By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
Welcome to Edition #24 of 2018
The Editorial this week highlights:- a) 18th June – Constitution Day . b) Warm Greetings for Eid Mubarak celebrations. c) President Danny Faure of Seychelles at G7 in Charlevoix in Canada. d) 2018 North Korea–United States summit. e) FIFA Football World Cup 2018. f) Vertical Integration Policy coming to Seychelles?. g) Air Seychelles increases rates on its domestic flights.
Stand alone articles this week starts with:-
1. CaranaBeach of Seychelles adds experiential evenings to dining repertoire.
2. A reaffirmed desire of regional companies to cooperate within the “ALLIANCE VANILLE”.
4. Fortress Security Services a partner for the Seychelles Tourism Industry.
6. Kenya Airways to take over control of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
7. Kempinski Hotels announces plans to open The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore – Great news for Seychelles Kempinski.
8. Domaine de Val des Pres Arts & Craft Village.
9. Royal Caribbean to buy majority stake in Silversea Cruises.
10. Mount Kilimanjaro premier tourism exhibition set to pull tourists to Africa.
11. Ghana Tourism Authority to Host back-to-back Tourism & Aviation Fair.
12. Seychelles Tourism Board office in Dubai hosts annual Iftar event.
13. ANAEL BODWELL OF SEYCHELLES AT THE QUEEN’S YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAMME.
14. Pension Hibiscus – TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row.
16. Red Rat & Pascalli enjoyed their Seychelles tour.
17. Football stars in Seychelles.
19. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.
18th June – Constitution Day
Today is the 18th of June and the celebrations of our Constitution Day. It is a day that each and every Seychellois should use for reflecting on where we have come from to better appreciate where we are today. It is also a good day to plan the way forward based on a vision that suits you as a Seychellois. By planning for you and your family first, you will be planning for a Seychelles that will be your country. The recent discussions and talks on the Constitution were a good move, as understanding one’s constitution is essential. It demonstrates that we have rights, but that my rights cannot infringe on your rights as a Seychellois. This is key to understanding we are all equal with three branches of Government (Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary) working independently from each other for the good of every Seychellois.
Happy Constitution Day to everyone.
Warm Greetings for Eid Mubarak celebrations
From all of us at the Saint Ange Tourism Report we say Happy Eid Mubarak to all family and friends from the Muslim Faith. Seychelles is blessed to be able to say we have respect for the diversity that makes us who we are as a People and as a Country. We should never take this blessing for granted and it remains the duty and responsibility of everyone to defend this spirit of togetherness that we enjoy in what we call our melting pot of cultures.
President Danny Faure of Seychelles at G7 in Charlevoix in Canada
President Danny Faure was one of the Heads of State who were invited to Canada at the time the G7 were meeting in Charlevoix. When planning this meeting The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada said:- “Our oceans and coasts are under considerable threat – from increases in plastic pollution, more frequent and severe weather events, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Resilient coastal communities and healthy oceans are vital to growing economies that work for everyone and that is why we are committed to working with others to protect the world’s oceans.” Seychelles has already, 15 percent of Seychelles’ 1.4 million-square-kilometre exclusive economic zone (EEZ), some 200,000 square kilometres listed as protected zones.
2018 North Korea–United States summit
U.S. President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, in the first summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries. They signed a joint statement, agreeing to security guarantees for North Korea, new peaceful relations, reaffirmation of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, recovery of soldiers’ remains, and follow-up negotiations between high-level officials. Immediately following the summit, President Trump announced that the US would discontinue “provocative” joint military exercises with South Korea and would “eventually” withdraw troops stationed there.
This summit was categorised as unexpected but welcomed.
FIFA Football World Cup 2018
Football fever has gripped Seychelles as it did the Community of Nations as a whole. Everyday, since the Official Opening Ceremony in Russia, Seychellois have been glued to their TV Screens to watch the football matches taking place in the different cities of Russia. For weeks Seychelles had been overtaken by the coming football world cup. Cars flying the different flags of countries participating in the 2018 World Cup were seen all over the islands showing how enthusiastic Seychelles was about their favourite sport of football. What was nice was the respect for one another – it didn’t matter what flags were being flown, Seychellois were united with passion and love for their sport!
Vertical Integration Policy coming to Seychelles?
