It was learned overnight that the presentations made by the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association SHTA to the government of Seychelles, on a range of issues from concerns over recent developments at Air Seychelles and over funding of tourism marketing, were part of the discussions of the NEC in Victoria this week. The body, chaired by President James Michel, on February 08th debated on the points raised and consented that the Seychelles Tourism Board should get a funding increase to allow yet greater marketing of the archipelagos tourism attractions. While announcing the increase in funding the NEC also urged the tourism sector to speak with one voice and stand together as one when promoting the islands abroad.
The upcoming Carnival Festival has brought the global spotlight back to the Seychelles in full force and the present turmoil in the Maldives too has opened additional opportunities to showcase the Creole Island Paradise as a haven of peace and tranquility, setting it apart from other trouble spots elsewhere and ready and able to absorb additional tourist arrivals with little if any notice.
A source at the heart of the tourism industry in the Seychelles contacted this correspondent overnight and stated: We are but one stop from anywhere in the world and air access today provides the best connectivity for our islands with any city in the world. We have 12 Emirates flights per week through Dubai, 7 Qatar Airways flights through Doha and Etihad and Air Seychelles jointly are now offering six flights a week through Abu Dhabi. We also have a weekly Condor nonstop flight from Frankfurt and the Italian airline Blue Panorama is starting a weekly nonstop service from Rome and Milan to Seychelles. Ethiopian Airlines is also starting a service from April with four flights per week from Addis Ababa and Kenya Airways operates to Seychelles from Nairobi in Kenya for those who combine an African Safari with a beach holiday. Air Austral maintains the liaison between Seychelles and La Reunion Island for those wanting to enjoy the spectacular mountains and the volcano crater of that French Island in the Indian Ocean.
SHTA has in an official statement hailed the decision by the National Economic Council as the right decision at the right time and pledged to continue working hand in hand with government and STB to achieve the goals set for the year, which anticipated a growth of tourism arrivals to over 200.000 in 2012. Seychelles, truly Another World.