By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
Welcome to Edition #17 of 2018
The Editorial this week highlights the change of Tourism Minister for Seychelles as announced by President Danny Faure, the request proposed by Jules Hoareau’s TV program on rental of bicycles on La Digue by the larger hotels, Tourism for All and the Air Seychelles cooperation, the new book on tourism by Edition Universitaires Europeennes, the environment that remains the preoccupation of everyone and ends on the call for a study of Assumption for the construction of a Military Base. Stand Alone articles in this Issue cover:-
1. Sustainability tops CaranaBeach agenda Hotel embarks on “Refuse the Straw” campaign to commemorate 2nd anniversary as Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label renewal for three hotels is announced…
2. Raffles Seychelles invest in human capital.
4. North Island, a luxury private island resort in Seychelles, has won gold at this year’s African Responsible Tourism awards.
5. Emirates Renews Its Support to Mauritius and Seychelles.
6. Rising sea levels will make low-lying atoll islands like the Seychelles and Maldives uninhabitable as soon as 2030.
7. Dr Balaji receives highest award at world cleft Craniofacial conference.
8. Sports tourism has great growth potential in Kenya & Seychelles.
9. Zimbabwe – MAJOR BOOST FOR TOURISM ENSHRINEMENT PROGRAMME.
10. The Maldives announces impressive 17.5% increase in UK visitors.
11. Talented Seychelloise Jade Jolene du Preez wins international recognition for short stories.
12. Rwanda tourism set to welcome the next Commonwealth Meeting & HRH Prince Charles becomes Head of the Commonwealth.
13. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.
Seychelles has a new Minister of Tourism
President Danny Faure has announced a Cabinet of Ministers reshuffle and with it, a move from tourism for Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, after just over a year and a few months in office. He has been replaced by Minister Didier Dogley who was formally the Minister for the Environment. Minister Loustau-Lalanne moves to the Ministry of Finance. Minister Dogley’s new Ministry continues to cover Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine.
We wish Minister Dogley well as the new Tourism Minister and we take this opportunity to wish all Ministers success in their new portfolios.
Jules Hoareau TV program called for reforming bicycle hire on La Digue
The morning show on Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) TV by popular presenter Jules Hoareau appealed for large hotels on La Digue not to be in the business of hiring of bicycles. The insinuation that Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie was in that business was made and the Resort’s Owning Company was contacted to seek their views.
Joe Albert, the Group’s Chairman confirmed that the Resort was not in the business of hiring bicycles to their guests and to visitors on La Digue, but he accepted that one of the shareholders in the company was personally involved in a bicycle hiring business which has now raised the concern.
Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie of La Digue has 63 Villas which includes a Presidential Villa and a couple of Exclusive VIP Villas. For these eight villas they attach 16 bicycles for their sixteen guests which they offer on a complimentary basis as part of the facilities on offer. These sixteen bicycles are owned by the resort and covered by the Insurance Policy of the Resort.
Joe Albert agrees that the hundred or so hotel guests should be able to have access to all those in the business of hiring bicycles and that he will be moving to open up that possibility very soon. Today the La Digue “Severe Bicycles” has exclusivity at the resort and the Chairman of the Hotel’s Owning Company agrees that this needes to change as the practice is seen as being unfair.
He nevertheless emphasised that Bicycle Operators who wish to offer their bicycles to the resort’s guests will be required to show that they have insurance for their Bicycle Hire business. “This is only the duty of care we have as the resort” said Joe Albert.
Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie of La Digue employs 217 staff members out of which 72% are Seychellois with a large proportion being Diguois, or affiliated with La Digue.
Tourism for All & Air Seychelles cooperation
The Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA) has moved to involve everyone in the drive to consolidate the island’s tourism industry. Tourism for All is the call, and a great initiative. Without tourism the economy of the Seychelles will struggle and it is important for each and every Seychellois to not only embrace the industry, but to also defend it. Every Seychellois will be affected if tourism suffered a slowdown, so it is right to expect everyone to work together to for the growth of the industry.
The revived spirit of cooperation between Air Seychelles and the SHTA is commendable. It is a win win for everyone. The airline needs the tourism industry to speak about them and what better way than to find appropriate avenues for the trade to use Air Seychelles for their marketing and sales missions. Special applicable rates for the tourism trade is a positive move that should bear fruits.