A lot of discussion has been taking place in the tourism industry on the announced Vertical Integration Policy that is meant to be implemented soon. The big question is whether this policy will touch foreign businesses or just Seychellois ones. The Seychelles Constitution provides for the Right to Work and it is debatable if this comes with caveats to stop expansion and growth in only one industry, whilst the business community in the other industries can do as they like.
This new policy is set to touch on the formal channels of the tourism industry (Hotels, DMCs, TO and Travel Agents) at a time when airlines encourage direct bookings and kill off the commissions practice of the past. DMCs are today said to be recording 30 to 35% of arrivals of Seychelles tourism. The Online Booking Engines have grown and eaten on what was the larger chunk of the market in the past. Out of the 30 to 35% of the DMC Numbers, it is noted that only about 50% of DMC clients buy excursions from them.
The tourism industry has moved from the 80s and 90s. Today, hotels operate a lot on direct contracts and are controlling their own destiny. Branded properties such as Starwood and Hilton for example, operate their fidelity point system or honours clients points, and Seychelles receives a lot of clients using their points system. This is not new, but more effort has been placed on these such targeting sales pitch in recent years.
Cruise Ship business is also set to be touched, in what is being called ‘quota of passengers being handled’. Understanding this business is essential if Seychelles wishes to not only maintain what has been achieved, but to also grow it. Cruise Ship Operators receive rates for contracted services over 24 months ahead of the ship’s arrival, and local operators need to guarantee Class A insurance of the US. Normal tourism pricing is 12 months ahead, but for cruise ships it is known to be 24 months, to ensure the ships’ itinerary takes in the destination in its programming. No local DMCs have enough staff to cope with cruise ship business and guides are subcontracted on each and every occasion.
Today in Seychelles the role of DMCs in the formal sector is known to help the informal sector. Small hotels and guest houses provide their own transfers to their guests and local DMCs as a maximum own less than 15% of the island’s bed stock. This will grow with difficulty, bearing in mind that a million US Dollars per key is the budget for an upmarket villa or $500,000 per key in a lower category establishment.
Mauritius has worked with their operators and today have Beachcomber, Constance and Sun among others as big regional players. Seychellois operators are yet to venture beyond our shores.
Desroches Four Seasons has a resort island hotel and a Mahe Resort and it is known that they want their own plane service to ensure that quality and flexibility exists. Hilton Seychelles has three properties, Constance with two of the largest resorts and Club Med is set to open the island’s biggest unit. Seychelles has 60% of its bed stock in the hands of small hoteliers (24 rooms or under), and some local hoteliers with 28 to 30 rooms at L’Archipel, 40 at Carana Beach and 26 at Val Mer are considered large hotels, even though they sit firmly in the small hotel side of the industry. It is potentially time to raise the definition to 60 rooms.
Tour Operators cannot any longer allocate pages in their brochures to small establishments because of costs. This has been on the horizon for years which is why Online Businesses have exploded as service providers for the smaller operators.
The issue is rather complex and cannot be simplified by new rules or regulations. Seychellois companies should be protected because they are the economic insurance of the islands.
Air Seychelles increases rates on its domestic flights
The proposed increases in airfares between Mahe and Praslin have happened, even though the increases previously announced have been scaled back and finally given the go-ahead by the Seychelles National Assembly. Praslinois and Diguois will feel the increase even tough it is but a fraction of the previously announced ones, and the business community of the islands will see this as a further disadvantage, or just as another challenge for their businesses.
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
CaranaBeach of Seychelles adds experiential evenings to dining repertoire
The CaranaBeach Hotel already offers an exciting culinary landscape, with a series of themed evenings that allow guests to enjoy an even greater variety of flavours and experiences.
Following the hotel’s official launch just over two years ago, CaranaBeach has earned substantial buzz for the creative cuisine offered at both its casual all-day dining spot at its pool and beachside bar and lounge, as well as at Lorizon, its more conventional sit-down restaurant, so named in Creole for its panoramic view across the horizon.
Shortly after opening CaranaBeach were also winners of the prestigious World Luxury Restaurant Awards for Seychelles. The award recognises the restaurant that distinguishes itself as having a unique and romantic atmosphere. Lorizon was nominated for the World Luxury Restaurant Awards following a visit from its representatives earlier that year, when the restaurant’s eclectic array of desserts punched its ticket to the awards.
