to support the Seychelles tourism industry and to provide passengers with more flexible travel options, Emirates Airline (www.emirates.com) has announced a 100 per cent increase in frequency between Dubai and the Seychelles. This route will be serviced by 14 flights every week, by the end of the year.

Emirates cabin crew pose at the beginning of the parade of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ after the airline announced major increase in frequencies between Dubai and Seychelles. The announcement was made by Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, West Asia and Indian Ocean, who visited the archipelago during the carnival and paid a courtesy visit for the President of the Republic of the Seychelles, James Michel.

As from 28 March 2011, the service will increase to 12 weekly flights. Two further frequencies will be added to the winter schedule, making it a double daily service.

To give a boost to inbound travel, Emirates Holidays, the tour operating arm of Emirates, is currently promoting special packages in various markets including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.  

 “As compared to January 2010, we are increasing the capacity between Dubai and the Seychelles by 350%,” said Majid Al Mualla, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – West Asia and Indian Ocean. “This is remarkable by any standards. The increase in frequency is the fruit of all our efforts and investment in promoting the Seychelles across our network. Our recent campaigns have stepped up demand for the route as well as opened up new feeder markets. The increasing number of tourists will welcome these additional flights as they will have more travel options and better connectivity.”

In a meeting with the President of the Republic of the Seychelles, James Michel, Al Mualla said that Emirates regarded itself as partners of the Seychelles tourism industry and would continue to support it actively.

 “We thank the Government of the Seychelles for their trust and will work hand in hand with the Seychelles Tourism Board to continue the marketing efforts which have been undertaken,” he added.

 “We are overjoyed by Emirates’ announcement regarding the double daily flights. This is in line with our new vision of Seychelles operating with an open skies, thus ensuring our yield increases. The problem of demand and supply in terms of seat capacity is the past,” said Alain St. Ange, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Future campaigns will comprise familiarisation trips for tour operators and media groups as well as special promotions, such as the recent Valentine’s Day offer targeting couples in Dubai.

In 2010, 176,088 tourists visited the Seychelles, representing an increase of 11% over the previous year. Since the launch of Emirates’ service to the archipelago in 2005, the number of tourists from Russia and Asia has doubled. The Seychelles welcomed 9,929 tourists from the Middle East last year.

Maldives, Mauritius see improving tourist demand

LONDON -- The island destinations of the Maldives and Mauritius have seen an upswing in demand, according to data from STR Global, the leading provider of market data to the world’s hotel industry.

Demand, as measured by occupied rooms, increased 17 percent for the Maldives and 8.6 percent for Mauritius between 2010 and 2009. While this partly reflects the poor market conditions of 2009, demand in both markets almost has returned to pre-recession levels. 2010 demand is down only 0.7 percent in the Maldives compared to 2008, and it is down only 4 percent in Mauritius, as shown below.

The increases in demand have yet to impact average daily rate (ADR). ADR in 2010 still has ground to make up on both 2009 and 2008 in local currency, Euro and Chinese Renminbi terms. Europe is the major source of tourism for both countries, representing 63.5 percent and 64.8 percent of tourist arrivals in the Maldives (January to November 2010) and Mauritius (2010), respectively. In spite of the ADR declines in Euro terms for both countries, arrivals from Europe have not dramatically increased, with growth of 9.7 percent for the Maldives and 4.5 percent for Mauritius. Interestingly, the fall in rate in Euro terms has not stimulated demand, which suffered due to the depressed economic conditions of this source market.

The falls in ADR in Chinese Renminbi terms of 29 percent and 21.1 percent between 2010 and 2008 for the Maldives and Mauritius, respectively, has been matched by the growing importance of this origination market. Arrivals from China to the Maldives in 2010 are up a staggering 101 percent on the previous year and a more modest, but still respectable 9.9 percent in Mauritius. Air Mauritius will commence direct flights to Shanghai in July to increase the number of Chinese visitors.

The rate of growth in supply, as measured by available room nights, has begun to slow in both markets. Year-on-year supply growth has slowed in both countries year on year.

 “The gradual slowdown of supply growth in both the Maldives and Mauritius should give demand time to recover, absorbing the new supply better”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “In the long run, this will give hoteliers the chance to improve rates”.

STR Global tracks the performance of 25 hotels in the Maldives and 23 hotels in Mauritius.