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Oman and Seychelles tourism will work together

October 3, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Seychelles-TravelIn 2012, Flavien Joubert Principal of Seychelles Tourism Academy, led a delegation to Oman to lay the foundation and officialised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Board Members of Oman Tourism College ( OTC) to provide specialise international standards training for Omani nationals and enhanced active participation in development of tourism sector in Oman.

Photo Caption left- right H.E. Maitha Saif Majod Al-Mahrouqi exchanging gifts with Minister St.Ange.

left- right H.E. Maitha Saif Majod Al-Mahrouqi exchanging gifts with Minister St.Ange.

The agreement set the benchmark for Oman Tourism College (OTC) and Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) to pave the way for an official visit of Omani delegation in Seychelles, organised jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Seychelles Tourism Board, Seychelles Tourism Academy and Dean of Oman Tourism College.

In 2014, the first activity of the agreement commenced with an official visit spearheading by H.E. Maitha Saif Majod Al–Mahrouqi, the Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of OmanUnder Secretary in the Oman Ministry of Tourism. On Tuesday 30th September, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Flavien Joubert, the Principal of Seychelles Tourism Academy warmly welcomed the delegation at Seychelles International Airport. It is a known fact that Oman has emerged as a globally competitive tourism destination in its own right. Although overshadowed by its neighbouring Gulf Arab States, Oman possesses immense tourism and cultural potentials which could prove beneficial for Seychelles under the new MoU signed by the two countries.

Hours after landing in the country H.E. Maitha Saif Majid Al-Mahrouqi, the Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Said bin Nasser Al Khusaibi, Honorary Consul of Seychelles in Oman, Talal bin Humaid Al Khusaibi, Director of Under Secretary office in Ministry of Tourism, Dr Abdul Karim bin Sultan Al Mugaiti, Dean of Oman Tourism College and Mohamed bin Mahmood Alzadjali, Director General for investors services and quality Management paid a courtesy call on Alain St.Ange,the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture to touch base on new avenues of cooperation between Seychelles and Oman.

During the meeting Minister St.Ange said the MoU signed between Seychelles Tourism Academy and Oman Tourism College is dear to his Ministry, as it earmarks the Seychelles Tourism Academy’s position to reach out to more international students and promote the language lab, built within the precincts of the new academy. Minister St.Ange added that it would be a good idea for H.E. Maitha Saif Majid Al-Mahrouqi, the Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman to discuss the subject of air connectivity between Oman and Seychelles because that could be another area which Oman could consider to cooperate with Seychelles. The Under Secretary of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism said training is a key fundamental for her country.

Training in tourism related industry is strategic for our Ministry because greater emphasis is put on capacity building of its people. Oman is studying the Seychelles Tourism Academy intake proposal for its students. We believe the language lab experience will considerably help our students’’ H.E. Maitha Saif Majid Al-Mahrouqi, the Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman said.

On the question of air connectivity between Oman and Seychelles H.E. Maitha Saif Majod Al –Mahrouqi said her country has invested heavily on airlines to build a reputation as a strong competitive leader in Airline Industry. Oman, said she, is ‘’ looking in the possibility of a code share agreement with Seychelles’’.

‘’ Muscat International airport is undertaking a development project, the largest to ever be undertaken in Oman history. Expansion plan in three phase is under way at the airport which will boost capacity to 24, 36 and 40 million passengers as and when the demand increases. 2013, the airport registered 4, 773,856 passengers.’’ The Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman said.

Minister St.Ange said that the Middle East and the GCC Countries remain an important target market for Seychelles in the field of tourism. “The more we have air connectivity and the more we are seen to be cooperating, the better it is for us as a country dependent on tourism” Minister Alain St.Ange said.

Another issue tabled for discussion was the possibility for Seychelles to tap into Oman’s cruise liner industry. Aiming to be a cruise liner heaven, Oman fly and cruise packages out of Muscat is attracting more people to fly directly to Oman. H.E.  Maitha Saif Majod Al – Mahrouqi said Cruise liner is one the industry her government believes has huge potential to grow. She added Oman’s government invested massively to develop facilities in Salalah and Muscat Oman Cruise Port. Commenting on Minister’s proposal for Oman to work with Seychelles to develop cruising route that takes in the Seychelles as Oman develops its Cruise liner industry,  H.E. Maitha Saif Majod Al-Mahrouqi said it’s a proposal that she can discussed with her Ministry responsible for Ports.

In the Cultural domain, Minister St.Ange spoke about the annual Carnaval International de Victoria. He said that in 2015 the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria will celebrate its fifth anniversary. ‘’We’re planning a great event because in 2015 the UNWTO and the ICAO Ministerial Meeting for Tourism and for Transport Ministers will be held at the same time. This event as well as the CAF Ministerial event will bring the biggest block of African Ministers to Seychelles. “We will close the Ministerial meeting in the afternoon of the 24th April and this will coincide with the Grand opening of 2015 edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria, which will be held between the 24thand 26th April. It will be a golden opportunity for Seychelles to bring the biggest block of media on the Island” Minister St.Ange said as he invited Oman to be present in the Carnaval International de Victoria 2015 and to be counted as a country proud of its people and culture. “You can fly your flag as you put forward your Unique Selling Points” Minister St.Ange said to H.E. Maitha Saif Majid Al-Mahrouqi, the Under State Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman.

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