By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
The Editorial this week highlights:- a. Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands meeting with President Didier Robert. b. Kenyan-flagged vessel Diamond Ace 1 on the reef in Seychelles. c. The Durup boat ‘Glory’ has arrived. d. Great Barrier reef of Australia and environment experts from many other countries can take a leaf from Seychelles. e. Travel will get more expensive pushing destinations to be more proactive if they want a fairer share of the tourism market – Hakone is a very popular tourist destination because they have so many places to visit. f .Tourism as an industry must work together.
Stand alone articles this week:-
1. Indian Ocean Lodge notches TripAdvisor award .
3. A glimmer of hope: Nature Seychelles’ ground-breaking project proves we can restore coral reefs.
4. Born to heal with plants: Seychelles herbalist Ferdinand Vidot eagerly shares his life-long knowledge.
5. Meridien Fisherman’s Cove of Seychelles can benefit from Marriott merging of its Loyalty Programmes.
6. Will air travel get cheaper? SpiceJet to test India’s first biofuel-powered aircraft today.
7. Didier Robert’s new coastal road construction at Reunion remains impressive.
8. Seychelles Autism Association on the move .
9. A380 for Air Austral – now a reality.
10. Africa’s Most outstanding Travel Media :- VoyagesAfriq.
11. Whale spectacle seen for the beach in Reunion Island.
Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands meeting with President Didier Robert
Discussing the challenges and successes of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands was reason enough for two meetings between two founding Presidents of the Vanilla Islands. President Didier Robert, the President of the Regional Council of Reunion met with as I was in Reunion on private business.
We had worked together closely when I was the Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine. Our meetings took place in Boucan Canot on Friday the 31st August, and again in St. Denis on Saturday the 1st September and together we discussed the Vanilla Islands.
We both agreed that the drive behind Cruise Tourism for the Indian Ocean had been largely successful because of the hard work and dedication of Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands and now more new Cruise Ship Companies are looking at the region.
It was the opportunity to also alert President Didier Robert that air access and the needed connectivity between the islands was still a challenge that would continue to hamper the twin and three islands holiday option for the region.
Even though Air Austral had achieved excellent developments in Madagascar, Mayotte and La Reunion by standing behind the Air Madagascar and Ewa Airline, to open up the triangular approach with La Reunion, Madagascar and Mayotte, the political will needed to drive an adequate air connectivity strategy was still lacking for other areas.
To access La Reunion through Mauritius from the Seychelles, it was still obligatory to check in luggage to Mauritius, then having to clear Immigration and Customs before going through the formalities of re-checking in for the onward flight. I was able to speak by experience having just done that last Thursday.
Regional visibility among other matters was also discussed because it was so needed to keep the Vanilla Islands name relevant as a tourism region.
Kenyan-flagged vessel Diamond Ace 1 on the reef in Seychelles
Maritime tragedies have hit Seychelles. In August, two young children drowned as their boat capsized on their way back to Praslin from La Digue, after the 15th August Celebrations.
This incident was followed by “Sea Horse”, an Island Development Company (IDC) chartered landing craft, acting as the supply ship to Coetivy Island, catching fire and later sinking and leaving four crew members unaccounted for and one crew making it safely ashore after receiving help from the island.
The maritime challenges of the month continued, with Kenyan-flagged vessel Diamond Ace 1 running aground between islands in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park. What that foreign flagged ship was doing is this marine park area is still unclear.
The Director General of Seychelles Maritime Administration, Captain Joachim Valmont confirmed that Captain Pierre Grandcourt, along with Port Authority personnel boarded the boat Mearl, to go out to the reef between Cerf and Long islands to assess the situation where the Kenyan-flagged vessel Diamond Ace 1 had run aground.
The team travelled out in the hope of pulling Diamond Ace 1 off the reef. Maritime Safety reported that the boat that Capt. Grandcourt was travelling on was trying to get as close to the scene as possible, when the boat was hit by a large wave and Captain Grandcourt was thrown overboard.
It was reported that the crew members of Merle tried to pull him in, but unfortunately by the time they managed to pull him out of the water, he was unconscious and was taken to the port where an ambulance came to assist, but he passed away and compounding the maritime tragedy spell hitting Seychelles.
This was followed by a cargo schooner ‘La Providence’ as it was heading for La Digue from Mahe last week encountering difficulties ‘en-route’.
The Durup boat ‘Glory’ has arrived
Jeffrey Durup is a known seaman of the Seychelles and has been on the sea for most of his working life with his schooners serving La Digue and also the other private islands as supply ships. A couple of years ago he was joined by his son Lenny who qualified as a sea Captain and who had become the first Seychellois to take command of a Seychelles tanker- ‘A challenging career but there’s no going back’ were words written by Seychelles Nation newspaper of Lenny Durup.
