Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – August 14, 2019 (travelindex.com) – Tourism must be taken seriously. Praslin and La Digue Islands will see new challenges soon if landing fee proposals become a reality. So many islanders will feel the repercussions of this added cost set to be a burden on all visitors to these islands. This is being seen as a way for Government to take a greater share of the tourism dollar that could otherwise trickle down to those working and living on tourism on these islands.
Tourism can continue to boost employment and it can continue to help to strengthen the Seychelles economy, but this will happen only when tourism is allowed to grow and for the Seychellois as a people to be able to work to consolidate it. The motive behind any political drive to further tax the tourism industry could be seen as a way to help the struggling State Coffers facing the islands today, but the time to think outside the box is now so important. The time is to restructure the Government Institutions and diminish costs being paid for at the end of the day by the tourism industry. Government and the country will not realise its tourism potential by only pushing cost upwards, this may have an adverse effect when eventually we see that we have priced Seychelles out of the market.
Seychelles is at the top on any rankings of most beautiful islands in the world, but Seychelles is also facing many challenges in many areas of tourism compared with similar sun, sea and sand destinations. Seychelles has undisputed competitive advantages as a year round tourism destination with real potential for growth. Seychelles welcomes everyone with entry permits granted on arrival at the airport making it a unique visa free destination, but Seychelles is already considered expensive as a tourism destination. Services such as food, electricity and water are expensive and such costs are always passed on to visitors. Banking on only the Business or First Class passengers will not keep planes flying to Seychelles. They need the economy passengers and lots of them to ensure viability of the route. These passengers are more price conscious than anyone can imagine.
Seychelles needs to continue to encourage its Seychellois Islanders to get involved in all facets of its tourism industry. This is the only way to get everyone to work for, and to defend the industry that has become the pillar of the island’s economy. But operating costs must go down before we see the real potential of more islanders standing behind their tourism industry become a reality.
The first really easy manoeuvre by Government is to fast track cost cutting measures and not to try to just increase taxes on its tourism industry.
New Newspaper for Seychelles being launched very soon
Seychelles will very soon see a new newspaper hit the shops. Herve Anthony is the Editor of “The Islander Weekly” and its online version “The Islander Online”.
The Directors of the new publication are proud to say that they intend to ensure that character assassination and personal attacks will not be entertained in their columns and articles. They have reiterated that they prefer instead to raise the concerns of the Seychellois Islanders and the challenges they are facing in their daily lives as they speak about aspirations for a better Seychelles.
Herve Anthony, a resident of La Misere was born on 1st February 1966. He studied at La Misere Primary School, Seychelles College, NYS and Seychelles Polytechnic.
After his studies, Herve joined the Land Transport Division and later worked at PUC. He was also a DJ for a number of years. Herve Anthony was the President for the Seychelles Boxing Federation and Vice President for African Boxing Federation and Zone 4 of the World of Boxing. He was also the Vice Presidential candidate for PDM in the 2016 elections.
Herve Anthony is currently the Vice President for Seychelles Labour Union as well as an Executive Committee Member of the newly formed political party, One Seychelles.
Change Maker in Tourism Award – a real honour
Alain St. Ange was honored with the IIPT Change Maker in Tourism Award for Africa. The award was presented by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT).
St. Ange attended the World Tourism Conference and spoke at a panel entitled “How to Plan for Resiliency”. Commenting on the award, IIPT Founder and President Lou D’Amore told eTN: “IIPT is most proud to announce that Alain St. Ange has been named the recipient of the IIPT Change Maker in Tourism Award for Africa.
As Minister of Tourism and Culture for Seychelles, St. Ange conceived the “Carnaval International de Victoria” bringing nations from around the world together to parade their cultures in a manner that globally promoted values of understanding and multiculturalism and increasing visitor arrivals year-on-year by 12% to Seychelles.”
D’Amore continued to explain: “This award will be awarded to the individual who has made a significant change towards tourism either from within or outside the travel sector. An individual who has gone beyond the call of duty and spear-headed a new idea or product that brings change to the tourism industry in Africa.”
