Meeting with General Managers of large Hotels and the one-island one-resort properties to discuss the coming hotel classification program for Seychelles
Minister Alain St.Ange, the seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture met once again this week with a number of General Managers of large hotels and of the one-island one resort properties as part of the continuing consultation with hoteliers on the upcoming hotel classification program.
The meeting was called to further brief hoteliers on the programs so far and the way forward. It was also an opportunity to air some of the concerns that hoteliers have expressed vis-a-vis the program.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune opened the meeting by highlighting once again the objectives of the hotel classification program and spelled-out its benefits to the potential clients, the hotels and the Seychelles Tourism Industry as a whole.
Minister St.Ange on his part reiterated that the program will become official as of January 2017. He explained that the standards are a mix of physical and service requirements, attention to guest reviews and special emphasis on local culture, arts and cuisine. Another special element of the standards is the sustainability component where hotels will also be assessed on the efforts at mainstreaming sustainable practices in their operations. Minister St.Ange informed hoteliers that the pilot tests conducted by the UNWTO in May this year revealed that some hotels were operating at good standards whereas there were some hotels that fell short of the rating they were using to advertise themselves.
Hoteliers were informed that advisory assessments will be conducted from September to December of this year, this will come as a special assistance from the ministry in helping hotels get an idea of where they fall within the new official grading scheme. Hotels will have some time to prepare themselves and make improvements where possible before the official assessments start in February 2017. Hoteliers were encouraged to make good use of the advisory visits and of the assessors when they were in such one-to-one meetings in preparing themselves.
It was announced that the grading for hotels that are to be classified from 1 to 5 star will be announced in May 2017, this the minister explained will allow hotels the necessary time required for them to inform tour operators and be advertised according to their classification in the 2018 tour operator brochures. The classification of each hotel will be published in January 2018 on the Seychelles Tourism Board’s website and the ministry will also undertake to inform tour operators and DMCs.
Minister St.Ange provided clarifications to some questions that hoteliers had and ended the meeting with a request that all hotels work hard with their respective partners to ensure that they achieve the classification they desire.