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#AfricaMatters: Seychelles

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, made up of 115 islands.  The capital, Victoria, is located 1500 kilometres east of the mainland and is the smallest capital in the world. The country has about 100 000 inhabitants with the three official languages being English, French and Creole. With countless natural attractions on the islands, one of it’s attractive sectors is tourism.

With its scenic tourism assets – beaches and mountain backdrop – tourism has become one of the Seychelle’s most enthusiastic industries that has catapulted the Islands’ economy. The tourism industry makes up 24.8 per cent of the Seychelles gross domestic product (GDP) and is the country’s biggest export industry. Although many would attribute this to the clear blue waters and the clean, white sand beaches, that the country boasts, a lot of the country’s success has been because of good governance and strategic policy choices.

Since a proportion of the Seychelles’ foreign currency inflows is due to tourism, government policy continues to place particular emphasis on this economic booster. Parallel to that, the country’s emerging financial services industries continue to be enhanced, in order to add as a support to tourism thus leading to greater economic penetration which leads to greater job opportunities.

With the Seychelles boasting a lush tourism sector, this has evidently led to increased job creation. The industry has directly supported approximately 7 260 jobs with about 40% contributing to the total national work force, from a mixture of direct and indirect tourism created employment. Such growth is attributed to the augmented number of tourists visiting the islands and the positive trajectory in steady growth in tourist arrivals; with the total number of tourists going from 128 654 in 2005 to 140 627 in 2006. Since the beginning of 2017, tourists visiting have been 23% higher, equalling to 73 512 tourists compared to 60 564, in the same period last year.

As the Seychelles continues to grow, participatory approach to country development has always been highly promoted by the Seychellois government. Supporting one, is supporting all.