The Republic of Seychelles, a small island nation in the western Indian Ocean, currently gets something around 1,000 Chinese tourists a year. In fact, that is probably an exagerration and it only reaches three figures. So the Seychelles would please like a lot more.
Seychelles President James A. Michel at the Seychelles Tourism Seminar said, "The Chinese people are searching for new experiences and new products. In Seychelles, they can find what is truly ‘another world’."
Seychelles Tourist Board Chairman Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said, "Outbound tourism in China is growing rapidly, but Seychelles is less known to Chinese people compared with other popular destinations like Mauritius and Maldives."
If you are into skin diving, it is a stunning place to visit. The Seychelles archipelago has 115 islands in the Indian Ocean with a population of about 87,000.
It does not get that many visitors from anywhere — 16,000 in 2008 so around 1,000 from China is a fair proportion.
Maurice Loustau-Lalanne in a burst of optimism said, "We expect 5,000 Chinese visitors in the year 2010 or 2011, and in 2015, we hope it can reach 15,000." Dream on.
There is no direct flight between China and Seychelles, and Chinese visitors have to transit from Dubai, Doha or Singapore to arrive in Seychelles.
China Economic Net reports Seychelles and Beijing Tourism Administration have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the seminar, with promises of promoting each other’s tourism in Beijing and Seychelles’ capital of Victoria in the next two years.