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Kempinski Hotel blocked off by Taxis following ongoing dispute in Seychelles

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by Jemie Bonne, Chairman of the Taxi Association

Kempinski Hotel’s GM Masami Egami in Seychelles felt the brunt of angry Taxi Association Members for not abiding by the rules and regulations of the Seychelles. Kempinski Hotel in Seychelles was totally barricaded by taxis and no movement in and out of the hotel’s main and back entrances was possible even as Seychelles Police Officers looked on.

Taxis in Seychelles were being bypassed for what was deemed illegal transfers arrangements by Kempinski Hotel and the Taxi Association Members have been boiling up for sometime waiting for the Government of the islands to move in to bring Kempinski Hotel into line. Last Saturday from 6am, the Taxi Association Members moved in by themselves saying enough was enough and barricaded the hotel’s entrances to show their displeasure at the letter received from the hotel pushing them out of the hotel’s grounds to the main road entrance kiosk for the duration of some renovation works.

Holding banners and posters saying “Stop Apartheid Tourism” taxi drivers stood at the Hotel’s entrance waiting for Anne Lafortune and Pat Andre, the Heads from the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and also for Land Transport to arrive. The Taxis were very grateful for understanding and support received by the Seychelles Government’s representatives who sat with them and the Kempinski Hotel’s Management. “Our Seychelles needs to claim back its tourism industry to stop such actions by overseas hotel groups who have no respect for Seychellois” the taxi men said.

The blockage was ended after a compromise reached at the meeting brokered by Government Representatives present and the Taxi Association are set to continue pursuing their claims against Kempinski Hotel and are threatening to again block the hotel if the General Manager Egami of Kempinski Hotel does not respect the operation rules of the country.

PS Anne Lafortune cautioned against such blockages affecting the tourism industry, but the Taxi Representatives said as the appreciated the call by PS Lafortune that the responsibility for the unrest rests with Kempinski Hotel who want to be above the laws and regulations of the country.

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The Taxi Association also said they are waiting for the President to finalise proposals made following meetings that called after a petition to the President of the Republic to put order in the sector.

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