By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
The Editorial this week highlights:- a. Muthuvelan Karunanidhi, the Political Icon in Tamil Nadu will always be remembered. b. Respect for culture in Seychelles will again see the 15th August Feast of the Assumption of La Digue Island celebrated by one and all. c. Fruit Bats: A delicacy that is raising some concern. d. Operational Costs must be revisited. e. Seychelles Visibility Campaign.
Stand alone articles this week:-
1. Titans of South Africa Visit Seychelles.
2. Duty of Care is a tourism destination’s responsibility .
3. Seychelles Tourism Trade now find a place to meet informally.
4. Arabian Buffet at Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa impresses diners.
5. Best beaches in the Seychelles according to CNN Travel .
6. Strong Universal Network SUN x confirms Advisory Council.
7. Vanilla “celebration” in Reunion .
8. UK travellers boost tourism figures in Maldives.
9. Spotlight On Africa & Indian Ocean islands Roadshow.
10. Female and traveling? Why you will feel safe in Guam.
11. Ethiopian Airlines unfolds tourism packages and moves to support Ethiopia.
12. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.
Muthuvelan Karunanidhi, the Political Icon in Tamil Nadu will always be remembered
The world was in shock last week, to hear of the sad loss of the ex. Chief Minister Dr. Muthuvelan Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu, who passed away at the age of 94 years old. A condolence meeting was held in his honour at the Vivekananda Hall of the High Commission of India in Seychelles premises on the 8th August at 5.30pm.
“Living is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist. These words are dedicated today, as a homage to Ex Chief Minister and Doyen of Indian Politics, the late Mr. Karunanithi” said Mr Ramani a member of the Seychelles Indian Community. This highly respected political icon of the State of Tamil Nadu, Mr Muthuvelan Karunanidhi on the 8th June 2016, had welcomed me and my official delegation to his private offices in Chennai.
I was then on a working visit to increase awareness of the Seychelles as a tourism destination, to the Indian holiday makers and to work to develop more trade between Seychellois entrepreneurs and their Indian Counterparts. I was accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board, M. S. Sai, the Seychelles Honorary Consul in Chennai, Ramu Pillay, Kannan Pillay, Shanmugam Pillay and Durai Pillay .
I remember well discussing with Mr Karunanidhi, the closeness of the islands of the Seychelles, the population with its own Indian population with many still having strong links with family in the Tamil Nadu State amongst many other matters. I was in awed by this meeting, not because of politics, but because of his lifelong dedication to his people and country which has earned him the respect to be regarded as a political icon. I was thrilled that Mr Muthuvelan Karunanidhi received us personally to his offices, and said to the army of waiting press outside his offices, that the whole delegation shall cherish this meeting with such a respected personality”.
Respect for culture in Seychelles will again see the 15th August Feast of the Assumption of La Digue Island celebrated by one and all
The annual 15th August Feast of the Assumption of La Digue in the Seychelles, a celebration that falls on the calendar of events of the Roman Catholic Church, will this week bring thousands to La Digue. This year, the celebrations will be extended into two weekends, as the 15th August falls midweek on a Wednesday. This feast brings together the religious procession and mass, as well as mass musical events and a fun fair.
Thousands of Seychellois and tourists alike descend on La Digue for this annual celebration, which over the last couple of years, has grown to become a key event on the country’s calendar of events. Bishop Denis Wiehe of the Catholic Church of Seychelles will again lead the religious side of the celebrations along with Fr. Francis of La Digue
The people of the Seychelles have always been proud of their unique culture, and religious belief is part and parcel of the island’s culture. Happy 15th August to each and every Diguois, and congratulations to the Seychellois people for the respect of the Seychellois Culture, which needs to be nurtured daily to ensure it gets stronger day by day.
“You can change everything, but you cannot change your culture and heritage” were words I echoed at the 2015 La Digue Celebrations when addressing the opening ceremony of the event.
Fruit Bats: A delicacy that is raising some concern
Last week’s editorial spoke about Seychelles moving to be more dog friendly with a new Dog’s Control Act. Many letters of feedback were received from all over the world complementing Seychelles on their move to deal with the stray dog problem of the islands, with a feeling of care and respect to animal welfare.
But some farmers and hoteliers also wrote in about the fruit bats. One such letter said: “It was nice to know that dogs are now being protected. On the other hand I will make a plea to the concerned bodies to look in to the option of controlling the fruit bat colony. Too many disturbances and also infesting all the fruits leaving a tiny % for human consumption”
Operational Costs must be revisited
The article that sparked the most feedback last week, was the point raised about Cost of Operation in Seychelles. The Business Community, inclusive of hotels of all sizes, wrote in appealing to be heard and saying that the cost of doing business in Seychelles needed to be revisited. Over and above the electricity, water, fuel prices and human resources. Comments forwarded to us after last week’s edition centered on points we had not tackled, and they include:-
a). New Progressive Tax which saw the private sector having to readjust salaries of their higher paid staff to ensure they were not disadvantaged by the new tax regime.
b). Company Vehicles are costing more and more in servicing because of the state of the roads.