“We’re confident that our guests can go to either one of our restaurants and enjoy a wonderful meal on any given day,” CaranaBeach PR, Branding and Communications Manager Nicole Saint Ange said. “Yet the vision for CaranaBeach was to provide a real sense of place and an authentic Seychelles experience, and our programme gives us an opportunity to surprise our guests and add some more spontaneity to their time with us.”
Among the dining experiences include an authentic Creole evening for guests to sample a multi-course degustation menu, available every Tuesday at Lorizon, Friday nights show off an Asian gastronomic feast as well as a sushi feast with the freshest fish caught off nearby Denis Island. Sunday evenings offer a relaxed evening with barbecue grills, line-caught fish, fresh local salads on the terrace overlooking the famous panorama of CaranaBeach. Additionally, a poolside three-course dinner under the stars is available on request for any celebratory occasion to cater for those special moments.
“Our chefs are always innovating and trying new things, so this is just the start of what we expect will be a continually evolving schedule of interesting culinary experiences for our guests to discover,” General Manager, Cyrille Carofano said.
A reaffirmed desire of regional companies to cooperate within the “ALLIANCE VANILLE”
The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands are made up of the islands of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion and Seychelles, and coming out of this working partnership came the “Vanille Alliance”.
Presidents and CEOs of the four leading airlines of the Indian Ocean met in the concept of the Vanilla Alliance in Mauritius on Friday, June 15, 2018.
Marie Joseph MALE, CEO of Air Austral, Somaskaran Thiagarajan APPAVOU, Air Mauritius CEO, Besoa RAZAFIMAHARO, Chief Executive Officer of Air Madagascar and Remco ALTHUIS, CEO of Air Seychelles, met for the first time since of most of these airline leaders were new in office.
During this meeting, they enthusiastically confirmed their willingness to work together, within the framework of the Alliance, to improve the connectivity of the islands of the Indian Ocean. The Alliance’s work program, set from its inception in May 2015, has been confirmed.
The meeting was reminded of the 4 themes that had been agreed to by all the member
– Search for attractive tariff packages for passengers.
– Program of connectivity of the Indian Ocean Islands.
– Optimizing partnerships to increase the number of destinations offered to passengers
– Pooling of means: fleet and airport equipment
It was again agreed that coming from these four themes, a real spirit of cooperation for work will be carried out by the 4 airlines, around the same objectives:- to create real synergies for significant improvements for the customer.
Concrete actions have been launched:
– The deployment of a new Travel Pass in the Indian Ocean area being made more attractive
– Significant improvement of inter-island connectivity through joint efforts
– The establishment of chartering facilities
In addition, the leaders wished to work together on a joint program of action for the promotion of the environment and sustainable development for the four islands.
At the end of the meeting, Marie Joseph MALE, CEO of Air Austral, was reappointed to the Presidency of the “Vanilla Alliance”.
It was in 2012, that Alain St.Ange from the Seychelles was elected as the first President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation aimed at forming a new tourism destination brand. That same year, St.Ange was also named by then Seychelles President, James Michel, as the Minister of Tourism and Culture. In 2016, he became the island’s Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine. Minister Alain St.Ange was elected as the first President of the Vanilla Islands at the organisation’s first meeting held in Seychelles. His mandate was extended for a second term at the Ministerial Meeting of the organization held in Antananarivo in Madagascar.
Pascale Viroleau of Reunion was appointed CEO of the Organisation. Alain St.Ange was succeeded by Didier Robert of Reunion
Source:- Jean Claude Le Roy / Maurice Info
Seychelles Fast-Ferry Service a recognised example
Seychelles has been complemented by the region for its standard of ferry services being offered between its main islands. The one hour run between Mahe and Praslin islands, as well as the fifteen minutes service between Praslin and La Digue, are seen as a model in standard and service.
Both Inter Island Boats and the Inter Island Ferry services are today recognised as regional examples and are mentioned in maritime conferences as success stories. Both companies owned by the Joe Albert and William Rose groups of companies have been able to build dedicated fleet sizes, enabling them to provide a professional service for the benefit of the people of Seychelles.
Ferry disasters resulting in drowning, make news in many countries, but the Seychelles professional approach to its ferry service continues to provide a seven day service, 365 days of the year. The published time table is always respected and the ferry company owners are even able to sustain maintenance schedules without any disturbance, because of their current fleet size.
