France is traditionally one of Seychelles’ leading tourism source markets, accounting for 11 percent of the 384,204 visitors who visited the island destination in 2019.
The Seychelles Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, has welcomed the latest move by France relaxing travel restrictions for their citizens, which will allow persons vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to Red-List countries including Seychelles.
As of July 18, travellers showing proof of a complete course of vaccination with vaccines recommended by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer/Comirnarty, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzeveria/Covishield and Janssen vaccines) two weeks prior to travel and can show a negative RT-PCR on departure may now travel out of France to Seychelles and will also not be subject to presentation of any test or required to self-isolate on their return to France. Unvaccinated travellers will, however, still have to abide to a set of severe restrictions imposed by the French authorities.
“This is excellent news for us, and despite remaining on the country’s red-list, we commend the decision by the French authorities to relax restrictions on those of their citizens who, having taken personal and collective responsibility to protect themselves and their fellowmen against COVID-19, can now travel to Seychelles. As a destination, we look forward to wishing our French visitors la bienvenue once again to our shores,” Minister Radegonde said.
France is traditionally one of Seychelles’ leading tourism source markets, accounting for 11 percent of the 384,204 visitors who visited the island destination in 2019. French visitors patronize a large range of tourism establishments, from luxury properties to guesthouses and self-catering establishments. Seychelles saw a 92 percent drop in visitors from France following the onset of the pandemic.
In Paris, the incoming Director General of the Tourism Department’s Destination Marketing Division Mrs. Bernadette Willemin said enthusiastically that the news has been very well received by the destination’s French tourism partners. “Excellent news indeed and the new measures are very positive and have been very well received. It will definitely bring back some confidence on the market amongst the travel trade and help to secure new reservations for Seychelles, whilst securing some forward bookings for the second half of the summer holidays. For us, it is reassuring in that we have a higher convergence expectation rate for our forthcoming promotional activities/efforts.”
Air France is set to resume air services to Seychelles as of October with two direct, non-stop flights per week. The flights will operate out of CDG airport over the winter season every Thursday and Saturday, from October 23, 2021 – March 26, 2022, and depart Mahé on Fridays and Sundays. Seychelles remains accessible from France through other airlines serving the destination, namely Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian and Turkish Airlines via their respective hubs.