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Seychelles Praslin Island should use Culinary and Arts Fiesta to claim back its Coco de Mer

Seychelles Praslin Island should use Culinary and Arts Fiesta to claim back its Coco de Mer ( As the clock ticks for the grand opening of the first Praslin’s Culinary and Arts Fiesta on September 5-7, the organizing committee of the fiesta became more aggressive in its media campaign to lure more attention to this event. The committee used Praslin itself to host its press conference to unveil the event to the media.

It was at the Praslin hotel, Le Domaine de La Reserve, with its soothing panoramic view of “Anse Petit Cours” that it was chosen as the ideal location to gather the press to meet the fiesta's organizing committee members and to spell out the story of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta.

Alain St.Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture, who is also the Chairperson of Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta, opened the press conference stressing that there can be no other event to unify the people of Praslin than the Culinary and Arts Fiesta of the island.

“Our focus is to put Seychelles culture at the forefront, and to position Praslin as the culinary Island destination.”

Answering questions about the danger of using Coco de mer, an endemic species and one that is protected in Seychelles to see its dry kernel transformed into delicacies, Minister St.Ange said that only Seychelles Tourism had the mandate to process the dry coco de mer kernels into ingredients to be used for culinary purposes. He added that Praslin will continue to protect this endemic species as the general public joins together to see what has been exported for years used on their island itself and to help attract a new clientele in search of exotics to Praslin.

“For years, Seychelles exported these dry coco de mer kernels to China, a ton of it every year, and we are still doing so. At least once a year, our people will be given an opportunity to taste this product that has been so much appreciated by the Chinese population. We support the call for Praslin to continue to safeguard their endemic species, and we are sure that through a community-based, bottom-up approach conservation aspect, more Praslinois will join in this noble cause. This will maintain growth of the species, and in the long term see its propagation as the population benefits directly from its real value through new value-added initiatives such as the use of it though the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta.”

Minister St.Ange stressed on the point of working together to achieve continued success in the Seychelles tourism industry.

“We should think out of the box for the country to achieve success in the tourism industry.”

In response to what sort of budget is being pumped into this first ever Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta, Minister St.Ange said the Fiesta Organizing Committee started with a zero budget.

“Originally no budget was allocated. We’ve mounted this event with our partners who share our inspirations and with those who believe that through culture our country can reap economic benefits.”

Joseph Albert, a well-established businessman, and a member of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta is one of the key partners of the event.

Mr. Albert announced that his company, which owns the Seychelles Inner Island Ferry, will give reduce rates to passengers boarding the “Cat Cocos” ferries to participate in the first edition of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta.

Minister St.Ange welcomed the announcement, urging other transport companies such as Air Seychelles to follow the example and contribute towards the success of this event.

Over the years, Praslin has suffered from a number of challenges that tarnished the image of that island’s destination. Praslin needed to be innovative in its approach to reposition the island as a tourism destination. Praslin’s annual Culinary and Arts Fiesta is seen as that new initiative that will lure visitors to its shores.

The Honorable Nathasha Esther, National Assembly Member of Baie St. Anne, and the Honorable Marc Volcere, National Assembly Member of Grand Anse, took pride in the initiative.

“We’re thankful to all partners who rallied together to stage this event on Praslin. We will take stock of the setbacks of the first edition and make necessary amendments to the second edition,” the two elected representatives said.

Benjamine Rose, Principal Secretary for Culture, urged the people of Seychelles to make their participation count in this first edition of the Praslin Culinary and Arts Fiesta.


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