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Saint Ange Tourism Report Ed #26 of Vol #3 Monday 12th August 2019

August 13, 2019 Destination Africa / Seychelles No Comments Email Email

The Editorial this week highlights:- a. Tourism must be taken seriously. b. New Newspaper for Seychelles being launched very soon. c. Allen Ernesta, the Seychelles Artist who left us too soon. d. Change Maker in Tourism Award – a real honour . e. Speaking at the AFRICAN RESILIENCE SUMMIT in Johannesburg, South Africa. f. Confirmed to be at the 3rd Travellinks Conference holds in Canada. g. Seychelles and its proposed military base – does it go with the Blue Economy?. h. Culture will be taking centre stage at La Digue for 15th August Celebrations. Stand alone articles this week:- 1. Mason’s Travel continues to invest to meet the demands of the discerning travellers to Seychelles. 2. Creole Travel Services of Seychelles working on the Groups & Incentives market. 3. Environment and militarisation – a whale shark is accidentally killed by a war ship in Seychelles waters. 4. Air Seychelles launches new Airbus A320neo, and looks forward to its second. 5. The youngest sing for the oldest in our society. 6. Seychellois brand KATITI to be showcased for the first time at London’s Africa Fashion Week. 7. Lufthansa expands long-haul tourist program from Frankfurt and Munich -popular holiday islands of Barbados and Mauritius makes the list.  8. Seychelles to shine at the Dubai Expo 2020. 9. Seychellois musician Patrick Victor is appointed as honorary cultural ambassador. 10. Seychellois musician in Australia releases 3rd album as a celebration of the strength of women. 11. 4 stamp collections in Seychelles commemorating world sporting events. 12. Potential of Seychellois youth appreciated by German Football Giant . 13. Tourism bodies tackle ‘biggest single threat to tourism’ in South Africa. 14. Congratulations to Sister Claire now 99 years old. 15. British Africa or South America? African Tourism Board welcomes St. Helena. 16. Closing Notes.

Alain St.Ange

Welcome to this 26th edition of Vol 3 of the Saint Ange Tourism Report of 2019.

Tourism must be taken seriously

Praslin and La Digue Islands will see new challenges soon if landing fee proposals become a reality. So many islanders will feel the repercussions of this added cost set to be a burden on all visitors to these islands. This is being seen as a way for Government to take a greater share of the tourism dollar that could otherwise trickle down to those working and living on tourism on these islands.

Tourism can continue to boost employment and it can continue to help to strengthen the Seychelles economy, but this will happen only when tourism is allowed to grow and for the Seychellois as a people to be able to work to consolidate it. The motive behind any political drive to further tax the tourism industry could be seen as a way to help the struggling State Coffers facing the islands today, but the time to think outside the box is now so important. The time is to restructure the Government Institutions and diminish costs being paid for at the end of the day by the tourism industry. Government and the country will not realise its tourism potential by only pushing cost upwards, this may have an adverse effect when eventually we see that we have priced Seychelles out of the market.

Seychelles is at the top on any rankings of most beautiful islands in the world, but Seychelles is also facing many challenges in many areas of tourism compared with similar sun, sea and sand destinations. Seychelles has undisputed competitive advantages as a year round tourism destination with real potential for growth. Seychelles welcomes everyone with entry permits granted on arrival at the airport making it a unique visa free destination, but Seychelles is already considered expensive as a tourism destination. Services such as food, electricity and water are expensive and such costs are always passed on to visitors. Banking on only the Business or First Class passengers will not keep planes flying to Seychelles. They need the economy passengers and lots of them to ensure viability of the route. These passengers are more price conscious than anyone can imagine.

Seychelles needs to continue to encourage its Seychellois Islanders to get involved in all facets of its tourism industry. This is the only way to get everyone to work for, and to defend the industry that has become the pillar of the island’s economy. But operating costs must go down before we see the real potential of more islanders standing behind their tourism industry become a reality.

The first really easy manoeuvre by Government is to fast track cost cutting measures and not to try to just increase taxes on its tourism industry.

New Newspaper for Seychelles being launched very soon

Herve Anthony
The Islander Weekly & The Islander Online

Seychelles will very soon see a new newspaper hit the shops. Herve Anthony is the Editor of “The Islander Weekly” and its online version “The Islander Online”.

The Directors of the new publication are proud to say that they intend to ensure that character assassination and personal attacks will not be entertained in their columns and articles. They have reiterated that they prefer instead to raise the concerns of the Seychellois Islanders and the challenges they are facing in their daily lives as they speak about aspirations for a better Seychelles.