The World Tourism Conference is organized by the New York-based African Travel Association. African Tourism Board is a partner in the event.
Seychelles and its proposed military base – does it go with the Blue Economy?
The recent meeting between President Danny Faure and the NGO Preserve Seychelles has shown different take from the same meeting. The NGO Preserve Seychelles fighting for the islands to remain true to its environment protection engagements and for Seychelles to remain friends of all and enemy of none have posted disagreements with the account published by Official Sources after the meeting.
Preserve Seychelles writes:-
“The ‘Preserve Seychelles’ Executive Committee and its members are extremely disappointed by the press statement dated 07 August 2019 from the Office of the President. This statement followed a meeting with the President on Tuesday 6th August 2019. The Chairman of Preserve Seychelles, Mr Terry Sandapin, presented the President with a copy of the Association’s Constitution and an original copy of the report on the fact finding mission to the Islands of Astove and Assomption on 21st July 2019.
The report contains the reality on the ground on both Astove and Assomption and other observation by the three men delegation from ‘Preserve Seychelles’. ‘Preserve Seychelles’ had also included several recommendations in the said report.
However, it is now clear that the President has not taken any of our recommendations into consideration and he has decided to press on with the construction of military facilities on Assomption Island, which is stated in his press release dated 07 August 2019 (copy enclosed). ‘Preserve Seychelles’ is totally against the construction of military facilities of any nature on Assomption Island. We had recommended a coast guard observation post on Astove Island to be manned by a small team of Seychelles coast guard officers.
It is now clear that the President will go to any length to have military facilities on Assomption Island, and this should also be made clear to the President and everyone concerned, that ‘Preserve Seychelles’ will exhaust all possible avenues to ensure that this does not and will never happen!
In the spirit of transparency and clarity, ‘Preserve Seychelles’, will be holding a Press Conference in the coming days to present the report officially to the media and the public at large, as well as answer any questions that might arise!”
We have been able to get series of photos of a Whale Shark accidentally killed by a visiting warship. This shows the vulnerability of our flora and fauna. As a country saying it is spearheading the Blue Economy Concept is it serious when Seychelles is looking at a military base on the door step of Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Preserve Seychelles is made up of patriotic Seychellois and friends of the cause who stood protesting in Victoria week after week when Seychelles was hell bent of giving its Assumption Island away. Today the same protest call is heard in every household across the islands and the Seychellois Islanders want to be remembered as good custodians of what we have been blessed with.
Nothing should be committed by Seychelles until the next Presidential elections are held. The People of Seychelles must have a say, and they will speak through the ballot box. I can confirm that “One Seychelles” as a Politically Party totally rejects the construction of any Military Base on Assumption Island, and that we will be working alongside Seychellois Islanders to withdraw from any agreement made for a military base, and will dismantle any military facility that will hurt our island’s ecofriendly stand and push us to take sides in Super Powers superiority agenda.
Air Seychelles launches new Airbus A320neo, and looks forward to its second
The arrival of a second Airbus A320neo aircraft for Air Seychelles in February or March next year will greatly improve connectivity within the Indian Ocean region, the airline’s chief executive said.
Remco Althuis was speaking in Mauritius at the inaugural flight ceremony of Air Seychelles’ first Airbus A320neo aircraft on Thursday.
“An additional Airbus A320neo in spring next year will bring our fleet to seven aircraft which will enable us to connect the islands in the Seychelles’ archipelago as well as connect the island nations of the Indian Ocean,” said Althuis.
The airline’s first Airbus A320neo, named ‘Veuve,’ was welcomed on its inaugural flight to the neighbouring island of Mauritius by a ceremonial water cannon salute upon landing at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
A celebratory cocktail at the Airports of Mauritius (AML) Receptorium was held with high government officials, key partners, and local travel trade and representatives of the media from both Mauritius and Seychelles.
