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Seychelles says the ‘Door to door’ visit of tourism establishments on Praslin Island is a worthwhile exercise

April 1, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Seychelles-TravelThe second day of ‘door to door’ visit of tourism establishments on Praslin Island by Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture accompanied by Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism, Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board, Rose Mary Hoareau, the Director of Marketing at the Tourism Board and Sinha Levkovic, the Director Standards and Regulations at the Department of Tourism proved to be interesting and opened the needed dialogue on a one to one basis instead of just general meetings with hotel General Managers.

PhotoGrid_1396008740813 (1)This new approach was started last Thursday where a series of hotels, large and small were visited and of Friday Minister St.Ange and his delegation visited Amitie Chalets, Le Tropique Villa, Ocean Jewels, Villa Aya, Villa Cocotier Self-Catering, Loulou Bungalows, Villa de Mer, La Modestie, Villas des Alizes, Dhevatara Beach Hotel, Residence Praslinoise, Indian Ocean Lodge, Palm Beach Hotel and Britannia Guest House.

When he started the series of visits Minister Alain St.Ange said to the first hotel he stopped at: “It was time for us to break away from our traditional approaches of holding meetings with big groups of hotels. Normally we rallied every-one in a room to listen to the trade, but few spoke and we often left the meetings unsure if we hd heard the views and opinions of everyone. We knew that we needed to hear of not only your successes, but also hear firsthand of your challenges. We felt it was time to dedicate more time than ever before to the industry and meet you on a more personalised basis. Seeing properties are one thing, knowing properties is as important for everyone’’. Minister St.Ange said.

As he ended the first session in a series he will be undertaking on Praslin Island, Minister St.Ange said that he had now been updated on the prevailing situation of tourism on Praslin Island directly from the horses mouth, not second hand, but straight from the owners of small ‘home grown hotels’ network and from General Managers of the larger establishments. “We have heard of aspirations of our small hoteliers. We heard how they see the bureaucratic structures in place in different departments that creates more costs for small hotel owners. We were guided to see first hand how central management decisions were too often too distant from reality on the ground” Minister St.Ange said.

The Minister for Tourism told the press on Praslin that he was ending the first in the series of meetings on Praslin happy and that he had seen positive results from the call by the President of the Republic for Seychelles to claim back its tourism industry. “We have more Seychellois than ever before joining the tourism industry. We have seen the small Seychellois owned establishments are promoting a creole welcome and they are displaying a style of tourism that is uniquely Seychelles. It is very clear that as a Government we need to work tirelessly to encourage more Seychellois to enter our world of tourism. This will ensure the industry that remains the pillar of our economy is consolidated for the long term because everyone will defend and protect the tourism industry” Minister St.Ange said.

With exception of three establishments that are experiencing challenges with their occupancy level, every other establishment visited were recording excellent occupancy level. The hotels and guest house pointed out difficulties in recruitment of workforce, they also appealed for a simplified procedures for recruitment foreign workers and a re-look at applicable fees among other challenges affecting their operations.

Minister St.Ange assured the Praslin Island Hoteliers that he would be back in about two weeks to continue his tour of hotels to enable to meet every hotelier of the island individually. He also assured everyone that their different points raised would be raised with the different agencies and departments concerned.

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