The Saint Ange Tourism Report Special Edition Issue 7 with Zilwa Publications

WELCOME TO THE 7TH SPECIAL EDITION OF THE SAINT ANGE TOURISM REPORT TOGETHER WITH ZILWA PUBLICATION

(Posted 12th August 2020)

"ONE SEYCHELLES is neither left nor right, we are steering straight through the middle. Our only direction is forwards, not sideways."

A handful of aggressively vocal individuals hailing mainly from one political party have recently taken to the ONE SEYCHELLES Facebook Page (@enselsesel) to engage in petty name-calling and insults. Unfortunately, this unbecoming behavior has become normalized for these individuals, for they subscribe to the "ek nou, pa ek nou" culture that has been encouraged by their political party for many years. Perpetrators are few and far between, but we pointedly decline each time to respond in kind.

There has been a marked increase this week, however, indicating that other political activists are concerned and becoming increasingly distressed by the momentum ONE SEYCHELLES is gaining every single day. A trend has been noticed over time in the content of the snide comments being flung in our direction, like tiny missiles that woefully miss the mark each time. They reflect the extent of indoctrination by their leaders that appears to have been taking place since the ONE SEYCHELLES political party established itself as a worthy contender in the 2020 elections.

The three main "insults" being launched repeatedly are: 1. That I am a chameleon because I have changed my political alliances in the past. 2. That my purpose, and that of my Party, is merely to dilute the votes for LDS and that we will ultimately side with President Faure. 3. Where have I been all this time?

Though I am loathe to pay lip service to cheap political maneuvering by other politicians who perpetuate these snide remarks – and have little of substance to say about ONE SEYCHELLES because we have come to the arena with clean hands, without the negative baggage that hampers other politicians, with a fresh and innovative manifesto filled to the brim with new ideas and solutions to steer the Country into the right direction, and with unparalleled motivation and passion to act for the benefit for ALL Seychellois, rather than just a handful – I felt it necessary to set the record straight directly and in the no-nonsense style that I am accustomed to.

With regard to the first insult, I fail to see how changing political alliances is a weakness. If nothing else, it is a strength. Former Leader of the Opposition, Mr Ramkalawan, stated in a televised conference that it is not a crime to change political alliances, and that movement between parties is normal. LDS came into existence on the back of other alliances and movements between party members, deriving from Parti Seselwa, UO and SNP. President Faure has famously distanced himself from the SPUP/ SPPF/ Lepep movements, creating a new movement of his own. I have worked with both the SPPF and the SNP, seen first-hand where they have failed, the flaws in their policies, the confusion in their priorities, and have seen for myself that both Parties’ (rather, the derivatives thereof) leadership candidates are, in my humble opinion, unsuitable prospects for Leadership of our proud Nation, in terms of temperament, policy, skill set, basic knowledge-base, qualifications, and what is truly motivating them yet again to put their name forwards for the Presidential post.

Now, regarding the second accusation: ONE SEYCHELLES did not enter the race for higher office to split the opposition vote. We came to change the culture of local politics, and to bring REAL CHANGE for Seychellois by taking the reins and saving our crumbling tourism industry, and our weak agriculture and fisheries sectors, by doing what no other political party can and that no other party has proposed: we shall be giving effect to a technocrat-led government, comprising qualified Seychellois at the helm of their respective departments and ministries who have been selected on the basis of MERIT, and not nepotism or favor-giving. If we were to align with any Party that has been in the arena for decades, we would have to grapple with the issue of them having promised key leadership positions to their friends and loyalists; it would dilute the very purpose of what we are striving to achieve. If we wanted to support any of the other candidates, we would have done so already. We are offering what they are not; our policies are different, our values and priorities are not aligned. ONE SEYCHELLES is neither left nor right, we are steering straight through the middle. Our only direction is forwards, not sideways.

With regard to the third accusation, namely where have I been all this time? This is the most perplexing one, and an indication that those who fling insults of this caliber are truly grasping at straws. I have been working for Seychelles. I have been working hard and diligently within my Ministerial posts, bringing much needed revenue to our economy and boosting our tourism industry to a height that we had never seen before. I was instrumental in putting Seychelles on the global map. This cannot be denied, nor can the same be said for other politicians. To discount my successes and progress within the industry over the past decade is to wear blinkers and to feign ignorance.

What ultimately prompted my re-entry into the political arena was a myriad of factors, not limited to a deep distrust in, and dissatisfaction with, the two main political parties that had been vying for the Top Job for decades. Their misplaced priorities and their actions that appeared to be geared towards naked self-interest, were sidelining the marginalized and oppressed members of society; poverty rates were ever on the increase and little of substance was being done to alleviate the suffering of people who had blindly voted these politicians into power time and time again.

People are unhappy, and people are angry. Seychellois deserve better; they deserve a fresh approach to governance, free from discriminatory acts and nepotism within Government. Parties and their candidates should be more concerned with placating the electorate that they have been pointedly ignoring and neglecting since the last elections. They should not be concerning themselves to this extent with what ONE SEYCHELLES is doing, or their sense of direction will be even further compromised than it presently is.