New Book on Tourism by Edition Universitaires Europeennes
Elvis Mutiri wa Bashara is the author of the new book “RDC:- Les opportunites d’investissements dans le tourisme” (Opportunities for Investments in Tourism) has been published by EUE (Editions Universitaires Europeennes).
The book spells out the road to opportunities and the forward was written by Alain St.Ange, the former Minister for Tourism. Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of the Seychelles who has been a good friend of the author Elvis Muturi wa Bashara.
Elvis was also Minister for Tourism in RDC and was one who was actively present at major tourism forums and at the UNWTO.
The Saint Ange Tourism Report wishes Elvis success with his publication.
The Environment remains the preoccupation of everyone
The posting by SIF (Seychelles Islands Foundation) on plastic waste building up on Aldabra Atoll, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the most remote place on the planet, is a worry.
As we are reporting of measures being taken by Hotels and Resorts (See article on CaranaBeach in this issue), we cannot emphasise enough that every Seychellois must be seen to be good custodians of what we have been blessed with. Seychelles has a picture-perfect landscape with many unique attributes that continue to attract visitors to its shores. The Seychellois from an early age work to protect their environment, and today the islands have Wild Life Clubs in schools only to re-emphasise the protection of the environment as the number one priority of each and everyone in the islands.
We hear of appeals to rid plastic from our day-to-day lives, but the recent posting by SIF shows that more needs to be done to educate or to sensitise the world we live in to respect the environment. We have but One World and we all have a part to play to save it.
“Baseline study on the natural and physical Environment of Assumption Island”
It says “Baseline study on the natural and physical Environment of Assumption Island” with as objective of this survey is to provide information on the current status of the natural and physical environment of the Assumption Island in line with the proposed Military Facility.
Closing date was stated as 30th April 2018.
Government seem determined to force through this deal for a Military Facility on Assumption Island even though the Leader of the Opposition has said that the deal was dead and that Government should not try to bring it to the National Assembly fro ratification. President Faure should be listening to the Seychellois people. Terry Sandapin, the Chairman of the Save Assumption Group needs 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
Sustainability tops CaranaBeach agenda
Hotel embarks on “Refuse the Straw” campaign to commemorate 2nd anniversary
Patrons of the CaranaBeach Hotel on Mahé are being asked to safeguard the ocean and its inhabitants, each and every time they order a drink.
And they’ll do so by refusing to drink from a straw. Or at the very least, by enjoying the use of a biodegradable version supplied by the hotel.
CaranaBeach launched a “Refuse the Straw” initiative to commemorate its 2nd anniversary on the 21st April, with artwork positioned around its bar and restaurant areas promoting the concept that to refuse a straw could mean saving the life of a sea turtle or other marine animals, according to CaranaBeach PR, Branding and Communication Manager Nicole Saint Ange.
“It’s not only about reducing the amount of waste that the hotel produces,” Saint Ange said. “It’s as much or even more about raising awareness about the overall impact of plastic on our oceans, and we hope that our guests will spread the message and reduce the use of plastic in their everyday lives once they are back home.”
As the campaign’s promotional information indicates, straws are made in minutes, and used in minutes, but take 200 years to break down, and even then they’re decomposed into tiny toxic particles that marine animals can ingest.
The hospitality group that owns CaranaBeach is extending the Refuse the Straw campaign to its other properties as well, on Denis Private Island and the Indian Ocean Lodge on Praslin.
Now heading into its third year after a successful 24 months in operation, CaranaBeach also plans to step up its environmental agenda in the coming months, which includes the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label certification process, a national platform for hotels to adopt the best worldwide practices in sustainability.
The Tourism Department has renewed the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) certification of three hotels – Cote d’Or Footprints and Constance Lemuria on Praslin and the Four Season Resort Seychelles at Baie Lazare.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne presented the SSTL certificates to the representatives of the three hotels on Thursday. This was during a short ceremony held at the ministry’s headquarters at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, and the Quality & Standards Officer at the Tourism Department, Janice Bristol, were also present. Minister Loustau-Lalanne commented on the importance for all industry stakeholders to keep on striving to maintain ecological principles. He congratulated the three hotels for their commitment in adopting reflective practices for the betterment of the local tourism industry.
Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) certificates are presented to hotels after they are found to be integrating sustainability practices in their business operation. Applicable to hotels of all sizes, the SSTL is a voluntary sustainable tourism management and certification programme, designed to encourage more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business.
