Hotels and airlines are doing their best to help passengers who cannot travel either to or out of Seychelles because of widespread closure of European airports.
The director of tourism marketing at the Seychelles Tourism Board Alain St Ange said this on Tuesday commending “everybody involved for being so understanding”.
Many airports in Europe have been closed for nearly a week in fear of plane accident risks that could be caused by ashes being spewed by active volcanoes in Iceland.
“Every week we get between 3,500 and 4,000 visitors most of whom are from Europe and about the same number arrives at the same time. We are therefore expecting a drop in arrivals of between 1,500 and 2,000,” Mr St Ange said.
He said the number of stranded passengers has not been worked out yet but there are many tourists who can neither go home nor can they pay for their accommodation anymore after their unexpectedly prolonged stay here.
“The hotels have been very understanding and we have managed to find accommodation for the visitors. We are also trying to see that those who have made their bookings are not charged full rates for cancellation as it is not their fault,” he said.
“It has been very stressful but we realise every visitor coming here is to us an ambassador so we are trying our best to help them,” he said.In a press communiqué Air Seychelles said European airports “were slowly opening up and operated flights to France’s Charles de Gall airport
Air Seychelles executive chairman captain David Savy said the airline was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the crisis which is costing airlines US $200 million a day.