In 2018, the country had one of the highest GDP in
Africa. Since the opening of the international airport at
Mahé in 1971, the country's economy has been dominated by
the tourism industry.
Agriculture, which was previously the most important
industry, accounted for only 2 per cent of GDP in 2017 and
employed 3 per cent of the employed. The lack of
agricultural land complicates the development of agriculture
and explains the country's great dependence on food imports.
Rice, the most important basic food, is imported.
Agricultural products exported are coconuts, cinnamon and
vanilla. The fisheries and exports of both fresh and frozen
and canned fish, especially tuna, have increased in
importance since 1978, when the Seychelles established a
200-mile fishing zone. Fishing rights are sold to a number
of foreign fishing fleets. Problems with pirates in the
waters have had a negative impact on catches since the end
of the 1990s.
The industry, which employs 23 per cent of the employed
and accounts for 14 per cent of GDP, is dominated by the
food industry. The most important source of energy is oil,
which together with machines and food accounts for a large
part of imports. The most important trading partners are the
United Arab Emirates, France, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Tourism and gastronomy
COUNTRYAAH, Seychelles has a pleasant climate and fine beaches, and
tourism is very important for the country's economy. The
island group was visited in 1995 by 121,000 foreign visitors
and in 2012 by 208,000. To protect the environment, the
government has set a ceiling of 200,000 visitors per year.
Most visitors come from Europe, mainly France. In order to
preserve the sensitive and unique nature but still receive
good income from tourism, a well thought-out tourism policy
is implemented which involves investing in strong groups at
the same time as large areas are set aside as national parks
and nature reserves. Tourism is concentrated to the islands
of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Seafood dominates the cuisine of the Seychelles;
mackerel, shark, tuna, parrot, shrimp, crab, crawfish and
octopus are eaten grilled with fruits and vegetables or in a
mostly chilli curry stew with rice. Often, a soup starts the
meal, perhaps of broad, which is a general term for
leafy greens, and onions and tomatoes. Chili is included in
almost all dishes and is also served as a snack, perhaps in
the company of strong chutneys of e.g. mango and pumpkin.
Salads (satini, often with vegetables and fruits
mixed) with lime dressing are popular. Pwason saleis
dried, salted fish, which is a common ingredient in pots.
Meat (goat, chicken, lamb or bat) is often turned into a
stew with sweet potatoes or a curry. The desserts can
consist of sumptuous fruit salads or often heavy and
powerful coconut or banana cakes.