All protocol observed,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Aviation is the conduit of the tourism industry in Seychelles. The industry which remains one of the main engines of wealth creation contributing over 45% of foreign currency and an excess of 60% as indirect contribution to the GDP.
Over the years, we have posted healthy growth record particularly in terms of arrivals and even today, we are 9% higher.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are amazing achievements.
Seychelles International Airport is our gateway serving our visitor markets as well as our Seychelles nationals who travels very regularly, as is the international trend for island states.
As our hub, Seychelles International Airport operates as one of the most important facilitator in easing the tourism business for all. Be it through the airline clients serving the route, the convenient domestic air services, the flexible opening hours, the availability of the passenger services available and the overall infrastructure, which allows all of you, our operators, to do your business.
Connectivity by air to discover our islands, remains a key selling point as a tourism destination. It provides our visitors with the opportunity to discover the vast array of our islands, enjoy our natural habitat through our flora and fauna.
Over 60% of visitors travels to our islands, per year. A significant number of these visitors connect directly to the other islands for their vacation as soon as they land at Seychelles International Airport. The majority of these visitors will travel by ferry, which are also competitive in terms of price and service. To note, there has been major improvements done to ensure a better transfer services from the airport to the ports by the SCAA.
In 2018, 19% of these visitors travelled to the islands by air.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In 2017, under the leadership of President Danny Faure, the Government took some important steps in the liberalization of the Domestic Air Transport market between Mahe, Praslin and the inner islands of Seychelles. This policy responded to the need for a more open market for operators on the route with the aim to create more value for the customers especially the people of Seychelles. It set the scenes for vast opportunities to meet the growing demand and to cater to the varying categories of demand for air travel to our islands. This includes our high-end visitors, as well as the honeymooners, large families, international investors, residents, local business commuters, students to name a few. They represent over 1 million passengers flowing in and out, who are currently connecting between Mahe and Praslin and the inner islands by air and sea.
Promotion of domestic tourism especially in the off-peak season is increasingly seen as important in the tourism sector in Seychelles as it aims to optimize total revenue across a 12-month period and create a stable long-term source of revenue.
The air transport policy permits this and we have the right airport infrastructure to grow and nurture this possibility. I urge all operators and businesses to come on board in this endeavour.
We should not forget that air connectivity to the interisland is also an essential service for the people of Seychelles. Particularly meeting the demand for critical services relating to medical, education, business amongst others.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we have in place the right facility, a modern Domestic terminal with integrated services and ambience to support a brand new outlook of our airport. One that is services centered.
I would like at this point to salute the commitment and efforts being made by the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, for being a leading example in improving the level of facilities and also putting a focus on services at the airport especially through the Airport’s Customer Services campaign which further accentuates our theme ‘We are Tourism”.
I urge you all to commit to this campaign by the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority. It is one, which supports our tourism aspirations.
“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance” Ban Ki-Moon once said.
Seychelles is today positioning itself as a leader with a few of its environment protection programme such as the blue economy concept, and for managing air pollution. The air that we breathe in our country has been rated as the cleanest in the world. Our environment remains our biggest asset, and incorporating sustainability in all our projects and services will brighten the Seychelles brand and put it at the forefront of preservation and protection of the world’s resources.
I seize this opportunity to compliment the authority’s innovative actions in bringing modernity and sustainability in their projects, being one, which also match our approach in the interisland tourism offering.
This terminal is a leading example of how we can bring a green perspective to new infrastructures. I wish to see more of those approaches in the future not only at our airports but in general in the tourism industry and Seychelles as a whole.
To sum up, I would wholeheartedly thank all those here present who are doing their parts in contributing to the development of the Seychelles
tourism industry by providing essential and most required services at our gateways. I would once again like to thank all those who were involved in this project and congratulate you all for a job well done. Let this terminal become a benchmark in terms of efficiency, high services, safety, and security.
I thank you all for your attention and have an excellent evening.