Seychelles tourism business in discussion with government

Seychelles Tourism Minister Alain St Ange

Seychelles Tourism Minister Alain St Ange

Victoria – Members of the Seychelles’ tourism trade sat last week with representatives of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industries and with members of the government and together they have discussed on the way forward in overcoming challenges the island’s tourism industry is facing.

This first historic meeting came but days ahead of the island’s Tourism Board annual mid-year marketing review which sees the tourism industry’s private sector sit with the Government Officials to assess and review the achievements and challenges of the country’s tourism.

The Ministerial cross-sectorial meeting which took place at the National House in Victoria, was chaired by Vice-President Danny Faure. Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, Minister for Labour and Human Resources Development Idith Alexander, Minister for Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet and the Environment and Energy Minister, Professor Rolph Payet.

A list of main issues put forward by the tourism trade representatives and that of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association was taken and discussed in a frank and open basis. Points discussed at this first meeting focused on theft and safety, public facilities, entrance fees to parks and reserves and public access to Anse Source d’Argent and L’Union Estate on the island of La Digue, erection of visible and properly maintained signs on beaches known for challenging sea conditions in known areas among others. There were also issues raised in relation to the services offered by the Ministry of Health which were taken up by its principal secretary Peggy Vidot.

After much interventions on this issue, Vice President Faure called on the concerned ministries and authorities to have the necessary action plan in place to appropriately update the follow-up meeting of Ministerial cross-sectorial meeting that will be held in a month’s time.

In regards to the theft issue, the Commissioner of Police has assured the tourism trade that there is mechanism in place to maintain the level of security especially on Praslin and La Digue were there have been a rise in petty theft lately.

The Police Commissioner Ernest Quatre has explained that the police force has increase patrols in those areas among other measures being taken. The PS for Transport Pat Andre took on the responsibility of adequate signage and for the proper maintenance of the signs once erected. The point of concern raised regarding Anse Source d’Argent was based on the access and entrance fees to L’Union Estate being paid by tourists.

Representatives of the trade believe and they argued that this beach is one of the selling points of Seychelles, used in marketing the country as a destination. They have called on the government to review this policy.

A committee with representatives of the government and private sector will discuss this issue further.

In regards to the lack of public facilities available in locations such as Victoria, at jetties, Beau-Vallon, Anse Lazio and Anse Source d’Argent, Minister Lionnet pointed out that construction of modern public facilities have been tendered and there is a need to have a prioritised list of areas which need such facilities. It was also agreed that a proper maintenance structure for such facilities to be put in place.

Other issues such as taxation and inter-island connections among others will be taken up in the next meeting set for August. Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture who was responsible for facilitating this Ministerial cross-sectorial meeting following calls made by the Tourism Trade through the Seychelles Tourism Board said after the meeting that it was a new departure in the spirit of dialogue. “The private sector remains the front line team handling our tourism industry. It is important that the Members of our Government hear them so that everyone is better appraised of challenges being faced by the industry we all accept remains the pillar of our country’s economy. As the Minister responsible for Tourism I am happy that we have embarked on this series of meetings as this will ensure we all not only hear of the challenges we have, but we better understand the consequences of not dealing with these challenges” Minister St.Ange said.



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