To date, 15 hotels have obtained the certification.
Raffles Seychelles invest in human capital
Raffles Seychelles on Praslin is part of an international hotel chain with presence in several countries. The mother ship Raffles in Singapore was built in 1887 by hoteliers Sarkis Brothers and was named after the British Statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. Its colonial architecture to this day makes it stand out and so many popular and famous films have been filmed in and around this hotel and to add to its famous history the Singapore Sling which is a gin-based cocktail is still in demand by those who frequent such places. This world famous drink was concocted in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon working in the Long Bar of Raffles, Singapore and it is still popular today. The hotel’s colonial architecture has undergone restoration and it remains the flagship of the chain which includes Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resort and Swissotel.
In Seychelles Raffles is a 5 star jewel nesting in the hills of Baie St Anne, Praslin and has become an unmistakable landmark that can be seen far out at sea and in the air. Interestingly the most attractive aspect of this hotel is the way so many nationalities work together in harmony and display mutual respect for each other which at any given time you may hear 7 different languages being spoken by groups of staff and management but the common language is English. This is the way foreignization should be with no one culture trying to overpower another which at the end of the day creates harmony in work and play.
The Hotel Management has invested heavily in Human Capital, they have appointed a Training Manager, Mr Varun Kalra and he has put in place a dynamic training programme of which I was delighted to have been invited to deliver a management course to 16 participants. The course was intensive but enjoyable judging by the feedback. At the end of the day what you put in is what you get out unless you can perform miracles. Good workers are not born, they have to be trained then all parties gain from a WIN WIN situation.
Source:- Independent Newspaper / Contributed by: Barry Laine FCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH Academy of High Performance Ltd, The Wishing Well, Anse Des Genets Mahe, Seychelles
African Tourism Board teamed up with eTurboNews at the last Arabian Travel Market in Dubai April 22-25 and invited those interested in learning more, or joining as a founding member to join together. Many Tourism Boards, Ministries of Tourism and Tourism Oriented Organisations have now registered.
Founded in 2018, the African Tourism Board, an association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from the African region.
The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research, and innovative events to its members.
The Association provides leadership and counsel on an individual and collective basis to its member organizations.
The Association is expanding on opportunities for marketing, public relations, investments, branding, promoting and establishing niche markets.
The award ceremony was held last Wednesday evening, at the WTM Africa travel and tourism trade show in Cape Town, South Africa.
North Island scooped the gold award in the ‘Best for Aquatic Species & Habitat Conservation’ category.
The Managing Director of North Island, Seychelles, Bruce Simpson, said: “This prestigious award comes at a momentous time in North Island’s history. As we celebrate 21 years of luxury sustainable tourism, we could not be more proud to have been recognised for our ongoing commitment to our Noah’s Ark island rehabilitation programme. We will continue to push the boundaries of marine conservation and endeavour to be a role model to others across the world.”
Established in 2014, the African Responsible Tourism Awards aims to celebrate and inspire change in the African tourism industry.
Awards were also presented to winners in other categories: Decent Work and Social Inclusion, Responsible Cultural Experience, Best for Innovation in Water Management, and Best for Global Goals.
Wilderness Safaris, an operator of safari camps, lodges and experiences in seven African countries, which won gold in the ‘Best for Global Goals’ and silver in the ‘Best for Innovation in Water Management’ categories, was also announced the overall winner and grabbed the main prize at the 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards.
Wilderness Safaris was recognized for its efforts towards better and sustainable practices in tourism, and the judges were impressed by Wilderness Safaris’ (Botswana) success in driving down the consumption of bottled water, hence cutting down on plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Their efforts have set the bar for other tourism partners to follow suit, as the call now is for vigorous action to reduce water consumption across the tourism industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, headline sponsor of the awards, said the winners have set an example, which is helping to promote sustainable tourism.
“The winners provide leadership in their respective sectors throughout Africa and effectively contribute to growing tourism in a sustainable manner,” he said.
On his part, Harold Goodwin, the chair of the judging panel, said the judges searched for winners who educate and inspire others, challenging the industry to achieve more.
“In the World Tourism Responsible Tourism Awards, the ambition is simple – use tourism to make better places for people to live in. This also benefits the industry: great places to live are great places to visit,” he added.