SEYCHELLES TOURISM AND CULTURE MINISTRY END YEAR ON A HIGH NOTE
(Posted 29th December 2013)
As 2013 draws to a close, and with a new visitor record already established for the archipelago – it is only the final number of arrivals which will be added to the history books in a few days time – the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in the Seychelles has taken stock as well as is looking in to the future. Final meetings between Minister Alain St. Ange and his two Principal Secretaries, Anne Lafortune of Tourism and Benjamin Rose of Culture on one side and the departmental heads and key staff of The National Arts Council, the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, the Seychelles International Conference Centre and the Seychelles Tourism Board concluded a hectic year and set the tone for 2014, when major new structures will come into place. Said Minister St. Ange: ‘The planning for this restructuring has been going on for quite a while. Many a meeting has taken place and finally the proposed structure has been approved by the Council of Ministers, and it will come into place in the first two months of 2014. The aim for the restructure has been to increase productivity, and to ensure high performance and the delivery of service within respective Departments, and also the delivery of service to our respective public or clients’.
The Minister reiterated in every meeting that as of next year, the new agency that will be set up will run and manage major cultural events the government holds and as a result of this the Events Department at the Seychelles Tourism Board, the National Arts Council (NAC), the Seychelles Heritage Foundation and the Conference Centres inclusive of the International Conference Centre of Victoria and the National Theatre and the Theatre des Palmes of Mont Fleuri will all merge to form the Creative Industries and National Events Agency. Minister St. Ange then continued to state: ‘This has been necessary because the Government will be implementing the new Creative Industries Policy, as well as a new Strategy for Music Development, in accordance with UNESCO [recommendations]. UNESCO experts who were in Seychelles in 2012 to help Seychelles draft its Policy and Music Strategy advised on the move that would be helping the Ministry of Tourism and Culture fulfill its commitment to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which Seychelles ratified in June 2005.The new Creative Industries and National Events Agencywill also be responsible for the promotion, development, and preservation of National Heritage Sites. The new agency will also house a Division for Events Management, which will include all arts and cultural manifestation, festivals and carnivals, formerly organized by the Department of Culture, the Tourism Board, the International Conference Centre or the National Arts Council. For all staff touched by this change think of the avenues ahead that create opportunities. Any moment can be seen as the darkest if you do not take time to talk, or the brightest if you get the right information from the right person’.
Prior to meeting the different organisations’ staff members Minister Alain St.Ange accompanied by Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture and Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism had met with Madame Noellie Alexander, the Chairman of the National Arts Council and her Board Members as well as with Mr Marcel Rosalie, the Chairman of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation and his Board Members to thank them for their work for Seychelles. ‘It is my duty to personally meet with you as these changes are being announced to thank you all for the time you made available to work for Seychelles. This was really appreciated and on behalf of the Government we thank you’ Minister St. Ange said.
(Minister St. Ange seen here with Principal Secretaries for Culture Benjamine Rose on his left and for Tourism Anne Lafortune on his right)
Notably for tourism will the creation of the new events department free the Seychelles Tourism Board to concentrate on its core functions, generic marketing of the archipelago abroad, strengthened in fact by the creation of a new position which will deal exclusively with the marketing of smaller Seychellois owned properties in line with the government’s economic empowerment policy. All national events, like the Festival Creol, SUBIOS – The Festival of the Sea, the Carnival International de Victoria will from 2014 be organized and executed by the new department, which however will draw from the expertise and experience of all concerned. Seychelles, Truly Another World.