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Saint Ange Tourism Report – Edition #5 of Volume #3Monday 11th February 2019

February 13, 2019 Visit Africa / Seychelles No Comments Email Email

The Editorial this week highlights:- a. Tourism in Seychelles – Vanilla Islands meet for installing its new President. b. On Vanilla Islands eTN New of the 9 July 2012 wrote. c. eTN News wrote on the June 1, 2013:- Vanilla Islands of the Indian Ocean re-elects its President for a second term. d. Seychelles Tourism in figures at country’s last Cross Sectorial Meeting. e. Mombasa bound cruise liner diverts to Seychelles after US travel warning. f. Praslin Island Business Community coming together strong. g. Tourism Destinations are moving. Stand alone articles this week:- 1. Meet the Mason’s Travel Team: Francis Aglae. 2. New marina at the Ex.- Wharf Hotel in Seychelles. 3. Pope Francis’ historic UAE visit advances religious freedom and tolerance. 4. Rent-an-island’ – one villa on a faraway island – to be part of Seychelles’ expanded offerings 5. First UNWTO/ICAO Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air Transport in Africa. 27 – 29 March 2019. 6. Kenya confirms their Sh350m cruise ship terminal set for completion by August 2019. 7. South Africa Tourism to reschedule 2019 Africa’s Travel Indaba. 8. Praslin Business Association working for Praslin . 9. Seychelles received ‘Best Luxury Travel Destination’ Award in Beijing, China. 10. Air Austral and Air Madagascar launch new loyalty card programme. 11. Brune Poirson, Secretary of State in the French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition hold working meeting with  President Didier Robert of Reunion 12. Mission to develop the Tourism Satellite Account kick start in the Seychelles. 13. “The urgency of the New Coastal Road” for Reunion Island makes news. 14. Mauritius braced for flight disruptions as cyclone Genela gained strength. 15. Kreol Magazine of London says:- Alain St. Ange – A Seychelles’ Master of Promotion. 16. World Wildlife Day 2019 focusing on marine species for the first time. 17.  SYAH was a vision that the youth of Small Island Developing States had for the Indian Ocean region. 18. Hotels on Kenya’s coast ban use of plastic bottles & straws. 19 .Seychelles represented at FITUR the International Tourism Trade fair in Madrid.  20. Closing Notes.

Tourism in Seychelles –
Vanilla Islands meet for installing its new President

This week, we’ll see the ceremonial handing over ceremony of the Vanilla Islands Flag to Seychelles, as it takes over the Presidency of the Vanilla Islands once again. Delegates arriving in the country are:- Reunion – The Vice President of the Regional Council Faouzia Vitry, IRT – Vice- President of the Regional Council Olivier RIVIERE, IRT – CEO Stephan ULLIAC,  Mayotte – President of the Department Ibrahim RAMADANI SOIBAHADINE, Director of the Cabinet Ahamada OUSSENI, Vice President of the Tourism Office Mohamed BACAR, Advisor for International Relations Ahmed Attoumani DOUCHINA,  Director of Regional Cooperation & European Matters Michele BALOURD, Comoros – President of the Tourist Office Souef EL HAYIRAT, Director of the Tourist Office Rachid MOHAMED, Mauritius – Minister of Tourism Anil GAYAN, Deputy Permanent Secretary Rechad MOOLYE, MTPA – M. BOODHUN, Seychelles – Minister of Tourism Didier DOGLEY, PS for Tourism Anne LAFORTUNE and CEO of the Tourism Board Sherin FRANCIS are expected to bee present alongside the CEO of the Vanilla Islands Pascal VIROLEAU. (Madagascar is not present for this meeting in Seychelles because the newly elected President is personally chairing a tourism meeting to set the way forward for tourism on the Big Island).

As the current Tourism Minister of Seychelles, it is Minister Didier DOGLEY who will take over the Presidency.

Though I was not invited to be present at this Vanilla Islands Ceremony, I take this opportunity to salute the successes of the Organisation since its creation in 2012. I was lucky to have been the first President of the Vanilla Islands and am proud to have been the only Tourism Minister invited to serve two mandates as their President.

Standing with the CEO of the Vanilla Islands Pascal VIROLEAU
and the Vice President of the Regional Council Faouzia Vitry after a working breakfast on Sunday the 10th February in Mahe
Alain Ramanisum – Mauritius artist who sings “Les Iles Vanilles” is in Seychelles

“les Iles Vanille” song by Alain Ramanisum of Mauritius
with Noemie Clain of Reunion

Alain Ramanisum, the popular artist from Mauritius who sung “les Iles Vanille” song with Noemie Clain, the Reunion singer was in Seychelles as the Vanilla Islands Ministerial Meeting was taking place. A missed opportunity because he could have been invited to sing at the Vanilla Islands flag handing over ceremony.

