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Saint Ange Tourism Report – 5th Edition

July 18, 2017 Destination Seychelles No Comments Email Email

Together with the NewsWires which are faithfully reposting our newsletters weekly, we are growing stronger and are playing our part to bolster the tourism industry.

Thank you all so very much for your feedback and messages of support; they are greatly appreciated. Among the varied suggestions arising from last week’s newsletter is the proposal for a Tourism Conference, an idea which I have been toying with ever since.

Alain St.Ange

The discussion in last week’s newsletter regarding the proposed ring-road from Anse Lazio to Mont Plaisir on Praslin sparked a lot of outrage and support for the Talma family. Other feedback from last week’s Issue consisted of more shared stories of the struggles being experienced and encountered by those involved in the tourism industry of Seychelles.

In particular, the question of staffing generated quite a reaction. Debates around the issue of expatriate employees in Seychelles tends to polarise the public. It cannot be denied that the curtailing of expatriate staffing will inevitably impact the standard of service and also the success of many licensed operations in the field. As a Nation so dependent on tourism, we cannot afford to taint the tourism industry with political agendas.

Others wrote in to share their concerns regarding the potential introduction of fast food chains in our humble town of Victoria. Many wondered who was behind this ambitious venture.  We sympathise with the traditional takeaway operators who work hard to keep Seychellois traditional cuisine alive, and whose livelihoods would undoubtedly be threatened by the arrival of the flashy neon lights.

Some readers raised their qualms about the costs involved in construction on the islands of Praslin and La Digue. The cost to dock to offload construction material needs to be re-examined by the relevant authorities because it is passed on to the Diguois. It is said that on La Digue SCR30,000 is payable per day for a landing craft carrying building materials docked next to the fuel station. This cost is exorbitant for the men and women trying to repair their homes or to build a little establishment for their family’s livelihood. This is a real concern for those living on these islands, and it is something which needs to be addressed.

The Seychelles Tourism Board met recently and discussed the way forward for tourism. Their forecast is brave, but they know, as we all know, that they remain highly dependent on visibility, which is key for Seychelles as a tourism destination to continue to remain relevant. Press coverage does not happen by itself; it requires work and dedication by those responsible for putting Seychelles on the map. Now that the catalyst for bringing considerable press coverage to Seychelles for the past six years, the annual Carnival, has been discontinued, the trade appears to be blindly hoping for a miracle.

The Saint Ange Consultancy is proud to announce that we will be branching into Environmental Consultancies. The Seychelles, like other small island states rely heavily on tourism, which remains the main pillar of our economy. If we were to ask the many visitors that flock to island destinations like Seychelles the reason they chose to holiday in these parts, the majority would say ‘to admire the rich natural beauty which surrounds’. Therefore, it is clear that the environmental wellbeing of small island nations remain crucial to the tourism industry.

Ameer Ebrahim

Ameer Ebrahim, a Seychellois Marine Scientist and current PhD Candidate with the University of Queensland, has been selected to deal with any Environmental queries that may reach Saint Ange Consultancy. Ameer has previously worked with the City Council in Australia in developing a mangrove rehabilitation project, and has gained valuable experience in mangrove rehabilitation and protection. Furthermore, he has worked alongside Australia’s leading shark scientist, Dr. Jonathan Werry, for a period of two years, gaining insights into shark morphometrics, tagging, DNA sampling and monitoring. Locally, Ameer has completed some major consultancies in the recent past. He was part of the Consultancy team that drafted the National Protected Areas Act byelaws and regulations for the Seychelles Government. He is also working with a team of scientists in developing fish monitoring baselines and training of island staff at four protected Outer Islands of the Seychelles.

As sustainable tourism becomes an ever-emerging concept, we are confident that Ameer will be a vital asset to our expanding team. Ameer can be contacted via email at

Joe & Maryse Pool are the proud owners of the lovely Bambous River Lodge of Seychelles

Joe & Maryse Pool

Bambous River Lodge is located on the banks of the Bambous river, situated at Mount Simpson Bel Ombre, on the north coast of the main island of Mahé.

