As part of its effort to ensure that visitors receive the best possible service from operators and following a series of discussions with the different partners, the Seychelles Tourism department held a meeting with commission agents earlier this week.The aim was to discuss the new procedure for application and renewal of licenses as well as the revised license conditions and Code of Conduct.
The meeting held on February 6 at the ex-assembly hall, National Cultural Centre was chaired by the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune.
Also present were Colonel Andre Ciseau from the Seychelles Ports Authority and representatives from the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA) and the department of Police.
Mrs. Lafortune informed those present that as from March 1, 2017, commission agents will be required, subsequent to applying to the SLA, to undertake an interview at the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine in order to ensure that they are aware of the nature of business of commission agents and the ethical and professional conduct that is expected of them when discharging their duties.
Judy Sinon from SLA said the conditions of license will also be revised as from March 1 and agents shall be issued with new conditions.
She added that the conditions must be abided to by each commission agent of which a breach of condition will lead to action being taken against the agent by the SLA.
These conditions include disclosing contracts between the operators and agents to the authority, wearing a visible badge as obtained from the SLA and treating clients with respect.
Mrs. Sinon reminded them that as commission agents, they are not to transfer clients nor accept any remuneration on behalf of the operators.
To note, prior to obtaining the new conditions of license, all commission agents will have to undergo a refresher course that is to be conducted by the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports And Marine in the coming few weeks. Such course will, from now on, become a requirement prior for the renewal of licenses and commission agents will have to satisfy the ministry that they are fit and proper to conduct such services.
Furthermore, Bernice Senaratne from the tourism department informed commission agents of the new Code of Conduct indicating that they are to ensure they provide a good service to clients.
She added that all commission agents will have to treat clients with courtesy, being sensitive to their cultural background as well as treat other commission agents and operators within the tourism sector with respect.
The police department represented by Assistant Superintendent Wilson Denis, further assured commission agents of police presence in order to support the smooth delivery of activities thus ensuring that there are no difficulties during the provision of their services. This is especially following the receipt of certain reports that there were a few disturbances during their operation.
As for the commission agents, they welcomed the need for an established framework. They expressed however that it is not practical to not receive at least a deposit for clients as they need to secure the deal once they sell a service. They further expressed their wish to have a proper designated area to operate especially outside of the New Port.
The department as well as all other agencies present welcomed all proposals and informed that all comments shall be duly considered and where changes to be made, it shall be communicated accordingly.