Having weathered the economic downturn in 2008, this archipelago of 115 islands, off the east coast of Africa looks set to become a stable and prosperous region. The increasingly successful tourist industry, which accounts for 15% of all jobs on the islands, is spearheading growth for the next decade.
One example of this is the $20 million investment in Air Seychelles by Etihad Airways, which will revitalise the local airline, allowing it to fly to more destinations worldwide. This investment has allowed Air Seychelles to develop its fleet from two Boeing 767-200s to its current size of five large aircraft operating internationally with Twin Otter and Short-360s flying to the various islands in the group.
When only considering the contribution linked to the spending of foreign visitors arriving by air, Oxford Economics estimates that in 2009 the travel and tourism industry directly employed 8,200 people and supported indirectly through its supply chain a further 4,500 jobs. A further 2,000 people were supported through the household spending of those people directly and indirectly employed by the travel and tourism sector.
This is all good news for students at the newly refurbished Seychelles Tourism Academy. Employment opportunities look set to expand as the influx of international travellers increases year-on-year. The courses at the Academy range from basic skills through to full-time, degree-level hospitality management courses aimed at addressing the shortage of managers in the tourism sector. Each year the Academy takes in approximately 500 trainees, and employs 70 staff. Students also have the chance to travel abroad as a way of improving their understanding of international tourists’ expectations.
Without the tourism boom supported almost entirely by the airlines that serve the islands, the students at the tourism academy would not have the positive outlook and future they can expect. Currently 96% of all graduates achieve full-time employment.