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Welcome to Edition #8 of Volume #3 of 2019

February 27, 2019 Visit Africa / Seychelles No Comments Email Email

The Editorial this week highlights:- a.  Recognising the work of Islanders as Air Mauritius shows sign of trouble. b. North Island is part of The Luxury Collection of Marriott International . c. Ian Vernon sees the Coco de Mer imprint in Miami Airport . d. Air Seychelles to withdraw its flights to Abu Dhabi as it announces resumption of flights to Madagascar. e. Domestic Charges by Air Seychelles raising concern. f. ITB, the German Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin is just around the corner . g. Hotel GM on the move – Stephane Vilar of Avani Seychelles. Stand alone articles this week:- 1. NORTH ISLAND JOINS THE LUXURY COLLECTION® of MARIOTT HOTELS. 2. Islander leads the way in cruising the Indian Ocean. 3. “One Island – One Hotel” General Managers stand out in Seychelles. 4. Inter Continental Hotels publishes preliminary results for 2018 & ACQUIRES ‘SIX SENSES HOTELS RESORTS & SPAS‘ . 5. Tourism Week a couple of years ago saw the re-opening of the spectacular ‘Cap Lazare’ in Seychelles. 6. Air Mauritius slips back into the red. 7. Strong destination presence noted on the Germanic front as the Seychelles Tourism Board participates actively in several travel fairs. 8. “Dar & Douce Self-Catering Apartments ” website goes live on . 9. Tourism KZN to lobby for more conferences at Meetings Africa – Good news for Tourism Minister Hanekom. 10. Destination Seychelles receives exposure at ‘Le salon de Vacances’ fair in Belgium. 11. Plastic pollution: Flip-flop found in poo of endangered Indian Ocean tortoise (Seychelles isolated Aldabra atoll, 390 miles off the coast of Africa). 12. Closing Notes.

Alain St.Ange

Recognising the work of Islanders

The news that Air Mauritius is facing losses was followed by a number of tourism trade messages between Mauritians and Seychellois and many were calling for more recognition of our Islanders. Mauritius has a very strong private sector tourism trade and they are seen as the saviour for the Mauritius tourism industry and for work for thousands in Mauritius. The private sector trade in Mauritius have been steady, strong and dynamic. This is why the Air Mauritius news was troubling when they have hospitality and tourism expertise right on their door mat. In Seychelles it is very much the same scenario, and the islanders who remain the backbone of their tourism industry often feel they lack the recognition and the needed support from the Government.

Both these islands have their islanders who are the pillars of their tourism industry and of their economy. They need to be more heard and they need to be respected. The news from the world news wire saying that “Air Mauritius slips back into the red’ troubles the region and every islander of the region.

North Island is part of The Luxury Collection of Marriott International 

On North Island as it welcomes being part of
The Luxury Collection of Mariott International

North Island announces that it is joining The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, Inc., comprised of world-renowned hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. As one of the world’s leading private islands, North Island is a unique addition to The Luxury Collection as it makes its debut in the Seychelles, one of the world’s most desirable destinations. This iconic island resort is also the first hotel in the portfolio of the newly-launched A Small World Hotel Collection, who will oversee the resort’s integration into The Luxury Collection brand portfolio and the operations of the business.

Ian Vernon sees the Coco de Mer imprint in Miami Airport

Coco de Mer
Is it  the mark of our island’s national treasure?

Seychelles has a world recognised treasure that grows in our UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Praslin, but the question today is if Praslin and the Praslinois are benefiting from their natural treasure as everyone else seems to be…

Ian Vernon recently posted this message on Social Media:- “Caught this fine specimen of art at the Miami Int’l Airport last month while passing thru on my way home. Bet all my Seychellois family and friends recognize this special bit of island history”.

