Alain St. Ange’s Tourism Report – Edition 8

Saint Ange Tourism Report

30th July 2017

Welcome to Edition #8 of 2017.

I start this edition with a quote I really appreciate from Winston Churchill –

"You cannot reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks."

Whether the masses realize it yet or not, Seychelles is facing challenging economic times. The latest commentary from key individuals about the state of our country’s economy is that we are, "on the road to a recession".

Alain St.Ange
In a recent edition of the ‘Today’ Newspaper of Seychelles, the respected financial personality, Malika Jivan, took the trouble to address the situation on hand. She was quoted stating, "…our economy has been contracting. A slowdown in various sectors, no FDI, has had a domino effect on the economy. In text book terms, we are in a recession. Consumers cut spending, business cut payroll to cope with falling earnings."
No Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country is a serious problem. Construction companies have confirmed the lack of big projects at the moment in Seychelles. At the same time, our cost of living has not been adjusted to improve the lives of those in the lower wage bracket. On the contrary, the cost of living is increasing.
This year our Nation’s budget was approved by the National Assembly, after a series of drawn-out and exhaustive debates. For the first time in Seychelles’ political history, the majority of seats in the Assembly is held by members of the Opposition. The budget for 2017, therefore, has had the blessing of our elected representatives. We are now midyear and patiently waiting to see results.
Malika Jivan proposes a series of measures, including a commitment to business, to stimulate FDIs, and for Government to be a facilitator of business. She notes that FOREX earning businesses and exports should be encouraged. One such FOREX earning business in Seychelles is undoubtedly tourism. Are we ensuring they have their needed staffing contingent? Are we running to ensure the marketing of the islands is receiving all the budgetary assistance required? The goose that lays the golden egg needs to be nurtured with care and attention. Negative political agendas must be left out of tourism if we want this vital industry to succeed.
Last week we saluted the youth of Seychelles for being committed to saving Seychelles from itself. The positive feedback we have since obtained from the youth has been overwhelming. You are a force to be reckoned with and must continue to make your voices heard. We also need to acknowledge the efforts of those who have launched campaigns to collect accumulated rubbish from Grand Police and the beaches. You are not just talking, which is easy to do, but you are actively striving to protect and preserve our environment, and to keep our beaches as pristine as the holiday brochures say they are.
The tourism trade fair season is just around the corner once again, and as visitor arrival figures show, Italy and France need special attention. The tourism industry’s survival in Seychelles largely depends on air connectivity, but it also depends on our efforts in tapping into key markets. We may find ourselves witnessing sporadic cancellations of flights or discontinuation of air services if our target markets start fading away. The French Tourism Trade Fair will need a special push with private sector participation now that French elections are over and done with. The ball is very much in our court.
Finally, we once again say thank you to all who are reposting the Saint Ange Tourism Report. Our humble Report has travelled Africa-wide, to the Americas, to Australasia and to the Middle East. It is very clear that our direct mail-out is being really strengthened by the reposting being done by all the online NewsWires. Together, we are doing a real service for the tourism industry.
This week Saint Ange Consultancy has been taken to new heights; this Issue is coming to you from beautiful Indonesia.
Enjoy the read,
Alain St.Ange

Saint Ange Consultancy

Turning Tourism Blue

Small Island Developing States (SIDS), like the Seychelles, rely enormously on tourism for economic growth. Particularly, travelers choose to visit SIDS mainly because of the ocean which surrounds these places, and the many activities associated therewith. The oceans also provide sustenance, protection, and financial income through fishing to the habitants of these places. The oceans give SIDS their identity. Seychelles, like many other SIDS, are considered as ‘ocean states’ mainly due to the fact that they have an Exclusive Economic Zone exponentially larger than their land mass. This fact also makes SIDS much more vulnerable to overfishing, pollution, and climate change.
Hope you have enjoyed this Issue #8. For those who missed previous Issues, you may find them on the links listed below for your convenience. We continue to republish on Linkedln, WhatsApp and Twitter links to International Newswires that reprinted our previous Issue – they are real friends; support them and work with them.
Photo of Environmental officers and Ameer Ebrahim leading a mangrove tour for local school children at one of Seychelles’ 5-star hotels.
For this reason, ‘sustainable’ methods are now being embraced by SIDS. Seychelles, in many ways, has taken the lead in sustainable development. Many local touristic establishments have taken it upon themselves to introduce sustainable initiatives, such as using glass bottles instead of plastic, recycling organic waste from their kitchens to produce compost for in-house vegetable gardens, embracing research and science to promote coastal protection and attractions through activities, such as coral growing, and offering a hands-on approach to visitors through nature tours, both on land and underwater.

Tourism competitiveness in the long term is closely linked to the ‘sustainable’ way in which it is developed. Moreover, being a transversal sector, tourism is interrelated with other economic sectors and other maritime activities, which is why it is necessary to consider tourism from an inter-sectorial perspective. Tourism establishments that promote sustainable tendencies are fast becoming one of the most sought-after enterprises by travelers. Sustainable development in the tourism industry is not only showing economic benefits, but also community and socio-economic linkages being formed, cultural preservation being established, and educational awareness to both local and international visitors being promoted.

2017 marks the international year for sustainable tourism. Let the world know how your tourism establishment is being sustainable by contacting our Consultancy team for your chance to be featured in our Report.

