SEYCHELLES GOVERNMENT APPROVES CREATION OF DIRECTOR OF TOURISM MARKETING POSITION
It was learned from a usually well informed and very reliable source in Victoria that the Seychelles government has responded positively to the request made by the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, that following the move by Mr. Alain St. Ange, who formerly held this position as a private sector nominee following the first restructuring of the tourism board before being made CEO in the second restructuring and then appointed Minister for Tourism and Culture, the position be restored.
Yes it is true that SHTA had written to government which is part of the regular private / public sector interaction to drive the industry forward, identify areas of mutual concern and eliminate bottlenecks and deal with any matters arising said the source in a mail received over the Easter weekend. Part of our present set of recommendations is that the position of Director of Tourism Marketing is to be restored. To that we have already received a positive response from government and we are right now sourcing the right person to be recommended for the job, just like we did four years ago when the association proposed Mr. Alain St. Ange to take over the key function of marketing and publicity. Other issues are security related, have to to with air access to Mahe and about the risen charges for domestic air services to Praslin by Air Seychelles which now charges Seychellois citizens and resident the same fares like tourists. In some areas we are making very fast progress while in other areas the logistics behind some issues make it take longer. But there is constructive dialogue and mutual respect between key industry stakeholders because we have a common objective, a common goal, which is to promote our islands as the best destination in the world.
Sources close to the tourist board would only confirm that a principal decision had been communicated to them already but that the appointment would largely rest with SHTA who were to propose one or more individuals for selection.
At the same time it was also learned that Ministers St. Ange, Tourism and Culture and Joel Morgan, Internal Affairs and Transport together with the STB CEO Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Public Utilities Corporation Philippe Morin, Capt. Valmont of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority, the Commissioner of Police Ernest Quatre and other key officials went to meet the private sector stakeholders on Praslin, with another such meeting set for La Digue after the Easter holidays, to continue the process of open dialogue and engagement between public and private sectors which shaped up over the past few years.
In a related development it was also confirmed that the important French market will see a special meeting being organized by the STB marketing office in Paris, bringing together French tour operators and airlines flying from Paris via their hubs to Mahe like Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad / Air Seychelles, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Austral to gain a better understanding of market developments and market reactions since Air Seychelles dropped their 6 times a week nonstop service. Watch this space for the latest news and updates from Eastern Africa and from the Indian Ocean islands.