Many hotels have also proposed that they be allowed to trade in foreign exchange at the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) and save on exchange rate commissions. The recent fluctuations in the value of the Seychelles Rupee is proving to impact negatively the monthly balance sheets and this point could be further discussed at the Inter Ministerial & cross sectorial meeting between the public and private sectors.
Seychelles must realise that its competition is not between one of its hotels against another one, but instead, competition for a Seychelles holiday is in Tour Operator programs with other regions and even between neighbouring states and islands. Comparison will always be made for similar ranked properties and a Seychelles package, though expected to be a bit more expensive, cannot be entertained when the prices are doubled.
Seychelles Visibility Campaign
More and more lists of the best are being issued and Seychelles is missing out these days, not because we are worse off than before, but more so because of the connotation of “out of sight – out of mind”. The Tourism Board’s core function is the promotion of Seychelles for the benefit of the whole country. The upper end sector of the industry will otherwise continue to work well and the authentic Seychellois properties, activities and facilities will suffer. Bureaucracy will not fill hotel beds, but the ability to react fast to press or tour operators’ requests always brings returns for the country.
It is important to again today acknowledge all who are diligently re-posting the Saint Ange Tourism Report weekly. Our Report ranges far and wide, from Australia to the Americas, from the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands to Africa & Asian and Greater Europe, with your continued support, which is greatly appreciated. You are helping us to grow from strength to strength with each new Edition.
Enjoy the read,
Saint Ange Consultancy
Titans of South Africa Visit Seychelles
Renowned South African Cricket team, the Multiply Titans, will be visiting the Seychelles later this month. The trip is being organised as part of their pre-season preparation and the Pretoria-based team will be arriving in Seychelles on Thursday, 23 August for four days of team-building.
For the duration of their stay the team will be faced with a mix of training, gym work, team building activities, and of course a little time out to explore the Seychelles. The team will also facilitate a cricket coaching session with young cricket enthusiasts. A total of 220 young girls and boys from schools around Mahé will be taking part in the coaching clinic.
As part of the tour a friendly Twenty20 encounter against local side the Gran Kaz Kings will be held on Sunday 26 August, at the Stad Popiler. Speaking of the tour, Titans Cricket Chief Executive Office, Dr. Jacques Faul said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be travelling to the Seychelles, it is something the team are very much looking forward to.
“The pre-season tour has always been an essential part of the team’s preparations heading into a new season, and we believe the facilities and opposition offered by SCA will add immense value to their preparation. The Seychelles is an emerging cricket nation, and to be able to be part of their development, even for a few days, is something that the franchise takes great pride in.”
Accompanying the Titans, to document their sojourn, will be a production crew. The pre-season tour will be broadcast on SuperSport, upon their return to South Africa which will give great visibility to the destination.
The Titans’ visit to Seychelles is being made possible by Gran Kaz Entertainment in collaboration with Avani Seychelles and Mason’s Travel. Other partners include the Seychelles Cricket Association, The National Sports Council and the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Seychelles Tourism Trade now find a place to meet informally
Hoteliers and Tourism Industry Leaders are never able to get away from their job and to be themselves without feeling the pressure of their staff, guests or the just the compulsive habit of watching over service to ensure it is at the level they set. This is exactly why Club Liberte Casino at Four Seasons moved to invite the tourism trade for what will be a regular night out to meet each other casually and enjoy discovering what is on the market.
Last Friday night at Club Liberte Casino it was new (Bio-organic) wines on the market courtesy of Archipelago Wines & Spirit that was being served as the Casino Chef brought out an array of snacks of what was being referred to as ‘finger foods’. “Hospitality and Tourism leaders work hard and need a place to just relax” was a comment from a hotelier.
The list of wines that were presented during the event was the following:
Alsace, Riesling ‘’Riquewhir’’, Domaine Trapet (Bio-organic), France
Chablis 1er Cru ‘’Cote de Lechet’’, Bernard Defaix (Bio-organic), France (tuna tartare, raw fish)
Petit Clos Henry, Sauvignon Blanc, Clos Henri (Bio-organic), New Zealand (salmon)
Cote de Provence ‘’Camille’’, Domaine de Turenne (Bio-organic) France (mozzarella/tomatoes/herbs)
Chianti ‘’Famalgallo’’, San Fabiano Calcinaia (Bio-organic), Italy
Petit Clos Henri, Pinot Noir, Clos Henri (Bio-organic), New Zealand
Arabian Buffet at Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa impresses diners
A night out with a difference makes for a great evening out. The Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa has been working on positioning itself as the place to be for a night out. They have now achieved to present a nightly ‘Buffet Night’ each with a different theme.
The Arabian Buffet Night is their latest addition and attracts the many who have previously holidayed or just enjoyed a meal in Dubai of Abu Dhabi.
Avani Seychelles presents an extensive buffet spread for all their theme evenings with some of the dishes being prepared live. Stephane Vilar, the General Manager of the Resort says that he believes Seychelles needs to provide more as night life and that he has decided to create his resort as the option on any night of the week.
