By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
Welcome to Edition #16 of 2018
The Editorial this week highlights the need for visibility for tourism destinations before moving on to how the VATEL Hotel and Tourism Business School of Mauritius are keeping their students updated on tourism beyond their shores. The editorial also speaks about the stealing of rental car tyres, the FINA Marathon Swim World Series that is coming to Seychelles and the sooty terns that have landed early before ending with the Assumption Island saga after words echoed at Chatham House in London by President Faure. Stand Alone articles in this Issue cover:- 1. FISHING, FOODING AND FUN: THE CLUB LIBERTE. 2. Hofit Golan at Raffles Seychelles.
3. Unique Hotel on My Favorite Island – Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie Resort & Spa. 4. Seychelles intensifies preparations to become the first African host of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series. 5. Dr. Taleb Rifai is the new chairman of the IIPT Advisory Board. 6. Queen Elizabeth among the last cruise ships to grace the Seychelles’ Port Victoria this season. 7. Kenya Airways Launches 40% Discount on Flights to Mauritius. 8. 21 African Countries to Showcase at Africa’s Tourism Indaba. 9. Seychelles Tourism Board hosts series of workshops in South Africa to drum up bookings to the destination. 10. UK arrivals drive tourism sector in Mauritius. 11. Mauritius to stage the International Conference on Digitalisation and Sustainable Tourism. 12. 25 Most Desirable Honeymoon Destinations For 2018. 13. Patrick Victor Kreol King of the Seychelles. 14. Book publication highlights Sega of the Creole Islands of the Indian Ocean 15. LGBT Seychelles Chair meets Prime Minister of Malta. 16. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.
Visibility: the necessary ingredient for tourism destinations
Every country or tourism destination is competing for visitors, and the visibility of a destination will continue to remain key to attracting tourists. The recent article titled “25 Most Desirable Honeymoon Destinations For 2018” published by Awesome Places for Travel should today be a barometer that should be used by destinations on their current visibility efforts. One country that would have been assured of inclusion was Jamaica. Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett of Jamaica continues to be the Minister to beat these days. He is everywhere and written about daily. The visibility he brings for Jamaica ensures his island nation remains relevant. As we congratulate Hon Edmund Bartlett for his tireless efforts, we can safely also say to the army of Tourism Ministers from the Community of Nations that the art of communication is the ‘make or break’ today and for tomorrow and that your country’s key unique selling point will remain your “Best Kept Secrets” unless they are communicated to the world.
Seychelles on its part also missed out on making this list of “25 Most Desirable Honeymoon Destinations For 2018” not because the country does not qualify, but more a matter of needing to also look at its own campaigns.
VATEL Hotel & Tourism Business School of Mauritius keeps students updated
The Mauritius Hotel & Tourism Business School “Vatel Mauritius” confirmed that they were more than just a normal training institution. They do not only know, but they appreciate the importance to open their students to the bigger world of the industry. Tourism today is also about being well updated of the happenings, trends and challenges as well as success stories from beyond one’s own shores, and “Vatel Mauritius” uses the weekly Saint Ange Tourism Report as one of the medium to keep their 350 students in the know by ensuring each of their students receive the weekly report.
Thank you VATEL Hotel & Tourism Business School for this vote of confidence.
Stealing of rental car tyres
Watching how it is done in films or the embracing of a sick culture is fast becoming a worry to the Seychelles tourism industry. A local restaurateur used a post on social media this past week to make two points. The first was to alert the islands that thieves were now stealing wheels of rented vehicles, and secondly he was pointing out the need for after hour service.
The restaurateur’s post:-
“So people steal tyres off Tourists car hire in the restaurant car park then leave the car sitting on a stone. Get the spare tyre out then realize they’ve taken the wheel nuts as well so we have to put one wheel nut from each other tyre to make at least 3 nuts per tyre to get them home. Called the 24 hr number of the car hire company to come and assist and nobody answers the dam phone. Talk about Service !!! Cops passing by stopped and gave a hand and took all the details. Who is the tyre thief and what a W—– !”
Seychelles and every Seychellois need to appreciate the negative effects of allowing this sad practice to take root. It is the country that will suffer in the long run, and therefore the responsibility lies on everyone to work together to stop it.
FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Seychelles
The news that Seychelles was intensifying preparations to become the first African host of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series is great news for the islands and for Africa. Seychelles is hosting the event at the same time the continent is talking about the rewriting of its narrative for ‘Brand Africa’.
The sooty terns have landed early
The annual arrival of the migratory sooty terns is early this year. When speaking to Guy Savy, the owner of the unique Bird Island he confirmed that the birds had landed. The current owners of Bird Island lodge bought the Island in 1967 and began one of the world’s earliest ecotourism projects. Vital nesting sites for Sooty Terns were progressively cleared of overgrown coconut palms, enabling the 15,000 pairs of Sooty Terns that had been nesting on the island to grow to 700,000 pairs. Today, 1.5 million Sooty Terns are said to arrive to the island to nest. Sooty Terns hover, in their tens of thousands, above their island sanctuary in March, before beginning to land in the colony at the northern end of the island throughout April and May. Laying begins in June where within a 10-day period about 90% of all the eggs in the colony will have been laid. After 28 to 30 days, the eggs hatch, and after a further 60 days, of being fed on fish and squid by their parents, the young Sooty Terns will have grown enough to be able to fly. The last of the juveniles fledge by the end of October. Seeing the colony is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity – a truly breathtaking moment.
The Assumption Island Saga continues
Dissapointment hit Seychelles this week when news broke that President Danny Faure made it known in London where he was attending the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting that the Assumption Island deal with India was not dead.
Many journalists were alarmed by what President Faure said and one wrote “Just been listening to Danny Faure at Chatham House. He made it clear the Indian deal on Assomption is not dead…..”
President Faure is not listening to the Seychellois people and to the National Assembly of the islands who said so plainly not to bring the Assumption deal to the National Assembly because it is dead. Terry Sandapin, the Chairman of the Save Assumption Group is advised to move to again mobilise Seychelles and every patriotic Seychellois to join together to say that the deal for a military base is a NO DEAL, and that Seychelles must have a referendum on the matter.
It is now better understood why Assumption Island has recently been removed from a high biodiversity protection zone under the highly praised and world renowned Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative. It was only in October 2017 that Assumption was classed as a High Biodiversity Area- Zone 1, alongside Aldabra. However, it has somehow and mysteriously been removed. When and why did this happen, remain pertinent questions for the relevant Authorities to answer.
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
Fishing, Food and Fun:The Club Liberte Experience
Now here is what you would call a “hands-on” chef! From the ocean to the plate in a matter of minutes, as Chef Nurettin Aydoğan of the Club Liberté Casino is an avid fisherman. As Nurettin says, “When you have been cooking fish all your professional life, you want to go out and catch them sometimes as well”. And what better place than the Seychelles? Prior to taking up his post at the Club Liberté, Nurettin was the head chef at a huge casino resort in Kazakhstan. And as you may be aware, there is not a lot of ocean surrounding Kazakhstan! In fact, the nearest ocean was several thousand kilometres distance. So here in the Seychelles he takes every opportunity away from his kitchens to get out on the ocean and bring in some of the bountiful harvest that is just waiting out there.
In the short time that Nurettin has been in the Seychelles, he has turned the food concept at the Club Liberté on its head. The overall philosophy of the “5 Spices” restaurant at the Club Liberté is to be a true expression of Seychellois “terroir”. Currently, the menu evolves on a daily basis as ingredients move in and out of season following their natural rhythms. If you don’t see what you want on the menu, then ask for it and you may be surprised by what they can do.
Central to Nurettin’s cooking are sustainable seafood, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, juices and infusions, from the Seychelles wherever possible. Richer items like butter and cream are used where necessary but not by default, and seasoning levels are judicious, ensuring a much lighter style of cooking that is in keeping with many people’s desire to eat more healthily. Nurettin’s aim is to treat all ingredients with the utmost respect and admiration by limiting waste with a strong nose to tail dining ethos.
Nurettin, Jerico and Trevor together in the kitchen love what they do and this is evident in every aspect of a visit to the “5 Spices” restaurant, from the winning seasonal food to the welcoming and knowledgeable service. Everything is done with care, thought and passion. Firm believers in using local seasonal produce, local growers and suppliers are supported, and menus presently change regularly, depending on what is fresh and seasonal and there is always an exciting new dish to try.
