VICTORIA, 28 January 2021 – Tourism officials in Seychelles have launched a program to grow tourist arrivals by hosting people on vacation who wish to use the island nation as a home office.
The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) is catching on to the global “Workation” trend of marrying work and vacation – the two words used to coin “workation”.
It is designed to serve executives, entrepreneurs, employees and any other individuals who cannot afford to switch off completely, even while on vacation.
“Normally these types of travellers on working holidays come for a 10-day stay in Seychelles, but instead… we are allowing them stay up to one month,” explains Anne Lafonte, the Principal Secretary of Tourism.
Seychelles is banking on the trend of more people working from home, implemented worldwide during the ongoing new coronavirus, to persist beyond the COVID-19 period.
To join the program, tourism establishments in Seychelles must offer working space and high speed, reliable internet access.
They will also be required to provide three categories of accommodation: basic, premium and luxury.
Tourism officials in Seychelles describe the profile of a possible “workactioners” as someone aged 28 to 58, who is preferably at management level and within an elevated income bracket.
The economy of Seychelles is very heavily dependent on tourism and the sector has been badly impacted since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The new coronavirus pandemic has led to fewer tourist arrivals, fewer flights and a drastic drop in revenue.
During the first three weeks of January 2021, only 139 visitors came to Seychelles, accoding to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
That number represents a 98 percent fall on the number of tourist arrivals compared to the same period in 2020, accoding to NBS, which adds that the year-to-date total of 747 tourist arrivals represents a 97 percent drop compared to the year before.
Seychelles has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Africa, at nearly $17 billion (2019), according to World Bank data.
The tourism sector directly employs about 26 percent of the labor force and directly and indirectly accounts for more than 55 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Seychelles, lies northeast of Madagascar. It is an archipelago of 115 islands with almost 98,000 citizens, three-quarters of whom live on the main island of Mahe.