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Tourism Minister meets official and students from Northwestern State University of Louisiana as part of exchange programme with Seychelles Tourism Academy

November 7, 2017 Destination Seychelles No Comments Email Email

Strengthening inter-cultural relations between Seychelles and the U.S, particularly in the field of tourism and hospitality studies was largely discussed as the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne met with the Vice President for University Affairs at Northern State University (NSU) in Louisiana, Dr. Marcus Jones.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne welcomed Dr Jones at his ministry’s headquarters at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri, on Friday November 3, 2017.

Their meeting follows the signing in July this year of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Northern State University (NSU) and the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA).

Seychelles was represented at the signing by Georgina Dhillon, while NSU was represented by its President Dr. Chris Maggio.

The MoU is aimed at facilitating and promoting exchanges between the two institutions, and help each institution to place students in internships and other training opportunities prior to them joining the hospitality industry.

The first three American students to benefit from the exchange were present during the meeting between Minister Loustau-Lalanne and Dr Jones. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune and STA officials were also in attendance.

The three students — Tommy Remsen, Terrian Marchand, and Ashleigh Rouatee — who have just completed their Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism at NSU, will be undertaking a six months internship at the Seychelles’ Savoy Resort and Spa. Arrangements will also be made for them to visit and experience other luxury hotels located off the main island.

One of the students, Ms Rouatee shared her excitement for having been given the opportunity to gain work experience in Seychelles.

“I really want to learn and expand my knowledge about hospitality,” she said.

Dr Jones explained that the internship opportunity, allowing NSU graduates to travel, work and get practical experience, hence providing exposure to an international tourism scene is the first phase of the MoU.

“Ideally phase one is the first batch of students here in the Seychelles, while phase two will look into future partnerships with not only the academy but other educational institutions on the island. The third phase of the MoU will then look into supplementary programmes, which could be attended by NSU students, such as seminars and most importantly internships in the Seychelles,” said Dr Jones.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne expressed his appreciation towards the initiative, while taking the opportunity to highlight the growth in tourism arrival numbers from America.

He expressed hope that there will be further improvement in the tourism numbers from America, now that British Airways will allow for greater connectivity for people travelling to Seychelles from America, when it starts operating direct flights from London next year.

“Now that the number of American visitors are increasing we are working to get an American Embassy back to our shores, further facilitating such exchange programmes between other institutions and our own tourism academy,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.

Through the MoU with NSU, the Seychelles Tourism Academy will be organising for young STA lecturers to also follow internships at the Louisiana based university in 2018.

It is also envisaged that at least 4 students enrolled on STA’s Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management course will benefit from internship opportunities in the U.S state.

While the exchange with an American university is a first for the Seychelles Tourism Academy, the hospitality training institution is already linked and welcoming students from a number of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

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