Seychelles’ parliament approves tourism budget for 2017/18


(Posted 17th March 2017)

The delegation that was representing Seychelles at ITB Berlin earlier this month met members of various media houses in Germany to promote the national airline’s twice weekly direct flight, Seychelles-Dusseldorf.

The press conference and a cocktail reception on the Seychelles stand, which was attended by the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Dr. Taleb Rifai, were both organised in collaboration with Air Seychelles.

ITB Berlin, which is said to be the world’s largest tourism trade fair was held from March 08th to 12th in Berlin, Germany.

Speaking at the press conference, the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Mrs. Sherin Francis said the German market is already performing extremely well and is very buoyant.

With the twice weekly Düsseldorf flight, it can only get better! The positive development in air connectivity has created a lot of excitement in the market‘ she added.

We look forward to working together with the Air Seychelles team and with you our German partners to ensure that we achieve the most from this new connection. Discussions held and plans laid with the different partners will surely help in maintaining the positive momentum of the industry for the rest of the year‘.

It is important to note that the support of airline partners is needed to ensure that the successful performance of the Seychelles’ tourism industry. STB values their support and ensures that the relationship remains a strong one, Mrs. Francis also said.

She added that the presence of the Seychelles’ delegation at ITB was to further cement the ties that have bound Seychelles to the German market since the outset of their tourism industry.

It is indeed encouraging to see that our much-valued German market continues to perform as the recent batch of visitor arrival figures shows. In 2016, Seychelles enjoyed yet another record year for tourism arrivals, finally breaking through the 300,000 visitor ceiling and early in 2017 we witnessed a truly ground-breaking increase in arrivals of over 30%‘.

In this troubled, unsettled world of ours, Seychelles remains an oasis of calm and tranquility while our reputation for being the land of perpetual summer is still intact, she concluded.

Mrs Francis concluded by thanking the team from Seychelles who were part of the delegation.

Aside from the press conference, Mrs. Francis was also interviewed by Martina Feyerherd from FVW Magazine, a specialist magazine for tourism and business travel.

In a second interview, Mrs Francis met Eike Knall from The Radio Group, which was founded in 2007 and now operates 15 stations on the basic premise of serving listeners with local radio.

Meanwhile has the National Assembly approved the Seychelles Tourism Board’s proposed budget for 2017 amounting to the sum of 147.3 million Rupees.

This was during the National Assembly’s sitting earlier in the week, after the leader of government business Charles de Comarmond presented a motion to move that the National Assembly resolves to approve the supplementary estimates to regularise the expenditure of SR 226,533,165 (Rupees Two hundred and twenty-six million, five hundred and thirtythree thousand and one hundred and sixty five only) in excess of approved budget for the year 2017.

After the assembly moved into committee stage, chaired by Speaker Patrick Pillay, there were several interventions on the motion as well as the budget for STB specifically.

STB was represented before the assembly by the chief executive Sherin Francis and the deputy chief executive Jenifer Sinon.

Following requests from members for clarifications in regards to the STB budget, the principal secretary for finance and trade Patrick Payet and Mrs Francis gave detailed explanations.

Mr Payet said the supplementary budget was presented to the assembly just after the 2017 budget was approved.

He added that the two budgets were not approved when it was first presented before the assembly.

Discussions were then held between the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) and STB.

FPAC recommended that the budgets for the tourism ministry and STB be added to the supplementary budget and presented before the assembly.

One of the members who intervened was Jean-Francois Ferrari, who is also a member of the FPAC.

It has always been our intention to give the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine as well as STB good budgets, and give the people of Seychelles transparency on these two budgets. Debating on these budgets was not an easy task and indeed it was a difficult exercise to be undertaken‘ he said before adding: ‘We congratulate STB for the work being done to increase the figures and we hope that it will be a successful year for our tourism industry. When tourism succeeds our country in general benefits. STB can count on the assembly to ensure that it gets what it needs to keep working hard for Seychelles but we have to ensure that there is always transparency‘.