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Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association Chairman meets with Tourism Minister

Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association Chairman meets with Tourism Minister ( Mr. Louis D'Offay, the long-standing Chairman of the SHTA (Seychelles Hospitality&Tourism Association) met on Thursday, March 28, with Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism&Culture. The meeting is part of the association's commitment to meet with the Minister responsible for Tourism on a regular basis or as and when deemed necessary. This meeting was requested by the tourism association following their request to meet with President James Michel and on issues felt to be having a negative effect on the industry.

Mr. Louis D'Offay thanked Minister Alain St.Ange for his open-door policy for the tourism industry at large, but he told the press after the meeting that some pertinent matters affecting the island's tourism industry cross into responsibilities under the control of other ministers. “This is why we wanted to meet with the President. We could look at the industry beyond the tourism ministry portfolio. We have matters relating to cost, to the environment, to the current construction policy making us a commercial destination, to air transport, to new employment regulations, and more. With Minister St.Ange we discuss straight tourism matters – the marketing of Seychelles, the inspection by the Tourism Board, the challenges facing the industry, the competition we face and so on. We still need the Head of State to hear the other obstacles and challenges we are facing.

“We know that we have made great strides since the change in tourism some three years ago, but we must remain aware that competition is not only amongst us here, but with other resorts and hotels in the region; this is why we should not, and cannot, afford to price ourselves out of the market. Hotels that are featured in tour operator programs create the perception on the pricing structure of Seychelles, and if they appear to be way above similar resorts in competing destinations, Seychelles as a whole just looses out and potential clients automatically book elsewhere. This is why we need a cohesive approach, and this is why we had requested for a meeting with the President for our association, that body representing the pillar of our economy," Mr. D'Offay said.

Minister Alain St.Ange on his part said that he is aware that that the tourism association had requested to meet with the President. “This letter was referred to my office because Seychelles today has a Minister responsible for Tourism. This is why I am meeting with Mr. D'Offay in his capacity as Chairman of the SHTA. I continue to be supportive of actions by the country's private sector, and I continue to operate an open-door policy to the industry. I today see on average six hotels, large and small weekly, and this is to assist them when they need advice and to discuss matters affecting their establishment directly," Minister St.Ange said.

The Minister also said that recommendations made by the tourism industry for the appointment of a Director of Marketing had been accepted and that necessary formalities will now be made to formalize the appointment of the person that has been nominated.

The meeting between the association's Chairman and the Minister responsible for Tourism falls in line with the programmed monthly meetings agreed between the tourism trade and the ministry.

PHOTO (L to R): SHTA Chairman Louis D'Offay&Seychelles Minister for Tourism&Culture Alain St.Ange / Photo from Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture


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