Seychelles destination wedding industry suffers huge blow amid COVID
According to the Vital Statistics Office, more than 1,000 tourists marry in a typical year. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Amid the rise COVID number of cases and new or maintained travel restrictions, foreigners wishing to marry on the sandy shores of Seychelles have had to postpone, cancel or modify their wedding plans.
Full-time wedding decorator and planner, Jeanina Edmond, said that although the international airport reopened on August 1 to regular passenger flights, the number of tourists coming to Seychelles to get married during this time of year decreased.
“Since the start of the pandemic, I have only organized the wedding of two strangers. Now, I no longer do weddings but rather focus on preparing bridal bouquets for the newlyweds,” Edmond said.
According to Civil status office, more than 1,000 tourists get married in a typical year.
Edmond, who lives in the northern district of Anse Etoile, generally receives his clients through hotels.
“On a good day we had to have at least two or three wedding events. Now the activity has dropped by almost 80%,” said Edmond who added that she was not discouraged as she was following a development program implemented by the government. to help entrepreneurs diversify their businesses.
Another wedding planner, Audrey Jupiter, said her business has been severely affected since the pandemic crippled the tourism industry, the main pillar of Seychelles’ economy.
“Wedding planners and decorators are struggling to keep their businesses operational during this unprecedented time,” Jupiter said.
She added that “Seychelles remains a wonderful place to say ‘yes’. We have to sit down with the authorities to see how we can continually inspire honeymooners to get married here. It is a form of tourism.”
Jupiter said that “Weddings have always been recession-proof. Although budgets and trends may change, weddings will always continue. Although it is devastating for the hospitality industry and event, those who stand firm will come out stronger. I have a feeling the celebration will be more appreciated than ever. “
Meanwhile, in an effort to promote Seychelles as a wedding destination, the Seychelles Tourism Board participated in the first 3D virtual wedding fair, which was held last month. STB joined five other partners in ‘The world of weddings‘where he showcased the destination’s offerings for intimate weddings, celebrations, honeymoons and family getaways.