Minister St.Ange And Minister Morgan Met With Stakeholders To Discuss The Development And Implementation Of A Cruise Ship Strategy For Seychelles
The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr Alain St.Ange and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr Joel Morgan met with representatives of the three DMCs namely, Mason’s Travel, Creole Holidays and 7 South to discuss the development and implementation of a strategy for cruise tourism in Seychelles. Also present were the CEO of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Lt. Col. Andre Ciseau and other senior staff, CEO Seychelles Tourism Board, Ms Sherin Naiken as well as the PS for Tourism and PS for Transport , Anne Lafortune and Patrick Andre respectively.
Currently Seychelles is working with the other islands of the Indian Ocean under the Vanilla islands banner to increase cruise ship business for the region. Both Ministers present at the meeting recognises the importance of consolidating cruise tourism and said that they were determined to work together to develop a proper strategy to deal with the increasing number of cruise ships docking in Port Victoria. This will include the availability of different services which would cater for disembarking passengers including local products on sale at all times in Victoria when the ships are in port. Services such as taxis, tour guides and boat charters should be better organised and managed and the necessity for all boat charters to have the necessary insurance cover any liabilities in cases of emergencies.
Minister St.Ange and Minister Morgan also took the opportunity to advise on the need to prevent occurrences of malpractices such as touting and harassment at the Port area. They further emphasised that touting practice at the gangway of cruise ships will tarnish the good image of Seychelles as a cruise destination and undermine all the hard work done to attract other cruise liners to the Seychelles waters.
Other proposals discussed during the meeting include the possibility for the cruise ships to anchor at Praslin and the option for passengers to extend their stay in Seychelles and fly out or travel by air to Seychelles and depart on cruise ships with the aim of consolidating Seychelles as a fly-cruise business destination. These proposals will greatly benefit the tourism industry and help market Seychelles as a cruise destination.
At the end of the meeting it was recommended that the Seychelles Ports Authority should be the body responsible to monitor the movement of boat charters to better manage this industry and it was also agreed that a joint cabinet memorandum by Foreign Affairs & Transport and Tourism & Culture should be submitted to propose a strategy for the development of a successful cruise ship industry to further improve cruise tourism in Seychelles.
The Vanilla Island Ministerial Meeting on Friday was also discussed as this meeting was called following the meeting at ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin between Minister St.Ange, Mr Ciseau and the Costa Cruises Vice President. This Friday meeting will also be attended by the Vice President of Costa Cruises.