This very private and quaint Lodge is situated close to Marie Laure beach and is just a few minutes’ walk from the extremely popular and world-famous Beau Vallon Beach, boasting the white sands and turquoise blue water of the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles International Airport is situated at approximately 13 kilometres or 8 miles from their location.

This newly-built establishment features seven spacious luxury holiday apartments. All units are equipped with a fully fitted kitchen, living space and a private veranda. Bedrooms are all fitted with air-conditioning and a ceiling fan. Each bedroom has its own en-suite bathroom comprising of a large glass shower enclosure, water closet and wash-hand basin. All bedrooms have a built-in wardrobe, with a built-in digital wall safe, and a 32″ flat-screen TV. In addition, the establishment offers free Wifi. Guests can enjoy sun bathing in the privacy of their swimming pool, relaxing in the charming gazebo area and grilling fish on the Barbeque.

Joe and Maryse Pool are currently setting up a main kitchen and dining area to provide an English breakfast on request in the near future.


Congratulations to Joe and Maryse Pool. This Lodge is a real home away from home.

Villa Bambous

Owner Manager is new approach for ‘Villa Authentique’ Guest House of La Digue

View of part of the block of Villa Authentique Rooms

Bertine AhKon is the proud owner of Villa Authentique, the 18-room complex at Anse Reunion, La Digue, and has recently retaken management control of the property.

Bertine AhKon, the proud owner of Villa Authentique

During my visit to La Digue Island last week, I was privileged to see members of the AhKon family hard at work, striving to ensure that their personal touch was evident throughout the establishment.

“Villa Authentique is a guest house that captures perfectly all the ingredients of la Digue’s unique way of life and proposes a memorable fusion of exceptional nature, heartfelt hospitality and touch of true Creole culture” Bertine AhKon says in her brochure before adding that Villa Authentique is nestled in its very own private corner of one of Seychelles’ modest traditional islands, the timeless La Digue Island.

LGBT tourists welcomed with open arms in Seychelles

“Tourism for All” was Alain St.Ange’s personal call during the recent UNWTO election campaign for the post of Secretary-General. It is today a must that our tourism industry be accessible to all without any form of discrimination. Lobby Groups are working tirelessly to emphasize the importance of RESPECT. However, tourism destinations need to embrace this notion whole-heartedly and the industry needs to play their part.

One notable group in Seychelles is ‘LGBTI Sey’; it is striving to make Seychelles a country where all people are accepted and affirmed, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT Seychelles Ronny Arnephy

Ronny Arnephy and his associates are being encouraged to work with the tourism industry and to get involved with Destination Management Companies in welcoming the LGBT community members to the islands. Moreover, the International LGBT Body should offer the needed hand of support to the Seychelles LGBT to get the group moving in tourism.

The following excerpt derives from an article published by eTN News –

“The African tourism world became larger and more beautiful for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) travellers. Seychelles’ National Assembly has passed an amendment to the penal code that decriminalizes the act of sodomy. The outspoken Seychelles Minister of Culture and Tourism Alain St.Ange took this opportunity and told eTurboNews on the sideline of the ongoing FESTPAC festival of Pacific Island Cultures in Guam. He said: “Seychelles welcomes tourists with open arms. This include tourists regardless of origin, race, religious believe what includes sexual orientation. Seychelles is a rainbow nation and had demonstrated this with the United Nations of Culture and the recent carnival and this move to decriminalize sodomy and respect the rights of people is seen as a positive move for the islands.” spokesperson Scott Foster said: “We welcome Seychelles’ stand on welcoming LGBT travellers. This is a good move and a global example of how a society opposed to non-traditional way of life can be tolerant and welcoming.”

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is the leading global travel network dedicated to connecting and educating LGBTQ travellers and the businesses that welcome and support them along the way. IGLTA when contacted would surely welcome for Seychelles to become the second African member, after South Africa, to join the prestigious Association.

Recently, IGLTA concluded a successful summit in Capetown. The Honourable Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism for South Africa, was a host and delivered a keynote speech. Mr. Hanekom also attended the Seychelles Carnival last year and repeated his call to show all travellers a big welcome. Similarly, Alain St.Ange, the then Minister of tourism and Culture, also expressed his support for a tourism industry free from any form of discrimination. The Carnival was used as a platform to unite the world.

