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Saint Ange Tourism Report 12th February 2018

February 13, 2018 Destination Seychelles No Comments Email Email

The Editorial this week addresses how the Indian Ocean region is making news for the wrong reasons. It touches the continuing Assumption Island saga and calls for more respect for the Seychellois People by holding a referendum on the military base issue. It also touches the Agalega Island debate and also the Maldives, where the Democratic norm is being challenged by the arrest of the Chief Justice, the Head of the third branch of Government. The Single Air Transport Market initiative for Africa is considered, as well as the rising operational cost for Seychelles Tourism.   Stand Alone articles include:-  1. Raffles Seychelles appoints Edouard Grosmangin as General Manager. 2. KENYA WELCOMES THE ARRIVAL OF ‘DOUBLE TREE BY HILTON‘ HOTELS IN AFRICA – Twin Centre option with Seychelles possible –  3. Laurier Eco-Hotel & Restaurant from strength to strength  4. New Members Only Club in Seychelles – Exclusive TGA Music Lounge. 6. Comoros welcomes the Clinton Foundation & the Mauritius Minister of Tourism.  7. Tourism: Magazine selects Top10 romantic destinations in Africa (Seychelles not listed but island’s idyllic photo used in article). 8. Six Senses Zil Pasyon adds Residences to Inventory. 9. Aviation: Africans Still Divided on Single Air Transport Market – Seychelles last year obliged when the African Union made demands even against its own citizen and should follow the call. 10. Seychelles showcased at the 2018 edition of the New York Times Travel Show. 11. Mauritius – the Gateway to Global Tourism. 12. Ghana to scale up Tourism revenues with the construction of iconic tower in Tema. 13. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.

Welcome to Edition #6 of 2018
Monday 12th February 2018

The Indian Ocean Region is dominating the news these days and Seychelles is right in the middle of it all with the proposal to facilitate the creation of a military base by India on its Assumption Island. This beautiful island is right on the door step of Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage site. Protests and petitions #SaveAldabra have been launched,  and it is very much the duty of every Seychellois to join the International Community and World Environment Groups to nip this proposal in the bud. A symbolic peaceful protest is set to be carried out everyday by the Clock Tower in the centre of Victoria to urge Government to listen to its people and to preserve our invaluable natural resource. These protests are said to be continuing until the State of the Nation Address by President Danny Faure.

If the Assumption Island Military Base is for Seychelles we do not need any agreement or lease document with India. We only need a proposal from India for what will be termed ‘foreign aid’ package. 

The Little Turtle of Assumption
“People of Seychelles, It was your duty to save environment’s Beauty!”
Credit: Facebook

Assumption Island is just next door to
Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mauritius is also raising the tempo for their island of Agalega, where plans are in place to construct a three kilometre airport for the 300 inhabitants of the Island, or for another rumoured military base. Similar to Seychellois at the moment, Mauritians are up in arms over the prospect of losing another one of their precious islands.

Do we, the People of Seychelles, deserve a say in what happens to our islands? Of course we do. A referendum is needed today. The links below show just how much coverage this topic is currently getting on global media:

– Article published in India pushing Seychelles to remove hurdles on the Assumption Island deal:-

Why Seychelles Has Been ‘Very Slow’ in Removing Hurdles for India’s Assumption Island Project – The Wire English | DailyHunt Lite http://dhunt.in/3nj2c?ss=wsp&s=wa

– An interesting report by BBC Radio on the Assumption Island saga.

BBC Radio 4 – From Our Own Correspondent, Invisible Scars (12 minutes in the interview is Seychelles) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qh8y1

– Two reports on the Agalega Island of Mauritius show that there are more questions than answers on the Assumption Island

Assumption Island right on the door step of Aldabra
may now have a super power military base on it

Maldives

The State of Emergency is Maldives is also making news. Political instability and tourism do not go hand in hand, but the Maldives Ministry of Tourism issued a statement, which highlights that all tourism related businesses will be operating as usual. It also states that the State of Emergency does not force any restrictions on traveling to the Maldives and airports and all resorts in the country shall remain open and in full operation. More from Maldives, the Chief Justice and another Judge therefrom were arrested mere hours after the Government declared a State of Emergency, prompting many a raised eyebrow. The Judiciary is a needed watchdog and political interference will always shock the free world and the fragile tourism industry.

 

Tourism remains a volatile industry, and both Seychelles and Maldives are in the news for the wrong reasons; both Islands can be negatively impacted by all the negative publicity they are accruing.

 

Africa remains undecided about the Single Air Transport Market initiative. There is little to no tourism without adequate air-access and Africa is a Continent that suffers from this shortfall. Seychelles was so far not listed as a country that had embraced this call for Africa by Africa, even though it showed last year in the UNWTO saga that it abides to decisions by the African Union, regardless of whether its sovereignty is consequently threatened.

The Tourism Industry of Seychelles continues to seek clarity in the increased operating costs it is facing. Today, more than ever before, the hoteliers are imploring the authorities to appreciate that they are competing not with the hotel next door, but with the different regions that continue to attract holiday makers in search of a tropical vacation. Operating costs remain a key determining factor in what can be offered and also how destinations are featured in Tour Operator programs, which is where some are seen to be pricing themselves out of the market. The call today is for a two-tier VAT where a lower fee is applicable for the room component of the package.

It is important to again today acknowledge all who are diligently re-posting the Saint Ange Tourism Report weekly. Our Report ranges far and wide, from Australia to the Americas, from the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands to Africa & Asian and Greater Europe, with your continued support, which is greatly appreciated. You are helping us to grow from strength to strength with each new Edition.

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