On our part, we shall do what we have always been doing: we shall continue to march forwards.

Alain St.Ange
Editor

To the editor of Zilwa, to whom it may concern, shalom from Israel!

Please allow me to share a very strong memory related to Mr. Alain St.Ange who in 2015 headed the first-ever tourism delegation from Seychelles to Israel.

As the Israeli organiser of the travel-trade events during his visit, I had the honour to escort and meet the Minister, including his historic meeting with the late President Shimon Peres. The travel event was attended by the leaders and opinion makers of the Israeli travel trade who at that time hardly knew about Seychelles. His speech, without any written notes, impressed all participants.

Five years later, I still recall his very strong message and sentences about the Seychelles that I quote till today, e.g. "Friends of all, enemies to none"; "come to visit us and find yourself"; "our profit is our people"; "no walls, no guns but freedom and safety"; "Seychelles – the place where mother nature did her best job" and "when is the right time to visit Seychelles? When you have time!". The tour operators took his message very seriously and started to create and sell packages to the eager Israeli public.

It is the direct result of this impressive change making event that Israelis started to come in big numbers, eventually leading to Air Seychelles operating several weekly flights to Tel Aviv – which will be renewed as soon as travel restrictions will be lifted.

I am privileged to have seen how one modest and brilliant statesman, can make a difference to the benefit of his country and his people.

Dov Kalmann
CEO and founder of TerraNova Tourism Marketing & Consultancy,
Tel Aviv

MAIA RESORT BECOMES "ANANTARA MAIA SEYCHELLES VILLAS“ FROM SEPTEMBER

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas moves to Seychelles and is rebranding the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa that is set to reopen in September.

Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas is earmarked to represent the brand’s launch in the archipelago. Minor Hotels and Minor International, parent company of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas also runs the Avani Barbarons Hotel & Spa. Maia is located on Mahe and the resort can be found on the south west coast amongst 30 acres of forest garden, nestled between the island’s unique granite rocks and Anse Louis Beach.

This award-winning resort offers 30 secluded private villas, each with a dedicated villa host available 24-hours a day for the duration of the stay. The property was designed by Bill Bensley and Lek Bunnag and is regarded as one of Bensley’s favourite projects, with architecture and gardens designed to blend seamlessly with the tropical island landscape.

Set around a peninsula overlooking white sands or perched between greenery and granite, each of the 250 sqm private villas is positioned to afford views and privacy. "The addition of the iconic Maia Luxury Resort & Spa to the Anantara portfolio, will mark the brand’s debut in the beautiful Seychelles islands and will represent an elevated level of luxury for discerning travellers in this corner of paradise. "Without question Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will become one of Anantara’s flagship properties and joins our existing portfolio of stunning Indian Ocean resorts," commented Dillip Rajakarier, chief executive of Minor Hotels and Minor International, parent company of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will be the brand’s first property in the Seychelles and the seventh in the Indian Ocean, joining the two resorts in Sri Lanka, one in Mauritius and three in the Maldives.

"Space“ is the Keyword for Seaside Tourism – Seychelles is well placed for this "New Normal“

Mario Masciullo of eTN Italy published and interesting article on the need for space as the trend for seaside tourism stating that for the coming holidays the moves are settling in with the need for gazebos. This is the space deemed needed to pass a day between sunbathing and aperitifs. "A small den in which to recover a more human approach to vacations, which improves the quality of beach facility service. Think of it as creating one’s own bubble" Mario Masciullo writes.

It is expected that "Space" will be the keyword that will be heard at the next SUN Beach&Outdoor Style 2020, the Italian Exhibition Group show dedicated to the latest trends in seaside and outdoor tourism at its 38th edition from October 14-16 at the Rimini expo center in Italy.

Highlighted as quality service, comfort and a touch of luxury where days pass between the sun lounger and the divan, tanning and aperitifs or dinner, gazebos form the trend that rethinks the habits of lovers of vitamin D, iodine, fresh air, and waves. Gazebos meet the desire for serenity that a beach holiday inspires in Italians in the summer of 2020. The space of a small den just a few yards from the water’s edge becomes the symbol of a bubble habitat with a more human approach, which seaside materials, furnishings and design will also bear in mind for 2021.

Inspired by the "HUMAN+" vision, which from October 14-16 will run through SUN 2020, TTG Travel Experience and the new format Regeneration!, chosen for the sector dedicated to designer hospitality by SIA, SUN 2020 will host the confirmed Best Beach award conceived by Mondo Balneare, the only national acknowledgment that a twin jury (public and technical), will give by assigning "Oscars" for beach service, food & beverage quality, and, lastly, precisely for the design and the furnishings of Italy’s best beach facilities.

Seychelles as a tourism destination is blessed to have "space" with which to welcome it visitors in what is now being called the "new normal". Seychelles has been able to handle the COVID-19 pandemic well and it is hope that this success story can be maintained and that no one acts irresponsibly and in a way that could destabilise the lives of the people of the islands by causing the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to download a copy of Zilwa Publication – Issue 7

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