Out of all the countries in Africa, South Africa and the French territory Reunion are known to have legalised same sex marriages and extend needed protections for the LGBT community. Now Seychelles can be added to a list of countries where homosexuality has been decriminalized. The same cannot be said unfortunately for other African countries, including Uganda and Tanzania, where people face life imprisonment for homosexual acts. It is hoped that Seychelles can continue moving forward and strengthen its tourism industry further by welcoming LGBT travellers onto its sandy shores.

William Rose, the Seychellois Ferry Operator who stood the test of time

William Rose of Praslin

Recognising a tourism operator who has been faithful to the industry is always important. William Rose is one such Seychellois who started small and grew to become a loyal and integral part of the Seychelles Tourism Industry. Punctuality has been the guiding principle set by William Rose from day one. His boats are all clean and crewed by professional and very attentive Seychellois. The Cat Rose ferries are today an integral part of Seychelles tourism and he is seen as an important part of the tourism chain. Tour Operators set many an itinerary based on the William Rose ferry schedule and day excursions in Seychelles programmed by the local DMCs rely a lot on the professionalism and punctuality of the Cat Rose Ferry Service.

He has today added small, purpose-built fast cats, which were made in Australia, as well as a locally manufactured schooner, ‘Curieuse’, to his fleet.

One of the fast cats zipping between Praslin and La Digue

As we say Congratulations to a successful Praslinois who has his island’s tourism industry at heart, we know that William Rose and his family stand with the country to help steer tourism to be what Seychelles and the Seychellois expect it, and need it, to be.

Experience the high life with new Air Seychelles business class bidding service

Air Seychelles’ Business Class Seats

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has launched HMUpgrade, an innovative bidding service offering travellers the opportunity to upgrade to Business Class without breaking the bank.

Through the new service, guests can either submit an offer by going directly to “Book” option on and selecting “Upgrade Flight” or, upon receiving email notification about the potential availability of Business Class seats seven days before departure, directing them to a special page on the Air Seychelles website, where they can place a bid for an upgrade on each leg of their flight, provided the guest’s email address had been included in their booking.

Selection criteria will take into account the bid amount as well as other criteria, including the amount of seats available in Business and the number of bids that have already been placed.

Winners are notified of success 24 hours prior to the flight and the winner’s credit card on file will be charged with the corresponding amount and will receive an updated e-ticket. If the bid is not accepted, passengers will fly in Economy Class as planned and will not incur any additional cost.

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said, “We are excited about the launch of HMUpgrade, which provides travellers with a fantastic opportunity to treat themselves to a Business Class upgrade. From completely lie-flat seats that let you sleep in comfort on our Airbus A330 aircraft to à la carte menus, priority boarding and check-in, and access to our airport lounges, our Business Class offers many reasons to sample its service.

“We place a lot of effort and hard work on providing an outstanding Business Class service and are delighted to open up our finest cabins to more travellers with this convenient new bidding service.”

Radisson Blu of Mauritius strikes a positive cord with visitors with their ‘swimming platform’

Swimming Platform of Radisson Blu

In the heart of the residential park of Azuri facing the Roches-Noires lagoon is the spectacular location of the Radisson Blu of Mauritius. The hotel is benefiting from this well-preserved and maintained coast with a forest of mangroves.

The hotel has introduced an innovative swimming platform that has excited the tourists visiting the establishment. Any initiative in tourism which creates a potential photo opportunity is a successful one, and the Radisson Blu swimming platform is one such success story. Pictures of the platform in the clean and clear water is making news and attracting attention right across the world.

Mauritius remaining visible through the world of events as Heritage Resorts participates in the 29th BMW International Open 2017 in Munich Germany

Heritage Resorts of Mauritius in Munich

Events make news and maintain much needed visibility within the tourism industry. This is a fact that Mauritius Tourism is grappling with because it is through strong visibility that tourism destinations stay relevant.

Chapeau to Heritage Resorts who were in Munich Germany for the 2017 BMW International Classic. Germany is more than ever a strong tourism source market for the region and the push by Mauritius has not gone unnoticed by would be holiday makers, the press and the tour operators.

