Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – October 24, 2018 (travelindex.com) – Didier Robert, the Regional President of Reunion Island has arrived in Seychelles for the coming Festival Kreol of the islands. President Didier Robert is in Seychelles with an important delegation and will be having s series of meetings with Government Leaders and Officials as well as the French Ambassador accredited to Seychelles. He will also mark this years Festival with the opening of the “Antenne Reunion” Office.
I had the pleasure of again sitting with President Didier Robert after his arrival in Seychelles and together we reviewed the spirit of cooperation in the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands, a point we have both believed in in the years we worked closely together in the Vanilla islands.
Last week, we touched on the Seychelles drive to “clip the wings” of the island’s tourism industry, BUT only that of the tourism industry in what is being called the Seychelles Vertical Integration policy. Already serious dissention is being felt, and a major tourism entrepreneur has filed a case in court to challenge this infringement on his right to work and carry out his businesses as he plays his part in the economic development of the islands. Other players are looking at moving some non-fixed assets to other shores which may hurt the Seychelles tourism industry in the long term. This subject has brought many letters and feedback on the matter and no one understands why is the
Government Vertical policy only targeting the tourism industry players.
As Seychelles is getting embroiled in its Vertical Integration rules and regulations other tourism destinations are launching Smart Cities and Innovation Destinations approaches to lure investors and visitors to their shores. In the Caribbean we see Hon Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism of Jamaica moving to launch a Tourism Innovation City in Montego Bay to develop areas of textile, manufacturing, and farming among others, to boost capacity to provide on the supply side of the tourism value chain. Jamaica wants to see the tourism cost go down and one Caribbean Island’s active drive will see the whole region ride a surf wave to their beaches. Minister Bartlett said:- “To build out a tourism economy that will be beneficial to Montego Bay, which is the heartbeat of tourism in Jamaica, the backward and forward linkages must be in place and when that happens tourism costs will begin to fall and revenues from consumption will increase, In the Dominican Republic, their revenue retention is 50cents on each foreign exchange earned and this is so because they own the supply side – they manufacture uniforms for the sector and have processing plants to make the chutneys and jams needed by the guests. This is where a Tourism Innovation City in Jamaica would help to produce more of the items needed in the sector.” The Tourism Minister from Jamaica went on to add:- “If Jamaica is to earn more of the foreign exchange brought in by visitors, we must be able to reduce importation of the inputs needed for the sector and increase our ability to supply on the demand. The tourism Innovation City will create a circular economy where nothing is wasted and everything is utilized fully and the resources, income, and earnings stay within that space. When we are finished building out grange pen and Barrett Hall, this will be a fertile area for this great experiment and I am in discussion with the Urban Development Corporation who is to do a design for this innovation city.”
The cost for a country’s tourism industry is determined on the ability to produce more locally and for Seychelles to push with vigour the “Made in Seychelles” label. It is also dependant on the Government’s ability to understand that a hotel in Seychelles are not competing amongst themselves by that instead the Seychelles needs to be seen as an appealing holiday destination when apples are compared to apples and pears to pears. Seychelles cannot be seen as the destination bleeding its tourism industry through taxes, fees and utility charges.
After Miss Regatta we now have Miss Creole 2018
Just weeks ago Seychelles saw the election of Miss Regatta and now last weekend Seychelles elected Ketsia Marie as its Miss Creole International 2018. The 1st princess is Tisha Loze and as 2nd Princess Nathasha Chetty. Both these beauty with a purpose pageants were private sector driven and with success. The Regatta is a Round Table event and Miss Creole International is the work of Telly Modelling Agency of Terry Carolla. Seychelles needs to congratulate both these organisers for proudly putting forward the talents of the islands and in so doing opening doors for them.
New Yellowfin Tuna Record For Seychelles
Albert Durand’s post on Social Media last week publicised that Seychelles was proud to be having a new record for Yellow Fin Tuna. The previous Seychelles ‘Rod & Reel’ Record stood at 96.1kg. The new Seychelles ‘Rod & Reel’ Record is now 100.6kg caught by Captain Sony Parekh and Angler Mohamed, a tourist from Oman who flew in to go fishing with Sony. This catch helps to position Seychelles as a destination for Big Game Fishing and comes as Sail Fish Season is kicking in. Denis Island has been recording excellent catches of Sail Fish as they continue to pursue their policy of ‘tag & release’.
South African Lavone Wittmann elected new president of Skal
South African Lavone Wittmann has been elected the new president of Skal. The elections took place during the 79th International Skal Congress that was help in Mombasa in Kenya. Minister Najib Balala, the Kenyan Minister responsible for Tourism had said earlier that Kenya had been gearing up for the biggest gathering of professionals within the hospitality and travel industry from all over the world. It was Kenya’s second city, Mombasa that was the host city for the 79th International Skal Congress.