Contributed by Ameer Ebrahim, Environmental Consultant

Lorizon Restaurant wins coveted World Luxury Restaurant Award

CaranaBeach Seychelles
The CaranaBeach Hotel in the Seychelles can add a new distinction to its culinary accolades after its famous Lorizon Restaurant won the coveted ‘Best Ambience’ award in the World Luxury Restaurant Awards TM recently.
This prestigious award recognizes the restaurant that distinguishes itself as having a unique and romantic atmosphere. Lorizon was nominated for the World Luxury Restaurant Awards following a visit from its representatives in February, when the restaurant’s eclectic array of desserts secured its ticket to the finalists.
Lorizon, named after the Creole word for “horizon” on account of the restaurant’s sweeping view of the Indian Ocean, has quickly made a reputation for itself by serving innovative cuisine, with most of its produce sustainably sourced from nearby Denis Island.
“We’re so excited for our team to be awarded with recognition of this caliber,” CaranaBeach Director, Alan Mason, said. “It’s one that recognizes how the entire CaranaBeach concept has come together, from the idea stage right through to the execution.”
The World Luxury Restaurant Awards TM for 2017 was held at the JW Marriot in Hanoi, Vietnam. It seeks to inspire excellence and ignite competition in the luxury restaurant industry, enabling fine-dining outlets from across the world to compete a variety of categories. The selection criteria for nomination is based on three primary factors: interior design, the quality and presentation of the cuisine, and a reputation for excellent service and positive reviews.
Carana Beach
Lorizon is open nightly for dinner with offerings that rotate between creatively evolving a la carte menus and special themed dinners, such as a traditional family-style spread of Creole cuisine and Barbecue evenings.

Sea Planes in the Indian Ocean

Fly Mauritius.Com
Countries in the Indian Ocean which are so dependent on tourism to bolster the economy recognise the importance of finding ways to increase the yield from tourism. However, a country’s yield from tourism will always be through activities and facilities available for tourists to enjoy over and above the hotels where they stay and the meals they eat.

Riaz Nassurally, an E-Tourism Consultant and Social Media Marketing Director of Mauritius, posted an article recently that should open the eyes of Seychelles and other tourism destinations which have not yet embarked upon the seaplane crusade.

Nassurally writes:-

"Experience the overwhelming play of colours in the lagoons, with a little luck, discover turtles, rays, barracudas or outside of the reef dolphins and whales. All the beauty of Mauritius opened you up through the lagoons. See a play of colours that you will not forget.”

Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mombassa and Zanzibar are all capitalising on the ocean surrounding them to increase their yield from tourism. Maldives has the biggest fleet of sea planes in the world, but Seychelles has none at all.

Sea planes in Maldives
Sea plane in Sri Lanka
A few years ago, a company called ‘Sea Wings’ approached Seychelles to set up shop there and offer excursions and guest transfers to and from hotels and the airport. Seychelles at the time did not have any regulations in place to accommodate this innovative attraction to the island’s tourism industry, and accordingly turned down the exciting offer.

Island States must use their resources to increase their yield from tourism. Today we speak widely of the Blue Economy; sea planes form part of activities arising from the Blue Economy. I was fortunate enough to fly in a sea plane in the Maldives. It was an unforgettable experience, and one which I will not likely forget in a hurry. Likewise, tourists too would undoubtedly cherish a similar experience in other island nations, including Seychelles.

Reunion Tourism Federation meets the Seychelles Tourism Board through the Vanilla Islands

The meeting between the sister islands
The Vanilla Islands organised a meeting recently between the Reunion Tourism Federation and the Seychelles Tourism Board to discuss a joint project in areas of cooperation between the two sister islands.

Points discussed centred on knowing and understanding the islands, the strategies pertaining to the method of welcoming tourists at key arrival points on each island, the sharing and analysing of information, and the formulating of steps to improve the use of foreign languages.

This bilateral meeting between Reunion and Seychelles falls under the mandate of the Vanilla Islands MOU signed between the two islands’ Tourism Authorities. It is hoped that other Member States of the Indian Ocean grouping will also move to benefit from such bilateral projects with the aim of consolidating tourism in the Indian Ocean Zone.

Les Dauphin Heureux of Anse Royale, Mahé: a local gem

Les Dauphins Heureux of Anse Royale
Les Dauphins Heureux is owned by the Frichot Family and managed by Marie-Noelle Frichot-Debey, daughter of the late France Frichot of the once famous Bougainville Hotel.
France Frichot and his family were part of the tourism pioneers who entered the island’s tourism industry soon after the opening of the Seychelles International Airport. They are known for promoting the art of good Seychellois Creole Cuisine in the industry.
The restaurant
Marie-Noelle returned to Seychelles after spending many years in the USA and took over management of this enchanting beachside family property. She is the perfect host, greeting all guests and visitors with a smile and engaging in friendly banter as she personally attends to their needs.
Les Dauphins Heureux is a small hotel of five beach front rooms. Its well-known restaurant has a seating capacity of up to 100 persons and it offers delicious, authentically-Creole and international cuisine. It is ideally located right on the sandy shore of Anse Royale and commands a stunning view of the ocean. The restaurant boasts a refined ambiance with a distinctly Creole twist, complemented by excellent service and cuisine.

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