Lenny grew up on La Digue working with his father in the family’s two cargo vessels – “Kapris Letan” and “La Providence” and has now acquired “Glory” the Durup Family’s new landing craft that is set to offer to Diguois and the island a more complete service.
Congratulations to Jeffrey, Lenny and to their families
Great Barrier reef of Australia and environment experts from many other countries can take a leaf from Seychelles
Seychelles has over the years developed an expertise which is today accepted as a revolutionary coral reef restoration success. Seychelles reef restoration project has achieved the extraordinary by raising over 40,000 corals fragments in underwater nurseries and transplanting a 5,500 square metre of degraded reef – the size of a football pitch – with these corals. The project is carried out by local NGO Nature Seychelles and is the creation of Seychellois environmentalist and the NGO’s Chief Executive, Dr Nirmal Shah. Seychelles is today able to offer this expertise to other countries in their own work and efforts to save their reefs.
Travel will get more expensive pushing destinations to be more proactive if they want a fairer share of the tourism market – Hakone is a very popular tourist destination because they have so many places to visit
Increases in cost for travel will bring out new challenges for many countries. Tourists travel to discover the country but also to appreciate culture. Everyone will have a take on this, but more and more tourism related surveys are talking about adventure tourism and also cultural tourism. Tourists will need things to do to spend their holiday budget. Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker of the Modern Tokyo Times writes that Hakone is a very popular tourist destination because you have so many places to visit and the views of Mount Fuji in certain locations are extremely stunning.
Throughout Hakone, you have many museums, art galleries, and cultural wise the area is very rich in history. This certainly applies to Hakone Jinja (Hakone Shrine), whereby the Shinto faith blends naturally with nature. Also, the historical treasure museum based on the rich history of Hakone Jinja is certainly worth visiting because you have several amazing gems.
Hakone is situated in the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and the entire region is a tourist paradise because stunning nature abounds in all directions, and if part of this lovely article is today touched in our editorial it is because it demonstrates the need to open up attractions for one’s tourism industry to work.
Travel as we know it is set to become more expensive in 2019 says Travel News Wire of 26th August. “Travel is likely to have more expensive in 2019 with the expense of flights and hotels both predicted to go up, in line with the fifth annual Global Travel Forecast, published by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation” they said.
The Travel News Wire Report says that the proliferation of low-cost long-haul flights brings more opportunities to go to far-flung destinations without breaking the lender, and such carriers are predicted to multiply in 2019, while continuing to fight for long-haul routes. Ultra-long-haul flights will be another flights trend for 2019. But factors such as for example rising oil prices and too little pilots are anticipated to operate a vehicle up airfares next year in virtually all global regions.
In Western Europe, for instance, the expense of flights is likely to rise 4.8%. The increase could possibly be particularly pronounced in Norway (11.5%), Germany (7.3%), France (6.9%) and Spain (6.7%). However, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and African countries will probably visit a decline of 2.3% and 2% respectively.
In the Asia Pacific region, flight prices are anticipated to go up 3.2%, with Chinese demand remaining high. Indeed, by 2020, China is predicted to end up being the world’s biggest flights market. In 2019, the country’s flights are anticipated to move up by 3.9%. Similarly, flights may very well be more expensive in India, with prices likely to rise 7.3%, while fares in New Zealand could increase by 7.5%.
Price rises will tend to be more modest across THE UNITED STATES, up 1.8%. In Latin America, Chile may be the only country likely to experience a substantial rise (7.5%) while prices over the region are anticipated to drop 2% overall. When it involves hotels, the report predicts price increases driven by the growing role of technology in personalising guest experiences and by upward demand fuelled by flights growth. Hotel rates in Germany and France are anticipated to go up 6.8%. Norway is again more likely to see Europe&rsquo once;s biggest price rises, 11 up.8%. Across the Asia Pacific region, prices are anticipated to go up 5.1% (with an impressive 11.8% likely for New Zealand), apart from Japan, in which a fall of 3.2% is predicted. Hotel prices are estimated to go up 5% in Canada and 2.7% in america. – AFP Relaxnews
Tourism as an industry must work together
The recent protests by Taxi Operators outside the gates of the Kempinski Resort in Seychelles demonstrated the need for the tourism industry to work together with everyone respecting the responsibility of the other. The Kempinski Resort and the Seychelles Taxis Association need to meet to ensure such incidents are not repeated. We received many messages from Tour Operators and past guests of Kempinski Resort seeking more clarification of the event that saw the hotel guests blocked inside the property. Each country has rules and regulations that need to be complied with for the smooth running of its major industry.
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