Herve Anthony,  a resident of La Misere was born on 1st February 1966. He studied at La Misere Primary School, Seychelles College, NYS and Seychelles Polytechnic.
After his studies, Herve joined the Land Transport Division and later worked at PUC. He was also a DJ for a number of years. Herve Anthony was the President for the Seychelles  Boxing  Federation and Vice President for African Boxing Federation and Zone 4 of the World of Boxing.
He was also the Vice Presidential candidate for PDM in the 2016 elections.
Herve Anthony is currently  the Vice President for Seychelles Labour Unionas well as an Executive Committee Member of the newly formed political party,  One Seychelles.
Allen Ernesta, the Seychelles Artist who left us too soon
Allen Ernesta
On a Friday but a couple of weeks ago I travelled to Praslin Island on the 4.30 Cat Cocos fast ferry and enjoyed for the full hour the company of Allen Ernesta. We both stood outside the Wheelhouse enjoying the fresh air and the surprising calm seas after the rather rough spell on the previous days. We chatted about the arts and Seychelles. Little could have prepared me for the news the following Tuesday morning when I learnt with sadness of his passing. A great and talented Seychellois Islander. An artist who dedicated time and energy to get more young Seychellois to follow their passion. On behalf of the Saint Ange Tourism Report we express our sincere sympathy to his family and to his many friends.
Change Maker in Tourism Award – a real honour
Receiving the “Change Maker in Tourism Award” was a great honour

From eTN News:- At the ongoing World Tourism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa,  African Tourism Board president Alain St. Ange was honored with the IIPT Change Maker in Tourism Award for Africa,  The award was presented by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT).

St. Ange attended the World Tourism Conference and spoke at a panel entitled “How to Plan for Resiliency” The African Tourism Board had formed a rapid response team for travel and tourism under the leadership of Dr. Peter Tarlow of African Tourism Board includes access to crisis responses as a benefit for their members. ATB recently assisted Uganda during a crisis and is working with Global Rescue on an African coverage plan for tourists.

Commenting on the award,  IIPT Founder and President Lou D’Amore told eTN:  “IIPT is most proud to announce that Alain St. Ange has been named the recipient of the IIPT Change Maker in Tourism Award for Africa.

As Minister of Tourism and Culture for Seychelles, St. Ange conceived the “Carnaval International de Victoria” bringing nations from around the world together to parade their cultures in a manner that globally promoted values of understanding and multiculturalism and increasing visitor arrivals year-on-year by 12% to Seychelles.”

D’Amore continued to explain: “This award will be awarded to the individual who has made a significant change towards tourism either from within or outside the travel sector. An individual who has gone beyond the call of duty and spear-headed a new idea or product that brings change to the tourism industry in Africa.”

The World Tourism Conference is organized by the  New York-based African Travel Association. African Tourism Board is a partner in the event.

eTurboNews is a media partner with the African Travel Association and the African Tourism Board

Alain St. Ange named as IIPT’s ‘Change Maker’ of the year
The Aviation, Travel and Conservation News wrote:-

At the just concluded African Resilience Summit in Johannesburg, organized by IIPT and the Africa Travel Association, was former Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Hon. Alain St. Ange, named as recipient of the organization’s annual ‘Change Maker Award‘.

The prestigious award recognizes the contributions St. Ange has made while in office but also ever since, as he remains one of the most engaged individuals in Africa, promoting travel to and across the continent.

Said IIPT: ‘This award will be awarded to the individual or entrepreneur who has made a significant change towards tourism either from within or outside the travel sector. An individual who has gone beyond the call of duty and spear-headed a new idea or product that brings change to the tourism industry in South Africa or to the continent of Africa‘

Congratulations to Alain St. Ange for the award and the recognition which goes along with it. No doubt one of the most visible tourism ministers ever, not just in the Seychelles but across Africa, will it no doubt help Alain to redouble his efforts and remain the change maker and disrupter he has become, driving the tourism industry forward.
Speaking at the AFRICAN RESILIENCE SUMMIT in Johannesburg, South Africa

Just a couple of weeks ago, the world of tourism moved its attention to Johannesburg in South Africa for the AFRICAN RESILIENCE SUMMIT. I attended the summit and took to the stage alongside Naledi Khabo, CEO, ATA (Africa Tourism Association) and Daniela Wagner, Group Business Development Director, Jacobs Media Group among so many Tourism industry Leaders.
It was evident after all the deliberations that African tourism can play a significant role in the economic development of countries on the continent, while also battling to save one of its most precious natural resources, wildlife. There are clear needs for the countries on the continent to embrace crisis preparedness, despite the frequency of events, countries must learn to systemically plan as well as develop long term strategies for destination diversification, ending wildlife crime and addressing the impacts of climate change to ensure sustainable economic growth. The summit also highlighted issues for consideration and action, starting with understanding crisis management and preparedness, the value of tourism as an economic driver, the connection between tourism and conservation and finally addressing the “continental blur”. Not everything that happens on the continent, happens in each of the 54 countries.

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Co-Chair, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, Chairman, Resilience Council, former Secretary General, UNWTO were together with Gillian Saunders of Gillian Saunders Consultancy in a very informative session. I was on the panel SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT – how to plan for resiliency with Dr Lee Miles,  Simon Hardern, CEO, Kenyon International Emergency Services and Magcino Gule, Sr. Manager, Travel Sure, Old Mutual Limited.