We had a few words with Nurettin about his philosophy of life and of food – difficult enough to catch him as he is either in the kitchen or fishing!
Was there ever a moment when you thought you had bitten off more than you could chew?
Yes and no! You always think you have bitten off more than you can chew on a day where you are challenged. But you never lose sight of your goal and I think that is important because it gives you the opportunity to reflect, realise how far you have come to get where you are, and that is key when it comes to development and achieving your dreams. You can’t let your challenges make you overlook the bigger picture.
And your work life balance?
I admit that my work life balance isn’t great but I am not complaining and it has always been the case. It is getting slightly better, I love the time that I get to spend outside in the Seychelles, and on occasion I might get to squeeze in some fishing to keep a healthy lifestyle, but hard work has always been a part of who I am and that is what it takes to achieve your goals.
Is sustainability important to you?
Yes sustainability is important and we see this in various ways. We aim to be sustainable financially, environmentally and use local produce to support the sustainability of the local economy. You can’t do one without the other so it is something we have at the forefront of our minds with everything we do at the Club Liberté.
What would you say is the single biggest USP you would want to create for the Club Liberté and the 5 Spices Restaurant?
Our location and sense of place, it is an incredible place and an incredible building and it gives our guests a different experience each time they return to us.
If you can change anything, what would that be?
I wouldn’t really change much, there are a few minor details. The physical concept of the new restaurant will be completed in a month or so and overall, I am very pleased with what we are creating.
If you had to rate your satisfaction on the Club Liberté so far what would it be?
100% satisfaction… But there is always the opportunity to improve.
There speaks a man who is happy with what he does!
Hofit Golan at Raffles Seychelles
Hofit Golan is in Seychelles and press reports in the UK say that she is experiencing her first taste of the islands while she films a new nature documentary. The TV presenter was enjoying the natural beauty and the white sandy beaches of the islands. The socialite is said to be in Seychelles for professional purposes. According to reports, Hofit is working with German TV host Natalie Lefevre while staying at the five-star Raffles Resort of Praslin in the Seychelles. Hofit is a regular face at some of the world’s most glamorous celebrity events.
Source:- Daily Mail UK
Unique Hotel on My Favorite Island Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie Resort & Spa
Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie of La Digue Island has been building a niche clientele for its uniqueness on the eco-tourism island of the Seychelles. The resort is situated right on the beach with some of its villas intelligently positioned to ensure a perfect view of the nearby islands and the daily sunset.
GetawayGuideorg from Draper, Utah was a guest of the resort earlier this month and she made it a point to relay her personal impressions on Trip Advisor for all to see.
This posted comment says:-
“I highly recommend this hotel! It is a short ride to the ferry dock and they will pick you up in a golf cart if you let them know when you will arrive. The food was fantastic here at both restaurants! Their restaurant and pool is on the ocean with great views of the sunset. I recommend you take a short walk north to a public beach for the sunset and pictures at least 1 night. We stayed in a villa on the hill. If you don’t want to climb the hill they have drivers in golf carts to escort you. You can rent bikes at the hotel and ride around the island which was so much fun! La Digue is a quaint island. Everyone is so friendly!! It has the best beaches with gigantic boulders at the South tip of the island. It is like Tortola with the boulders but bigger and better! It’s like St Lucia with the mountains and greenery but better and it has the beaches of Bahamas all in one island!! You can ride your bike down and you will run into a plantation. For a fee you can enter and feed giant tortoises. (If you want to see wild tortoises that are even bigger there is an island near Praslin where you can pay for an excursion.). But these tortoises were enough for us. There is a famous public beach where they have filmed castaway and Bacardi commercials which you can access from the plantation or from walking along the public beach around the plantation. This hotel arranged for a guide to take us to Grand Marron beach and it was stunning!! The guide took us on a hard hike through bushes, under rocks, over high rocks and through water for 2 hours to reach the beautiful beaches with the boulders without people. We laughed the entire time. We swam for 2 hours and our guide cooked, packed and prepared a lunch for us. (He used to be a cook and it was good food) We were able to use our drone on all parts of the Seychelles. Then we hiked back for 2 more hours, and it was so worth it! There is a coco de mer nut you can view at the post office in a curio. Or you can take a short ferry ride to Praslin to see the endangered nut in the rain forest. We also went scuba diving with azzurre pro divers and really enjoyed our dive. We saw a bait ball with huge tunas pecking at the fish one by one. The dive shop is a short walk into town from the hotel. We hope to visit La Digue again and if we do we will stay at this hotel, it is the nicest on this island”.
