(eTN) – Much is being discussed on an ongoing basis on the state of tourism in the world and this also covers the Indian Ocean region. The yield from tourism, the offers launched to attract tourists, visitor arrival numbers, and comments posted by respective tourism trade members are constantly being monitored by tour operators, press, and investors.
During the last couple of weeks, offers to coincide with EID were being floated and analyzed, and many observations were deduced from these latest promotional offers. Pay four and get five was the offer from Kenya, Maldives was pay three and get four nights, Seychelles offered just discounted rates, but Mauritius brought out the shocker with pay four and get seven night stays.
Trade professionals say that discounting brings down prices for a long time as it is often hard to change back the situation. The analysis deducted from offers reflects the state of the tourism industry in the destination. It is hard times for that volatile industry. This is clear, and this is the direct result of the economic difficulties facing Europe, which has been the traditional market base for tourism for the Indian Ocean region. Some destinations have worked hard to diversify their target market, while have others have stood firm, hoping for a change of situation in Europe, which would bring back the good old days. This has not happened, and it is clear that it will not happen in the foreseeable future.
The Maldives and Mauritius private sector trade has been proactive, and they are known to invest heavily to market their properties and businesses. Even in adversity, the positive messages keep appearing from both official government sources, as well as from the private sector. Kenya has been hit by events beyond their control – their internal politics of the coast and the Somali pirates kidnapping incidents have definitely not been helpful to them, but the country continues to echo positive vibes and is surviving because of that.
After the successes of the Maldives, it is the Seychelles that has grabbed all the attention. They are constantly under the microscope, along with the Maldives, two very visible destinations in the world demonstrating successful tourism. The Seychelles tourism authority remains dynamic – they are everywhere, always ensuring that Seychelles remains visible and on the minds of potential visitors.
Seychelles, however, is not immune to the new social dilemma, wherein anyone who may or may not have their thoughts based in fact, nevertheless feel free to tweet and post comments on social networks. “Tourism is sliding” was one such post about Seychelles’ tourism, after Blue Panorama Airline announced the suspension of their weekly service. From Rome, Italy, it was revealed that the Italian economy was the main reason for Blue Panorama Airline’s decision to suspend service, along with the difficulty to compete with the Middle East Hub approach, and the reluctance of Seychelles to bring their airport handling charges in line with that applicable in the region. The hub issue is more apparent for Seychelles as they have the three main Middle East carriers – Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar – all serving Seychelles daily and even twice a day for some airlines.
The bottom line is, Maldives and Seychelles have seen remarkable increases in their visitor arrival numbers, indicating it pays to keep your name out there with a positive message.