The plane which arrived in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, last week is the first for the region and for Africa.
Althuis said Air Seychelles is focusing on the regional network due to the global aviation market forces which are very competitive and operated by bigger carriers like British Airways, Qatar Airways, Air France and Emirates.
Air Seychelles presently has daily flights to Johannesburg, six weekly flights to Mumbai, seasonal flights to Madagascar and five flights a week to Mauritius.
The chief executive of Air Seychelles said with its 168-seat capacity, the new aircraft will also greatly increase the number of passengers.
“The A320neo has 24 percent more seats than the current A320ceo which means it will enable us to bring a lot more passengers to travel between our two island nations and more profit.”
However, he said the real impact of the new arrival will not be apparent immediately on all daily flights, but rather gradually.
“We have to wait until the second aircraft next spring before we can operate all of our routes with this aircraft all the time,” said Althuis.
He further added that the benefit will not be restricted to the region only.
On his side, the tourism minister of Mauritius, Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, said air connectivity is crucial for the development of the two islands and this should be the main focus of all regional governments.
“There is a demand by people in the region to have more aircraft operating between the islands. I know that four governments in the Indian Ocean have been working to have an Indian Ocean pass that will enable people to travel from one island to another,” said Gayan.
He added that “I don’t know why this is taking so long but I do hope this will happen soon and thus increase the presence of other carriers in the region and enable people to travel between the islands.”
Air Mauritius resumed its twice-weekly flight to Seychelles in July this year.
Seychelles to shine at the Dubai Expo 2020
Set to take place from October 2020 until April 2021, the Dubai Expo 2020 will go down in history as the first expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
For six months, Seychelles, our small Island nation will be represented through the participation of various national entities and NGOs to showcase the destination’s natural lush environment, opportunities for investment and its achievements towards Sustainability and Nature conservation.
Seychelles will therefore share a spot alongside the 192 participating countries from all over the globe. The Dubai 2020 Expo site, which will cover a total of 438 hectares, is located in the Dubai South district, near the Al Maktoum International Airport.
The country’s preparations to the international event is spearheaded by the collective effort of CINEA and the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Representatives of the two organizations are working alongside the Dubai Expo 2020 team and the Seychelles Country Manager, John Addo Obiri, to ensure that Seychelles’ participation carry every single visitor onto an imaginary journey that will touch their hearts.
Through the discoveries of the Seychelles pavilion, each visitor will get a feel of the Islands, as one will discover its various features through visual, audio and graphics presentations.
Seychelles will also be granted the tribute of celebrating its national day through an honor day, event during which, various high officials from the country will be invited to attend.
Aside from the official events, Seychelles will also be engaging the Expo Dubai 2020 visitors through conferences and workshops centered around culture, finance, environment and tourism.
Speaking about Seychelles preparations to the Expo, Mr. Galen Bresson CEO of CINEA, stated that the Dubai 2020 moto: “connecting minds and creating the future,” incorporates the mind-set of the organizing committee working effortlessly towards the success of this event for the country.
“Seychelles might be small in size, but we are placing ourselves on the global market next to many countries through our participation. The concept for this Expo reflect a lot of our country’s conservation philosophy. Our aim is to show the world that, in spite of our 250 years of existence, we have been able to maintain a good balance in co-existing with our natural environment,” said Mr. Bresson.
On her part, Mrs. Sherin Francis, STB Chief Executive, mentioned that the STB team is working in close collaboration with CINEA and the other government agencies and NGOs to make Seychelles’ participation a success.
“Seychelles’ participation in the Dubai 2020 Expo is an excellent platform for visibility for the country, not only as a tourism destination, but also as a nation. More than ever, we need to place ourselves on the map in showcasing our natural beauty, our culture and our various achievements in all aspects,” said STB’s Chief Executive.
The first world expo took place in 1851 in London and has since been a platform for countries to showcase their achievements and culture to the rest of the world. The Dubai 2020 Expo is expecting over 25,000,000 visits over the 173 days.