Air Seychelles to withdraw its flights to Abu Dhabi as it announces resumption of flights to Madagascar

Seychelles is at the helm of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands  once again, and the date when Didier Dogley, the Tourism Minister of the islands took office coincided with the announcement that Air Seychelles will be resuming direct flights to Madagascar. The Big Island of Madagascar deserves better air connectivity with its regional island nations as it remains one of the six islands of this Indian Ocean grouping. Madagascar has just had a change of Government and Joel Randriamandranto is the new Minister for Tourism. He entered office just as Madagascar was fighting a Measles outbreak that caused almost 1000 deaths and many more are left infected. The new Madagascar Minister is facing this new challenge bravely and we owe him the support and all the assistance he deserves. But on the Seychelles front Members of the Tourism Industry and many serious Business Community members have been questioning the start of the Air Seychelles direct flights to Madagascar especially now with the Measles outbreak. The Business Community see the risks as being too great for our small islands that remain so dependant on tourism and many have said that this is not a very good idea. Seychelles is well connected to Reunion by Air Austral, a strategic partner for Air Madagascar and could be enticed to increase their flights to Seychelles with a better connection with their flights to and from Madagascar. How is Seychelles going to benefit from this .. and does any benefit if any not outweigh the risks to our already very fragile tourism industry as a small island state.  Why therefore risk it for a biscuit! A very bad decision in my view and in the view of so many in Seychelles which is unnecessary.
This announcement of restarting the flight to Madagascar came just as Air Seychelles, the National Airline of the Seychelles is considering to discontinue its flights to Abu Dhabi, a tourist hub and one that is linking Seychelles to the World. From within the Airline many are confused and the tourism trade cannot understand the discontinuing of flights from a tourism source market to introduce a flight where we started and pulled out so often in the last number of years because of viability of that route.  This link was a commercial one when Air Seychelles flew to Paris as it provided a pool of passengers looking for a cheaper route to Europe. Today Air Seychelles is not flying to Europe and this link is a point to point (Madagascar / Seychelles) and cannot be a sought after route over tourism source markets possible routes.
Domestic Charges by Air Seychelles raising concern

Breakdown of the Air Seychelles ‘ONE WAY’ fare to Praslin
Praslin and La Digue residents are not happy with the continued increase of the 12 – 15 minutes flight to Praslin. No explanations can justify the increases by Air Seychelles and this is now seen as an obstacle to growth on the inner islands, as well as a burden impacting lives of Praslinois and Diguois who need to commute to Mahe for their work or business activity as well as Mahe Residents needing to grow their business by commuting to Praslin.
ITB, the German Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin is just around the corner
ITB, the biggest of Tourism Trade Fairs is set to open its doors on the 6th March in Berlin and Seychelles will join the World of Tourism to position itself as a sought after tourism destination.  Which tourism destination has new happenings that gives them the edge over their other competing countries?
Tourism is consolidated through such trade fairs where tourism destinations go all out to impress Trade Partners and discerning holiday makers.

I will once again be at ITB in Berlin at the invitation of the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) among other meetings and conferences. PATWA is organizing the PATWA International Travel Awards as they do every Year at ITB Berlin, the Fair that is attended by more than 7,000 journalists and travel / tourism trade exhibitors and professionals from over 180 countries.

Pacific Area Travel Writers Association is organizing The INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR on Global Tourism – Trends & Challenges followed by the PATWA INTERNATIONAL AWARDS CEREMONY on 7th March 2019 at 3:00 PM at A1 City Cube ITB Berlin.

Invited Speakers this year are:

  • Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, United Nations WTO

  • Edmund Bartlett, C.D., M.P., Minister of Tourism, Jamaica Tourism Centre

  • Rania Al- Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Egypt

  • Martin Buck, Vice President, ITB Berlin

  • Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners.

  • Alain St. Ange, Head of Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy & Deputy Secretary General, FORSEAA

  • Vinod Zutshi, Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism

  • Haitham Mattar, CEO, Head of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Hotel GM on the move – Stephane Vilar of Avani Seychelles

Stephane Vilar

Stephane Vilar, the popular General Manager of the Avani Seychelles Barbarons Beach Resort & Spa will be ending his term of office in Seychelles on the 27th March as he leaves to take a new position at NH Kensington London. Stephane Vilar will be remembered as the General manager who was never scare to work hard to make his Avani Seychelles Resort the meeting spot for visitors and Seychellois alike. Congratulations to Stephane Vilar and wishing you continued success in London.

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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