MTPA’s latest copy / paste attempt shows moral and creative bankruptcy


A section of tourism stakeholders increasingly opposed to the current leadership at MTPA, has in a number of emails to this correspondent called them ‘The undisputed masters of copy / paste’ while openly questioning their ability to introduce even a single innovation or original thought not grabbed off other island destinations and then peddled as their own.

The angry outbursts are a result of MTPA hijacking yet another Seychelles idea – following a sharp escalation in thinly concealed efforts to foulmouth the Carnival International de Victoria in recent days by peddling misleading statements over alleged money demands for participating in the event – as one of their own creations.

MTPA’s latest invention, coined ‘The Carnival of the Sea’ appears a perfect copycat of Seychelles’ successful ‘SUBIOUS – The Festival of the Sea’ which has over nearly two and a half decades grown into a globally acclaimed celebration of marine life and underwater photography, besides another blatant attempt to grab some of the ‘Carnival’ glitter generated by the Seychelles marketing juggernaut.

In the past has MTPA unsuccessfully tried to copy cat the Seychellois ‘Festival Kreolwhich eventually earned Victoria the byname as the Creole capital of the world, but failed in a big way on Mauritius to achieve even distantly similar success. That was largely attributed by local Mauritius’ observers for the glaring lack of empowering the local Creole population and having that community involved in a meaningful way in the preparation and design of the event.

But the worst case of idea grabbing until now took place last year, when after a series of slights and dismissive comments by MTPA top brass against their colleagues at STB and in particular the former STB CEO and now Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange, the idea of a competing carnival festival was floated.

Stakeholders have unsuccessfully demanded until now full accountability of funds spent on this short-lived parody of a carnival, which at the last moment was turned into a Shopping Bonanza, ending reportedly in a huge disappointment in terms of sales, turnovers and profits but cost MTPA an arm and a leg of taxpayer’s money.

MTPA has lost its lustre. The embarrass themselves and us all with such stunts. We missed the million arrival mark and surrendered the top destination position to Maldives. They do not need to copy anyone there, Seychelles does not need copy anyone, only us here are told that promoting other people’s ideas is ok for us. This way we cannot succeed over the future. MTPA is too limited in their thinking, almost too sectarian. It must change or we will next year end third behind Maldives and Sri Lanka. There is too much investment at stake here in Mauritius. We cannot let MTPA wreck if for all of us. MTPA should get new leadership on all levels from a broad spectrum of private sector marketers and product branding experts’ wrote a regular source from Port Louis a few hours ago, suggesting further that Mauritius tourism is not likely to benefit from the idea but instead may suffer a back lash of sorts when the truth comes out.

Official sources in the Seychelles were also not ready to comment on these latest shenanigans of their colleagues in Mauritius, perhaps preferring to have the international market reaction show the difference between the original and a poor run off. One source did however say, off the record: ‘We in Seychelles have a unique situation where private and public sector work hand in hand. Our annual marketing strategy reviews listens to all opinions and take on board all good suggestions. Now we are busy implementing what we discussed a few weeks ago and none of us has time to worry and bother about what other destinations do about our success stories. If they think they need to copy from us it shows we are doing it absolutely right’.

Time will tell to what extend this latest copy / paste creation will succeed, or else fail but it is clear that the success of the Seychelles and in particular the relentless global media attention and their marketing juggernaut around the world has made for jealous and envious rivals in the region. Watch this space.

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