Best beaches in the Seychelles according to CNN Travel
(CNN) — Situated 1,600 kilometers off the coast of Tanzania, the Seychelles is famous for its awe-inspiring collection of tropical beaches, including Anse Source D’Argent, regularly named as one of the world’s best beaches. Brimming with sparkling waters, powdery sands and lush jungle landscapes, every “anse” (Creole for “bay”) on this 115-island nation is postcard picture worthy, which makes differentiating the best from the rest no easy feat. Whether you’re eyeing the African archipelago for a honeymoon, a family getaway, diving trip or some solo fun in the sun, we’ve rounded up nine of the most stand out beaches in the Seychelles.
Anse Source d’Argent
If this slice of Indian Ocean idyll looks familiar, it’s with good reason. Not only is Anse Source d’Argent one of the most photographed beaches in the world, it’s also been the backdrop of Hollywood films such as Tom Hanks’ “Cast Away” and “Crusoe.” The beach remains La Digue Island’s most popular, its reef-sheltered water and otherworldly granite boulders have proving too alluring to pass up. Families with small children and novice swimmers will feel at ease with its knee-high water depths, and one can spot tropical fish and turtles without the need to swim or snorkel. This paradise, however, comes with a cost. The beach can only be accessed through privately-owned plantation L’Union Estate, with an entrance fee of 100 rupees, or around $7.40.
Positioned on Mahé’s quiet southern coast, Anse Intendance has one of the greenest beach backdrops on the entire island. Palm trees, climbable boulders and pure white sand lie in its foreground alongside dense vegetation-carpeted hills. Though it’s a public beach, the five-star Banyan Tree, the only resort along Anse Intendance’s coastline, is based here, providing a touch of glamor. As the beach isn’t protected by a reef, it is often not safe to swim here. However, surfers will find it to have some of the best waves along the island.
Stretching just half a kilometer-long, Anse Lazio is based on Praslin, the Seychelles’ second largest island. The beach is easy to access by car or bus and appeals to locals and tourists alike, but visitors can find smaller coves along the area if seeking further seclusion. It’s positioned in between two forested granitic boulders, with the eastern portion of the beach leading down to a coral-rich underwater life, making it a great spot for snorkelers.
Mahé Island’s longest beach is also the island’s most visited thanks to the bevy of restaurants, guest houses and water sports on offer. Far from secluded, Beau Vallon is usually filled with locals picnicking and playing music under takamaka trees and vendors selling Creole cuisine, drinks and clothing along its crescent-shaped coastline. Based on Mahé’s northwestern tip, its the perfect place to immerse yourself into the local scene.
You’ll never have to face the issue of crowds at Honeymoon Beach, which is among the most exclusive beaches on Earth. It’s based on North Island, an 11-villa, $5,000 plus per night private island where even guests — former boarders have included royal honeymooners the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Clooneys — must book in order to gain access to the sliver of paradise. Well-heeled couples and newlyweds tend to enjoy their private time here with a Champagne picnic while enjoying the show-stopping view of mountainous Silhouette Island (the Seychelles’ third largest granitic island) in the near distance.
A strong rival to Anse Lazio for Praslin’s “most beautiful beach” title, Anse Georgette is a small but sensational stretch of sand on the island’s extreme northwest. The beach is situated on the grounds of the five-star Constance Lemuria Resort, so non-guests must plan ahead and arrange access through the resort, or arrive by boat. Those that do make it here will be rewarded with magnificent snorkeling opportunities and powder-white sands, bordered by foliage and softly-sculpted granite boulders. During sunset hours, the sun and sky put on quite the light show along an outstretched horizon.
This tiny, almost hidden bay is perfect those who want the Mahé beach experience without the crowds. Anse Louis is easy to identify amongst the many compact beaches on the island due to a formidable, forested cliff made of dark brown granite. A portion of its coastline is shared by the ultra-private MAIA Luxury Spa and Resort (the scattered collection of Balinese-style villas atop a hill are hard to miss,) but visitors are able to enjoy full access to Anse Louis’ stretches of sand… if they can find it that is.
Mahé’s Petite Anse has one of the best views on the island, facing northward towards coastline-hugging islands and the mainland’s verdant peaks. The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles resort runs along the entire span of this captivating cove, but like all beaches on Mahé, the Petite Anse remains open to the public. However, visitors must inform the front gate to be escorted to the beach For the perfect Seychellois sundowner, order a beverage and/or snack from the resort’s bar/restaurant and take in front-and-center sunset views over a glistening Indian Ocean.
La Digue’s Anse Cocos is most suited to travelers who don’t mind combining a bit of hiking with their day at the beach. While getting to it involves a 30-minute walk from Grand Anse, visitors get to experience a similar scene to Anse Source D’Argent’s surreal, curvy chunks of granite and clear waters — only without the crowds.The tides here tend to be high, but Anse Cocos offers a saving grace for swimmers in the form of a shallow natural swimming pool framed by beach boulders at the end of the bay.
By:- Travis Levius is a globetrotting writer, editor and photographer for the likes of BBC Travel, Business Insider and Forbes Travel Guide. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his travel/inspiration blog MisterLevius.com. / Best beaches in the Seychelles