Seychelles intensifies preparations to become the first African host of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series
Preparations are well underway with only 32 days remaining before elite swimmers from across the globe converge on the Beau Vallon Beach next month. The FINA/Hosa Marathon Swim World Series is an annually staged elite-level competition organised in over 9 locations and takes places in either fresh water or at sea.
Since 2007, FINA decided to focus on the 10km distance, as a direct consequence of the introduction of the 10km Marathon Swim into the Olympic programme in 2008. Seychelles will be hosting the second of the nine series in 2018, becoming the first African country to host the high-profile event.
Members of the local steering committee met with the local press on Tuesday to give an update on the preparations. The press event was also attended by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister for Youth, Sports & Culture, Mitcy Larue, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis and Principal Secretary for Youth & Sports, Fabien Palmyre.
Minister Loustau-Lalanne confirmed that the male and female winners of this year’s initial series in Doha, Qatar, Dutch nationals, Ferry Weertman & Sharon Van Rouwendaal, were among the first to register for the Seychelles race. At least five international swimming federations have started to register their elite swimmers who will be taking part in the competition and all FINA affiliated Federations worldwide have until May 7th to register their elite swimmers. A member of the organising committee, Ronald Wong said Seychelles is envisaging to attract at least 40 male and 40 female participants this year.
Two Seychellois brothers, Bertrand and Damien Payet, will be taking part in the elite 10km open water swimming competition. The duo already competed in the initial race in Doha, Qatar last month. Aside of the elite 10 km race on May 20th, there will also be a mass participation event (Open Challenge) in the morning which is being opened to everyone in a bid to encourage the Seychellois population to be part of this historic event.
Minister Mitcy Larue urged students, families and friends to register to take part in the four different categories: 100m for students aged 7 years and under, 500m for students aged 10 years and under, 1km for students aged 11 to 13 years and 2.5 km which will be open to everyone.
Local and international participants wishing to take part in the open mass participation event have until May 14 to register. A registration fee from 25 rupees to 200 rupees will be applicable. Each participant will get a cap, a medal and a certificate. The first 8 participants who complete each race will also win monetary prizes and the first three will win the gold, silver and bronze medals. PS Palmyre said the Ministry of Education and private schools across the country have been contacted to encourage participation of students, and parents are being assured that all necessary safety measures will be in place. A dry run of the event will be held on April 29, which will be the perfect opportunity to test the level of preparedness and effectiveness of all the safety aspects.
It is to be noted that Seychelles will be hosting the FINA/Hosa Marathon Swim World Series for four consecutive years and both Minister Larue and Loustau-Lalanne have expressed hope that the organisation of the event will be at the highest level possible. The open water swimming competition is also expected to raise the island nation’s visibility as a tourist destination, hence private sector businesses, particularly those in the tourism sector, are being urged to support this event. “Initially we had some difficulties, but I can say that I am 100 satisfied that the hotels and tour operators are now onboard to provide their support,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
The Seychelles Tourism Board is also a key partner that has not only contributed SCR2 million towards the event, but is also actively helping with the marketing side and in attracting international press.
South Africa’s SuperSport channel and nine journalists from international media organisations in Italy, China, South Korea are among those that have confirmed that they will be coming to Seychelles to provide coverage. STB’s Chief Executive, Sherin Francis said: “STB is monitoring the international federations registering as this will allow us to decide which press to invite to cover the event so as to give Seychelles maximum visibility as they will be looking out for their own athletes. For now, we have five international federations that have confirmed their participation but the figure will definitely be increasing in the coming weeks.”
From Seychelles, the 2018 FINA Marathon Swim World Series will move to Portugal, Hungary, Canada, China, Taiwan, before ending in the United Arab Emirates in November.
