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Seychelles tourism industry sees visit by Head of State as a positive step

Seychelles tourism industry sees visit by Head of State as a positive step ( The recent visit to a number of small hotels on the north side of the main island of Mahe was seen by many in the tourism industry as a positive move for the industry at large.

Members of the government can only appreciate the challenges of the industry by visiting the businesses that make up that industry. Hoteliers and DMCs (Destination Management Companies), boat charter companies, and car hire operators all said that the visit by President James Michel accompanied by Minister Alain St.Ange is a positive step and one that they commend.

'Yes we have a Minister who knows us and whom we see, but he does not make decisions alone. Members of the Cabinet of Ministers should also better acquaint themselves with the challenges faced by the industry,” a small hotel owner said.

The Seychelles tourism industry has gone through an era where five-star properties triumphed in the archipelago. A wind of change is blowing on the archipelago bringing a new group of small tourism establishments positioning themselves as Seychelles homegrown hotels.

The Seychelles drive for Seychellois to claim back the tourism industry has given rise to increased small tourism establishments owned by Seychellois with a Seychellois workforce in frontline positions in these properties.

As for five-star hotels, though their marketing budgets continue to guarantee that their properties and Seychelles remain visible on the international and regional arenas, the need is more pressing for the smaller tourism establishments to enter in the ring and play the marketing card to consolidate their own occupancy level and the country's tourism industry in the long term.

At the end of a visit organized by President James Michel, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, told the local press that he remained committed to helping small tourism establishments to remain visible. “This remains the Tourism Board's responsibility as they work to keep Seychelles relevant as a tourism destination," Minister St.Ange said.

“I believe that we need to play the card of marketing to help small hotels become more visible. As a country we must continue to remain visible and relevant. This is key to the success of our tourism industry. When we remain relevant, our tourism industry flourishes,” Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture said.

Minister St.Ange also defended the decision to position small tourism establishments in the communities saying that this ensures employment in these neighborhoods and also provides money-generated possibilities for members of these communities through backup industries.

“The advantage of small tourism establishments rooted in the communities ensures that income generated from their establishments remains in the Seychelles economy. They create a pool of employment opportunities for Seychellois living in the proximity of these businesses. This is portrayed and this is seen as a positive advantage. It was important for us to bring Seychellois at the core of the tourism industry to consolidate and to defend the first pillar of the Seychelles economy. The time was right for Seychellois to claim back the tourism industry, and the time is right to encourage Seychellois to become the custodians of tourism, the industry that remains our bread and butter,” Minister St.Ange said.

Being at the helm of the Ministry responsible for the Seychelles Tourism Board, Minister Alain St.Ange stated that his ministry is committed to operating with an open-door policy to enable each and every tourism operator to be seen and heard.

“At the Seychelles Tourism Board, our task is to work with every licensed tourism operator and this includes large and small properties. We need to encourage every tourism establishment to always work to become better than they are today, and to remain ahead of what they see as their competition. Our objective is to continue to work the ten-thousand odd hotel beds we have so that they can be improved and to help them to excel. Today we have many very good properties. We know that we have some properties that we need to work with and to guide them to upgrade their standards. I believe that as a country we need to work with each and every licensed hotel and guesthouse to guarantee that they become a good product that we can be proud of, and for them to earn their due returns from their investments,” Minister St.Ange concluded.

PHOTO (L to R): Minister St.Ange&President Michel


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