The Seychelles did not always have such state off the art ferry service. In the seventies, the Mahe – Praslin – La Digue route was handled by the Lady Esme Government Ferry, that took four hours from Mahe to La Digue with stops at Grand Ange and Baie Ste.Anne Praslin, and that was once a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Today, the economic growth of Praslin and La Digue Islands, are boosted by the fast and modern ferry service owned and operated by the island’s private sector.
Other smaller operators also provide excursions boats from Mahe to Praslin and La Digue on demand. Another company launched the Praslin Express a couple of years ago, but the service was haphazard and regular breakdowns, even at sea, resulted in the service being discontinued.
Fortress Security Services a partner for the Seychelles Tourism Industry
Vic Tirant has confirmed that he is behind the new Security Firm that is set to become the partner of the island’s tourism industry. Vic Tirant is an ex-Captain in the Seychelles Military who underwent training in Cuba, France and the USA. He was also in charge of the Prisons of Seychelles.
His disciplinary training will prove an asset as he recruits security officers for the Seychelles Tourism Industry. “We want to offer to large and small hotels, as well as supporting industries of the tourism industry, security support and give them peace of mind. We are working with a uniform provider to ensure that our uniforms blend in with expectations in tourism establishments, and we have already contracted overseas agencies to ensure we have trained officers for a Seychelles posting as the need arises. Locally we have a list of trained former army and police officers ready to provide support for any tourism establishment and service anywhere in Seychelles” said Vic Tirant who received the support of two friends in the setting up of his new business.
Contracting out security responsibilities ensures a round the clock service and provides the necessary support to industry leaders.
We wish Vic Tirant success in his new venture.
MUA SEYCHELLES INSURANCE MOVES AHEAD WITH PERSONALISED SERVICE
Ghevin Chunen, the Branch Manager of this local insurance company is surrounded by a very proactive Seychellois Team at the “MUA Seychelles Insurance”. They started off in 2009 as La Prudence Seychelles, the overseas branch of La Prudence Mauricienne. In 2010 when La Prudence Mauricienne merged with the Mauritius Union Assurance Co. Ltd. their Seychelles Branch was renamed MUA (Seychelles).
It was in 2011 (11 January) that MUA (Seychelles) was licensed as a Domestic Insurer and in April it moved its trading office in the Oliaji Trade Centre in Victoria. Today Patricia Albert, Tania Sicobo and Tara Chang Time have helped Ghevin Chunen build the MUA Seychelles Insurance and continue to provide local know how and trusted expertise.
Today, this local insurance company provides every requirement for the business community in Seychelles. From Fire & Allied Perils, Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Product Liability, Machinery Breakdown, Group Personal Accident and Health among others.
The name MUA Seychelles Insurance is not widely known, even though they serve the business community well and say they offer rates to suit the local economy. Their biggest asset is their drive to maintain what they say is “personalised service” with specialised members of the Team allocated to specific coverage lines.
Industry players in the tourism industry of Seychelles are always looking for new partners who can meet their challenges and at the same time save them expenses. MUA Seychelles Insurance is a new name wanting to work with the Seychelles business Community.
Kenya Airways to take over control of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Kenya Airways is close to taking over control of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). This was announced by the airline’s Chairperson, Michael Joseph on Monday (June 4).
Joseph said the airline had proposed forming a special agreement that would allow Kenya Airways to run the country’s biggest airport.
The airline is currently facing financial difficulties. In 2017, the government and other shareholders restructured $2bn (€1.6bn) worth of debt to assist in the airline’s recovery. Additionally, the airline has planned new routes in an attempt to drive growth. The plan to hand over control of JKIA to Kenya Airways will be finalised sometime in 2018 pending parliamentary approval, according to Joseph.
Under the new arrangement, JKIA is to be owned and managed by a private holding company, which is to be 100% owned by Kenya Airways. The plan is set to run for 30 years.
As airport operator, Kenya Airways would have control of the allocation of takeoff and landing slots, although Joseph denied this was the reason for the move. He cited Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa hub as an example to follow, stating: “All our competitors are state owned, state-controlled and state-subsidised and managed for the benefit of the airline. We are the odd one out.” Joseph added that in 2010 Ethiopian Airlines was half the size of Kenya Airways but has grown considerably due to the decision to combining aviation assets around the national carrier.
It must be noted, that since Joseph’s announcement, Ethiopia’s ruling party announced that Ethiopian Airlines is to be partially privatised.