Dr. Taleb Rifai is the new chairman of the IIPT Advisory Board
The former UNWTO Secretary-General has been a man of peace, building a bridge of friendships and integrity for our largest industry in the world, the Travel and Tourism Industry.
It is therefore not surprising for this respected global tourism leader with a legacy like no one else to be named the chairman of the International Advisory Board at the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT).
He succeeds Dr. Noel Brown, who becomes Chairman Emeritus, and before Dr. Brown, Knut Hammarskjold, former Director General of IATA and nephew of UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold.
In making the announcement, IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore stated: “IIPT is most honored that Dr. Rifai has accepted the role as Chairman of the IIPT International Advisory Board. His acceptance enhances the stature of IIPT in the International Tourism Community and IIPT’s ability to make further progress towards its vision of travel and tourism becoming the world’s first global peace industry and the belief that every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”
Dr. Rifai stated: “I have been a supporter of IIPT and its vision since participating in the IIPT Amman Global Summit nearly 20 years ago as Jordan Minister of Communication. As I have often stated as Secretary General of UNWTO – global solidarity is based on a common aspiration for peace – and ‘travel is the language of peace.’ I also believe and have often stated that the ‘core business of tourism is to make the world a better place.’ As Chairman of the IIPT International Advisory Board, I will be in a position to continue contributing towards these ends.”
Dr. Rifai earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo; Masters degree in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and a PhD in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1999 to 2003, he served in several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan as Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; Minister of Information; and Minister of Tourism and Antiquity. He subsequently was Assistant Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) following which he served as Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization prior to being elected as Secretary-General in 2009 and elected for a second four-year term by the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
During his eight years as UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr. Rifai changed the UNWTO and many say he raised the bar of the UN agency to a new high, building a legacy for himself and the UNWTO like none of his predecessors had.
Source: World Tourism Wire
Queen Elizabeth among the last cruise ships to grace the Seychelles’ Port Victoria this season
The Seychelles’ 2017-2018 cruise season is slowly coming to an end, and Queen Elizabeth is among the last cruise ships to visit the island nation this season.
Queen Elizabeth, one of the world’s most famous cruise ships offering luxurious cruises around the world, docked in Port Victoria last Friday at 8am and left the same day at 8pm. Arriving in Seychelles from Colombo, Sri Lanka, the ship was carrying 990 crew members of some 50 nationalities and 1,890 passengers of 27 different nationalities.
The passengers made the most of their one day stop in Port Victoria, opting to visit the capital, Victoria, buying souvenirs and visiting other interesting sights including the Botanical Garden and beaches.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, had the opportunity to meet with the Ship’s Captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge, on Friday afternoon. He was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, and officials of the Seychelles Ports Authority.
Captain Thorhauge spoke to the Minister about the passengers’ excitement to be in the Seychelles and highlighted the warm welcome they received upon arrival.
The Queen Elizabeth crew even welcomed a group of 32 children from the School of the Exceptional Child who were visiting the Port on Friday onboard the ship, a gesture which was commended by the Tourism Minister. “Visits like this bring enjoyment to most of the people, especially when you open your ship to occasional visits,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
Discussions between the ministerial delegation and the Queen Elizabeth officials also focused on the importance of cruise tourism for Seychelles. Minister Loustau-Lalanne said the Indian Ocean archipelago has been witnessing an upsurge in cruise business to its shores in recent years.
The Seychelles’ cruise season lasts from October to April and the current season is expected to close with a total of 41 port calls by cruise ships belonging to several cruise companies. Minister Loustau-Lalanne also spoke about the planned six hundred metre extension of Port Victoria, which will provide a boost to the island nation’s reputation as a cruise destination. If all goes according to plan, the Port Victoria extension and redevelopment project is expected to start early next year and should be completed by 2021. The visit onboard Queen Elizabeth ended with the exchange of gifts and a short tour of some of the facilities onboard the ship, which has 12 decks in total.
It is to be noted that Queen Elizabeth also stopped in Seychelles in April last year. Queen Elizabeth is one of three cruise ships belonging to Cunard – a luxury British cruise line based in Southampton and owned by Carnival Corporation. The cruise liner is currently on a four-month trip to and from Southampton. The cruise, which started in January features several stops including in the Indian Ocean including in Mauritius and Reunion, as well as in Southern Africa and the Americas.