NAIROBI - The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday the Seychelles' economy would grow 10.6% in 2022, on the back of a rebound in the tourism sector, while inflation would fall to an average of 3.0%, compared with 9.8% the previous year.

Popular for its numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, the archipelago nation saw tourism numbers tumble almost two-thirds in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Seychellois economy has continued its strong recovery in 2022, as tourism activity accelerated its rebound," said Calixte Ahokpossi from the IMF.

Next year, economic growth is expected to slow to 5.4%, the IMF said in a statement, because of what it called the challenging international environment.

"The lagged effect of appreciation of the rupee in 2021 helped absorb the pressures that emanated from higher international prices in 2022," Ahokpossi said.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alex Richardson)