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Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture visits owner of burnt down tourism establishment

Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture visits owner of burnt down tourism establishment ( Nearly a month after a fire accidently burnt down seven bungalows at Le Laurier Hotel&Restaurant on the Seychelles inner island of Praslin, Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, who was on a working visit on Praslin, called on the owners of the complex accompanied by Louis D’Offay, the Chairman of the Tourism Industry’s Association, the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA).

This visit was instigated by the tourism industry’s association who wanted the Tourism Ministry’s support to let the small Seychellois hotel owner rebuild his hotel.

The SHTA said that the area today remains an eyesore to the public and to visitors alike and that this was reflecting badly on the Seychelles image as a tourism destination. This eyesore is made even worse as the debris of the aftermath of the fire is right in front of Laurier Hotel’s six other hotel rooms and next to their restaurant that were saved from the fire and that are still operating. The existing rooms are fully booked until the month of August, it was revealed to the press during the discussions at the hotel.

The owner of this small tourism establishment took the opportunity of the presence of Minister St.Ange to explain his difficulties in convincing the different government agencies to speed up with the procedures to enable him to start construction work on his burnt-out bungalows.

Alain St.Ange, Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, assured Mr. Louis D’Offay, the Chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, that he would update his colleagues in the government on the Le Laurier issue.

On his part, the tourism industry association’s Chairman said: “We organized this visit because Le Laurier Hotel is a member of our industry. It was important to keep the Ministry responsible for Tourism abreast of the challenges we face when needed. Today, we are here, because the owner of a small Seychellois-owned hotel had brought the difficulties he was facing to the association’s attention, and as an association we stand to work with the government in order to assist our members. Seeing that it’s taken almost a month, and construction work hasn’t yet started to rebuild the burnt-down property, we have now taken our concern to Minister St.Ange for him to help speed up procedures to rebuild the place. It is unaccepted that the owner is ready to build, but cannot move forward,” said Mr. D’Offay.

The owner of Laurier Hotel&Restaurant, Mr. Edwige Rose, said that “although the ground has been cleared, it does not look good in the eyes of the clients, as the hotel is presently fully booked.”

“We’ve submitted the plan for the reconstruction of the bungalows. The original structure will remain the same. The only adjustment will be made to the roofing. Instead of using thatch, it will be covered with corrugated iron sheets. We’re concerned that it’s taking a lot of time for the approval to be granted to start to rebuild the place,” said Edwige Rose.

Minister Alain St.Ange assured the hotel owners and the tourism industry’s association that the government remained committed to make it easy to do business. “The President of the Republic has said that he wants the Seychellois to claim back their industry. This statement remains a firm commitment of the government. We shall appeal to the Ministry concerned to see with their respective agencies the reason for the delays, with the hope that Mr. Rose be allowed to start his rebuilding works as soon as possible.”

PHOTO: Minister St.Ange and Mr. D’Offay, the Chairman of SHTA, meeting with Le Laurier Hotel&Restaurant owner Edwige Rose / Photos from Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture


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