China, an increasingly important secondary market for Seychelles by STB
With the introduction of three weekly flights by Air Seychelles to Hong Kong earlier this year, China is set to become an increasingly important secondary tourism market for Seychelles.
This is the view expressed by Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, Marketing Manager for China, at the Seychelles Tourism Board’s mid-year review of tourism performances in June.
Mr. Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, Marketing Manager for China at the Seychelles Tourism Board
By the second week of June 2013, 3,033 Chinese visitors had arrived in the archipelago, a hike of 67% over the same period last year.
According to Mr Lai-Lam, though the Maldives is still the beach destination receiving the lion's share of Chinese visitors, mainly because it is nearer to the Asian mainland, Seychelles is fast becoming well-known on the Chinese market, notably Hong Kong and Beijing. Other similar competitors are Mauritius and Phuket in Thailand.
He also spoke of the Seychelles Tourism Board’s (STB) recent participation in the ITE Tourism Fair in Hong Kong and the Beijing International Expo, and noted the recent production of a promotional video in Chinese as an important marketing tool for the destination.
Mr Lai-Lam also said that since this year Seychelles has received over 40 pages of coverage in the Chinese media, including one cover story.
He said that in 2013, the number of Chinese vacationers travelling abroad is expected to increase to 100 million from 83 million last year. As such, the Chinese are overtaking the USA and Germany as top market sources for world tourism.
Mr Lai Lam also noted that criticisms received so far from Chinese holidaymakers in Seychelles include the lack of shopping, nightlife, casinos and Chinese culture.
It was also noted at the mid-year review that though Chinese holidaymakers are willing to try foreign cuisine, they also regard the availability of their own culinary dishes as important.