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Te Seychelles gained independence from the UK in 1976 and has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market based diversified economy relying on service, public sectors and tourism.


Te Seychelles is made up of 115 islands and lies 1,500km east of mainland East Africa. With 95,000 population it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country and three quarters of the residents live on the island of Mahé.


GDP output has grown considerably over the years and growth last year was 3.6 per cent. Today it has the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa (not including the French regions). Tere’s still considerable economic inequality however with a high level of poverty.


Tourism took off in 1971 when the Seychelles International Airport opened in the north east of Mahé and considerable infrastructure growth followed with the opening of hotels and resorts


P74 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


and the development of interisland ferries. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade the hotels and services.


In 2018, the number of visitors reached 362,000 – some 66 per cent are from Europe and 19 per cent from Asia –spending around US$500m.


Some 16 of the 115 islands currently offer accommodation from self-catering to luxury five star resorts and in 2017 there were 38 large hotels, 115 small hotels/guest houses and 386 self-catering establishments in the Seychelles. In total there were over 10,300 beds available.


Te Seychelles remains the least over- developed of the Indian Ocean islands nations, compared to Mauritius and the Maldives for example. After a slow growth in tourism in the early 1980s, the country’s tourist industry began to boom with the opening of high-end resorts with vigorous advertising campaigns and more competitive pricing.


Alain St Ange is a Seychelles politician who was formerly Minister of Tourism and Culture from 2012 until 2016. He said: “Te Seychelles is currently missing out on enormous revenue that can be obtained by globally established casinos. Tese casinos may bring in many wealthy hordes of rich gamblers to our shores by providing flights, transport, accommodation in world-class resorts and entertainment.


“Furthermore these high rollers would spend large amounts of money on shopping and dining during their stay, further adding economic benefit. Also as the saying goes: ‘the odds are always in favour of the casino.’ Not to discourage gambling, but statistics show that there is a greater chance of the money staying with the house rather than leaving the house. With the house being Seychelles in this instance further economic benefit is established.


“Countries like Macau and Monaco are known for their luxurious casinos and almost exclusively economically built through the


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