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Over 10,000 tourists from China - A first for Seychelles tourism industry
Over 10,000 Chinese tourists visit Indian Ocean archipelago, and this will be a milestone in Seychelles tourism industry.
For the first time in the history of the Seychelles tourism industry the number of Chinese tourists to the Indian Ocean archipelago has hit the 10,000 mark.
The increasing trend in the number of visitors from the Asian nation to the Seychelles shores have been observed since the beginning of the year.
According to latest statistics released today by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) a total of 10,105 Chinese tourists have visited Seychelles since January up to the week ending September 14, 2014, making China the 5th leading market so far this year.
This represents a 93 percent increase when compared to the same period last year.
"The strategy that we have adopted to market Seychelles is bearing fruits this year, but if we had direct air link with China, the figure would be even better," Sherin Naiken, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) told SNA.
STB is hoping that the number of Chinese visitors will continue to increase until the end of the year, but said that it is quite difficult to predict what will happen, as the Asians tend to go for last minute booking.
In recent years, STB has set up a tourism office in Beijing, to coordinate efforts and participate in various promotional activities to increase Seychelles' visibility as a tourist destination.
"We have over the last 3 years targeted China's largest cities, and now we will expand our promotional efforts to other cities so that the Chinese people will get to know Seychelles better," the Director of the STB Office in China, Jean-Luc Lai Lam told SNA..
"As for the Chinese market, there are two peak seasons. February and early October are when Chinese tourists travel the most and we expect to see some more arrivals during this period," said Lai Lam.
Tourism is in fact an area of cooperation which the Chinese Ambassador Shi Zhongjun who has come to the end of his three year mandate has said can be further developed between Seychelles and China.
Compared to previous years when they tend to travel within their region now the Asians are venturing into other destinations for their holiday.
Recently, “The Economist” reported that one in ten international tourists worldwide is now Chinese.
Tourism is the first pillar of the Seychelles economy.In 2013, 230,272 tourists visited the archipelago and this was dubbed a record number of tourism arrival representing a 10.7 percent increase when compared to the previous year. 
  Source: Seychelles News Agency

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