Alain Ramanisum is in Seychelles at the invitation of the popular Seychellois entertainer and artist Joseph Sinon to perform at this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations. I caught up with Alain Ramanisum with Joseph Sinon, Sandra Esparon and Antoinette Dodin at the La Misere Recording Studio where they were recording a song based on friendship between Mauritius and Seychelles. This cooperation by artists can only continue to open door for our region’s stars and performers, but this will happen only when we move to give them the necessary respect and recognition.

Welcome to Seychelles Alain Ramanisum and wishing you success in the performance alongside our local star Joseph Sinon and his colleagues.
eTN New of the 9 July 2012 wrote:- The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, a strong supporter of the setting up and the success of the Vanilla Island concept, was unanimously elected recently as President of the organization during a meeting held in Seychelles on 7 July 2012. His nomination, a media gold mine, has been reported by regional media and sparked a series of one-on-one interviews.
The interview question-and-answer format published in Mauritius news on Sunday has nevertheless provided to its readers a valuable insight into the organization and a glimpse of Minister St.Ange’s reactions at being the first President of the Vanilla Island organization.

Minister St.Ange has used the catchy word “honor” to describe this position of leading a “fully-fledged organization,” adding with a brilliant opening salvo that the Vanilla Islands is “a plus for the region” and that only a “strong region can strengthen the Indian Ocean islands tourism industry.”

Adding flesh to the bones, Minister St.Ange said: “Tourism is a very fickle industry, and although we are encouraged by current visitor arrival numbers, because it vindicates our strategies, we must nonetheless double our efforts to ensure that momentum is maintained…..”

Alain St.Ange of Seychelles is the first President of the Vanilla Islands

Seychelles nomination as the first President of Vanilla Island organization has generated interest in the Mauritius Press News on Sunday and made a sensational news angle. (7th July 2012)


Under the aegis of the UCOI, the “Vanilla Islands” marketing concept was defined in August 2010, in a meeting between representatives of Tourist Offices in the area at the Réunion Chamber of Commerce. Tourism professionals are aware that the development of tourism in Réunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Comoros and Mayotte comes through pooling resources and specific know-how.

This is why the concept of “vanilla”, a natural, gastronomic and touristic feature shared by the islands of the Indian Ocean, paves the way for launching a brand which strengthens the reputation of these destinations and for better selling these locations, both nationally and internationally.

Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands organization has re-elected its President, Mr. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism & Culture, for a second term.

eTN News wrote on the June 1, 2013:- Vanilla Islands of the Indian Ocean re-elects its President for a second term
The member states of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands organization has re-elected its President, Mr. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism & Culture, for a second term. This election was held during the organization’s extraordinary meeting held at the International Tourism Fair Madagascar on Thursday, May 30. The resolution comes a few days prior to the end of the current mandate of Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles.

The proposition to re-elect Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles for a second term mandate was made by the four member states, namely La Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Comoros. The member states felt that the first year was more an inception year, whereby the organization’s structure was being put in place, and this is still an ongoing process. It was resolved that the organization should double its efforts to move into a plan of action mode to implement the agenda set forth for the next 12 months and to ensure a continuity, necessary for its harmonious development.

The extraordinary meeting was attended by Mr. Didier Robert, President of the Conseil Regional de La Reunion; Tourism Minister of Madagascar Mr. Jean-Max Rakotomamonjy; Tourism & Culture Minister of the Seychelles Mr. Alain St.Ange; Mrs. Hissane Guy of the Comoros Tourism Authority; and Mr. Michel Ahmed of the Mayotte Tourism Authority.

Speaking to gathered press after his re-election as the President of the Vanilla Islands, Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said that he was humbled by the support received by the other member states. “Their resolve in supporting my leadership and their unity in wanting to see our regional organization work for the benefit of our respective island economies, of our tourism industry, and for the well-being of our people was really appreciated. We are now set to the consolidation of our Vanilla Islands,” the Seychelles Minister, Mr. Alain St.Ange said.