Heritage Resorts was present from the 21st to the 25th June in the Sponsors Village of the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried of Pulheim in Germany. This annual tournament was established in 1989 with a budget of two million Euros. The BMW International Open has since been staged on the different courses surrounding the city of Munich, home of BMW.

This is the only European Tour played on German soil and has attracted players like Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer. This tournament remains very popular with some 64,500 golf fans coming together to follow their favourite golfer on the course. Jaco Van Zyl, the Heritage Resorts’ professional Ambassador, was present for the BMW International Open 2017 and finished with a score of -8 in 20th place. He has been the Ambassador since 2016.

Congratulations to Mauritius and to Heritage Resorts for thinking outside the box and making their mark in the industry.

Reunion Island – second year running with record arrival numbers for the island tourism industry

Reunion Island of the Indian Ocean (Photo ©Serge Gelabert / IRT)

Réunion Tourisme (IRT) and the Réunion Région published their achievements in terms of visitor arrivals.  As a whole, Reunion Tourism has performed well and confirmed that the consolidation started in 2015.

Willy Etheve, the Director of IRT (Reunion Tourism), said at the tourism briefing that in 2016 Reunion received 458 261 tourists, an increase of 7,5 % over 2015.

On his part Didier Robert, the President of the Reunion Region said that the decrease in visitor numbers in 2012, 2013 and 2014 now seemed very far, and noted that it was pleasing to see the tourism results today because it was validation that his actions and drive was working.

For Reunion Island, the visitor arrival numbers are interesting as they show a real bounce back from the three previous years.

Reunion Island is also set to grow cruise ship tourism with an objective announced by Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla islands, to reach 50,000 passengers by 2020.

Four Seasons welcomes back Edward Linsley as new General Manager on Desroches Island

Edward Linsley the GM of Four Seasons Desroches Island

World traveller and veteran, Four Seasons executive prepares island paradise for anticipated opening in early 2018. A keen sailor who is no stranger to life on secluded islands, Edward Linsley has circled the globe, touching down on all seven continents, including a recent trip to Antarctica.  Now, as he prepares to open the new Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, he is focussing on getting to know this remote paradise, and looking forward to introducing guests to its unique charms.

“Ed is not only passionate about the hospitality industry, but also has the ability to inspire and takes a genuine interest in the communities where he works, connect with people and work towards common goals for the location and the business,” notes Simon Casson, President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa.  “We are delighted to welcome Ed back to the Four Seasons family.”

Ed originally joined Four Seasons in 1990, and quickly made his mark in progressive management positions in both urban hotels and island resorts over a period of 21 years, notably in Nevis, Hawaii and Bali.  Time away from the company included general manager positions in Bali and The Nam Hai in Vietnam (which is now a Four Seasons Resort), and most recently, he was managing director at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands.

A lover of fine wines and of art, Ed looks forward to adding local pieces and flavours to his art collection and exploring the islands and waters of his new home in Seychelles.

About Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island –

Anticipated to open in early 2018, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island will offer exclusive access to world-class adventure and rejuvenation in a secluded island paradise.  Lush tropical forest surrounds white sand beaches and clear waters ideal for diving and fishing, while rustic luxury-style pool villas and residences offer relaxing respite with every modern convenience.  An organic spa, an onsite tortoise sanctuary and abundant wildlife offer myriad opportunities to engage and reconnect.

The new resort joins sister property Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, as well as Four Seasons Indian Ocean island experiences in Mauritius and the Maldives.

Congo Brazzaville is organising its tourism meeting to reset its course

Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Leisure in the Congo is organising a Tourism Meeting on 17th and 18th July to re-look at Tourism in Congo Brazzaville.

This important tourism meeting of the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure of the Republic of Congo will be held under the patronage of His Excellency President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO of the Republic of Congo.

Africa as a continent is more realistic today than ever before in the understanding that it needs its Member States to be proactive in the planning for a consolidated tourism industry. Congo Brazzaville is leading the way and this meeting will see the Republic’s private Sector sit with the public service and tourism experts to plan the way forward and develop strategies that will benefit the country and its people.

Congratulations to Congo and to Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault.

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