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Tourism related blog makes interesting reading

Tourism related blog makes interesting reading ( TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TAKE NOTICE OF 2011 SEYCHELLES CARNIVAL

Derren Joseph from Trinidad wrote of his blog about the new drive behind the creole tropical islands of the Seychelles. These Indian Ocean Islands' tourism industry is the responsibility of Seychelles President James Michel, who personally holds the portfolio for this industry that remains the pillar of the economy of the Seychelles, with Alain St.Ange as the island's chief executive officer of his Seychelles Tourism Board.

Only weeks ago, President James Michel launched “the Seychelles Brand" as his personal vision for the tourism industry of these creole tropical islands. The Seychelles President said that the time had arrived for the Seychellois to clain ownership of their tourism industry, which was launched some 40 years ago when the first BOAC Jet landed on the Seychelles International Airport on July 4, 1971. The new style of tourism named “the Seychelles Brand" has made news right around the world, and Derren Joseph from Trinidad also followed the developments in the tourism industry of the Seychelles, also known as the land of perpetual summer, and he posted on his blog the following:

“On August 26, there was an interesting article in the International Tourism press. President of the Seychelles, James Michel, called upon his tourism industry to engage with the government to map out a new national tourism development plan. On the face of it there is nothing special about such an announcement, but three things about that article that struck me.

“Firstly, the President (who is also the Tourism Minister) acknowledges that sea, sand, and sun no longer makes for a sustained competitive advantage. Secondly, the President is adamant that culture is important in distinguishing their destination from others in a very crowded market place. Thirdly, President Michel acknowledges that quality is an issue to be addressed. In so doing, he explained that a new quality assurance label will be issued annually to tourism establishments and services.

“Now, anyone who follows the Trinidad and Tobago tourism sector with any interest would smile because everything President Michel said in relation to his country has been said in relation to Trinidad and Tobago. The similarity is nothing short of remarkable. But wait. It gets better!

“On August 29, or just a few days later, I saw the bombshell. It now seems like Seychelles has found their answer to how they position their destination as more than sea, sand, and sun. They found Carnival. So they are organizing an annual Carnival with the first edition due on March 4-6, 2011. Alain St.Ange, the chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, spoke about a Carnival set to showcase cultures of the whole world in an atmosphere of togetherness as one world in a melting pot of cultures. My jaw dropped to the ground as I read it. Then I saw an email from a colleague of mine who has worked in the local tourism sector much longer than I have. I did not even need to open that email. I knew exactly what she had to say. She too was drawn to that Seychelles article and had many thoughts on it.

“Are we at risk in losing our position as host to one of the world’s best carnivals? Just like other countries lay claim to our steel pan (armed with patents or aggressive marketing), soon many could lay credible claim to our brand or style of carnival. After all, barriers to entry (as we say in economics) are now much lower given the ease with which others can replicate our BBF-based costumes (i.e., bikinis, beads, and feathers). Do not get me wrong, I am not necessarily criticizing BBF mas (after all, my wife and I have already signed up with Bliss for 2011). I am simply acknowledging the views of those who argue that we may have lost 'something' as carnival changed. We need to be very careful!"

From the Seychelles it has been confirmed that many countries are already looking at their participation in the Indian Ocean's 2011 Carnival of the Seychelles, and Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and eTurboNews ambassador, told the press who refered that blog to him that the Carnival that will be known as the “Melting Pot of Cultures" will work with other interesting carnivals and that he was simply inviting Trinadad and Tobago to also join in this Seychelles 2011 “Carnaval International de Victoria" and in return Seychelles Tourism will reciprocate in the Trinadad Carnival.

Alain St.Ange CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board Email:

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