This panel discussion looked at what constitutes a crisis, how to prepare for it and what are the essential things to know when in Africa? One thing everyone agreed upon when talking about preparedness is that planning is essential. Drafting a plan is the result of the exercise but the actual planning and training are the critical ingredients, on the continent it is a bottom up process. With various types of crisis from man-made to natural disasters, what are the key elements to ensuring a country or a business are ready for when they are confronted by crisis? Are governments connecting the dots?
Confirmed to be at the 3rd Travellinks Conference holds in Canada

From Official Press Reports:- 

All is set for the third edition of the International Conference on Business Tourism and Exhibition holding this month in Winnipeg, Canada. The conference will hold this month from the 18th to the 20th at Canad Inns Destination Centre, Polo Park, Winnipeg, Canada.

According to the organisers of the conference, plans have reached an advance stage for the three-day event.

This year’s theme is: ‘ Precision and Performance: Key factor in sustaining tourism business’.   The MICE show will host trade buyers and sellers through different meetings.

According to the organisers and Managing Partner, Travellinks Holiday and Education Services, Canada, Mr Gbenga Oluboye, “We are expecting captains of the industries in the allied tourism sector from Nigeria and other African countries to participate in the conference.”

The organisers revealed that one of those experts that will be attending the MICE show include Alain St, Ange; former Seychelles Minister for Tourism; Civil Aviation; Ports and Marine and authority in global tourism outlooks and projections.

Seychelles and its proposed military base – does it go with the Blue Economy?

The recent meeting between President Danny Faure and the NGO Preserve Seychelles has shown different take from the same meeting. The NGO Preserve Seychelles fighting for the islands to remain true to its environment protection engagements and for Seychelles to remain friends of all and enemy of none have posted disagreements with the account published by Official Sources after the meeting.

Preserve Seychelles writes:-

“The ‘Preserve Seychelles’ Executive Committee and its members are extremely disappointed by the press statement dated 07 August 2019 from the Office of the President. This statement followed a meeting with the President on Tuesday 6th August 2019. The Chairman of Preserve Seychelles, Mr Terry Sandapin, presented the President with a copy of the Association’s Constitution and an original copy of the report on the fact finding mission to the Islands of Astove and Assomption on 21st July 2019.

The report contains the reality on the ground on both Astove and Assomption and other observation by the three men delegation from ‘Preserve Seychelles’. ‘Preserve Seychelles’ had also included several recommendations in the said report.

However, it is now clear that the President has not taken any of our recommendations into consideration and he has decided to press on with the construction of military facilities on Assomption Island, which is stated in his press release dated 07 August 2019 (copy enclosed). ‘Preserve Seychelles’ is totally against the construction of military facilities of any nature on Assomption Island. We had recommended a coast guard observation post on Astove Island to be manned by a small team of Seychelles coast guard officers.

It is now clear that the President will go to any length to have military facilities on Assomption Island, and this should also be made clear to the President and everyone concerned, that ‘Preserve Seychelles’ will exhaust all possible avenues to ensure that this does not and will never happen!

In the spirit of transparency and clarity, ‘Preserve Seychelles’, will be holding a Press Conference in the coming days to present the report officially to the media and the public at large, as well as answer any questions that might arise!”

We have been able to get series of photos of a Whale Shark accidentally killed by a visiting warship. This shows the vulnerability of our flora and fauna. As a country saying it is spearheading the Blue Economy Concept is it serious when Seychelles is looking at a military base on the door step of Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Preserve Seychelles is made up of patriotic Seychellois and friends of the cause who stood protesting in Victoria week after week when Seychelles was hell bent of giving its Assumption Island away. Today the same protest call is heard in every household across the islands and the Seychellois Islanders want to be remembered as good custodians of what we have been blessed with.

Nothing should be committed by Seychelles until the next Presidential elections are held. The People of Seychelles must have a say, and they will speak through the ballot box. I can confirm that “One Seychelles” as a Politically Party totally rejects the construction of any Military Base on Assumption Island, and that we will be working alongside Seychellois Islanders to withdraw from any agreement made for a military base, and will dismantle any military facility that will hurt our island’s ecofriendly stand and push us to take sides in Super Powers superiority agenda.

Culture will be taking centre stage at La Digue for 15th August Celebrations

The 2019 Roman Catholic celebrations at the La Digue is again upon us and hotels and guest houses on the island are reporting ‘stop sales’ with more and more islanders now looking for last minutes possibilities to book they stay. This important day in the Seychelles calendar for the Roman Catholics Church is part and parcel of our culture and should continue to be celebrated as such.

We take this opportunity to wish every Diguois and the People of Seychelles as a whole a Happy 15th August Celebrations.
It is important to again 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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