Seychelles Tourism in figures at country’s last Cross Sectorial Meeting
Tourism’s private sector trade present at the last Cross Sectorial Meeting in Victoria were presented with interesting figures on “Value Added of Tourism Related Industry at Current Market Prices – in Seychelles Rupees Millions)”. The years of success depicted by the slide, cover the years when I was responsible for Seychelles Tourism and showcases my legacy in a visual format.

As much as I can be proud of these successful years, I remain grateful for the Team who were by my side and this includes the close working cooperation with the Private Sector Trade, the industry’s front line team.

Value Added of Tourism Related Industry at Current Market Prices – Seychelles Rupees Millions

But, as we look at those historical figures, we need to appreciate that Seychelles cannot take its tourism industry for granted. We need to remain on the ball, innovate and be seen to be the leader.

ATC News posted this message last week:- “While Africa’s arrivals in 2018 were up by 7 percent, the entire continent is still only marginally ahead of the Middle East in real numbers … This has to change, and change fast to fully explore the tourism potential Africa has and help create jobs, attract FDI, earn foreign exchange and fight poverty …”

These tourism arrival figures speak volumes and should make us in Seychelles, as well as main land Africa, reflect on tourism and plan tourism as being an industry and not just as an activity. Travel Warnings continue to hurt Africa, as was the case of a cruise ship heading to Mombasa that was diverted to Seychelles, just as the Port Authorities of the island deciding to now give docking facilities to cruise ships to just a day before moving out to anchor and to use ship’s tender boats for passengers to get ashore. Seychelles spent time and money to encourage cruise ships to stay longer in Port Victoria and in so doing encourage the 55+% of passengers who remain on board and do not buy shore excursions, to walk out and take a taxi and buy some local ‘Made in Seychelles’ handicraft. This decision is dealing with the symptoms and not acting on the cause of the problem. Will that decision impact cruise tourism to Seychelles, will the taxi, restaurants and handicrafts, excursion guides and private parks and gardens businesses suffer as a result? Only time will tell.

Mombasa bound cruise liner diverts to Seychelles after US travel warning

MS Nautica
of Oceania Cruises


MS Nautica, of Oceania Cruises, has reportedly changed course to the Seychelles, after US authorities have issued a stark travel warning to their citizens about the possibility of further terror attacks in Kenya, targeting tourists. While there is consensus among leading tourism figures in Kenya that the US anti travel warning could once again be to establish legal cover – as often seen in the past when such anti travel warnings were in the end unceremoniously withdrawn – has the impact of the warning promptly cost Kenya a major business opportunity.

Kenya, despite recent events, is generally considered safe for visiting tourists and anti travel advisories from the US – Kenya’s largest foreign market segment – the UK and other nations have in the past adversely affected the entire industry and in particular the Kenya coast.

Cruise ship visits to the port of Mombasa bring in multi million Shillings in a day through excursions, air safaris and also ship handling and ship supply services and the cancellation of the port call will leave the tourism handling agents for the ship counting their losses as they had prepared tours for guests who will now go on shore in the Seychelles.

More than 400 tourists and a similar number of crew were on board the MS Nautica.

Praslin Island Business Community coming together strong

Still in Seychelles, this time it is the Chairman of the Praslin Business Association who wrote in to update us on their last General Meeting. Praslin Island, the home of the Unique Coco de Mer Nut has been the centre for tourism for many years, but this is changing fast and the island’s community are moving to take the situation on hand and to work with the Government to mitigate the challenges. The Association’s Chairman said he used the meeting to point out that the year 2019 will not be an easy one for the business community and that the Association will do its utmost to try and address the pertaining issues with respective ministries and other stakeholders.

The Election of the Office Bearers of the Praslin Business Association saw William Rose move in as the Patron, Christopher Gill as Chairman, Paul Rouillon as Vice-Chairman, Adrian Uzice as Secretary, Leroy Lesperance as Treasurer and Nigel Payet as Honorary Member/Consultant.

Tourism Destinations are moving

Kenya has just confirmed that their Sh350m cruise ship terminal is set for completion by August 2019 making them a must stop destination for cruise ship business and Uganda is promoting their Agro & Eco Tourism Conference to capture Agro Tourism and Eco and Green Tourism. Cobo Verde is working with UNWTO to hold on their part the first joint Tourism & Air Transport Aviation Conference through a UNWTO & ICAO forum. This is a needed conference and Seychelles was the venue for this meeting some three years ago, but cancelled after first Ebola outbreak because some country representatives would not have been able to participate. Everyone is running because challenges facing tourism destinations are proving to be real testing times. Those who are moving must be congratulated.

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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