Seychelles: Tourism Businesses in Seychelles Say Life Not Yet Back to Normal, Except for Car Hires

Souvenir sellers and a wedding planner in Seychelles say business has not yet returned to normal even with the re-opening of the island nation’s borders two months ago, though car hires appear to be doing booming business.

Two entrepreneurs who are in the souvenir and craft business told SNA on Wednesday that they had to diversify to ensure that at the end of the month they have a salary to bring home to their families.

The owner of Mangouya Fashion House, Pacquerette Lablache, said that she had to go back to teaching, a career she left 12 years ago to open her own business.

“Even if I’ve been teaching for a month and a half now, I didn’t close my shop completely. At the moment, in my shop located at Camion Hall, we are not seeing a lot of tourists. I think that we need more time so as to see things pick up. I also placed some of my work in ESA’s (Enterprise Seychelles Agency) shop at the airport, and since late last year until now, I’ve been making some sales there. Things are moving quite slow, and sales are not as they were before,” said Lablache.

Her peer in the souvenir and craft industry, Maxim Payet, also outlined that sales at Coco Shell to tourists are almost non-existent.

“I had to remove most of my souvenirs from my shop and placed them in storage at home. I have tried looking for other products to sell to survive. Right now, I am focusing on selling items to Seychellois rather than tourists. Even if there are tourists on Mahe, there aren’t any coming to Unity House,” said Payet.

He added that having to pay rent even when the shop is closed during a lockdown is not helping his financial situation.