Seychelles Car Hire Association seeking their fair share of the tourism market
Almasalla,Gate Arab Tourism News- Seychelles is dependent on high tourism yield to support its growing economy. This is today more than ever before an accepted fact. One of the country s service industry that has been contributing to increase the tourism yield is the 57 registered car hire companies.
Despite government’s concessions to create conducive business environment for car hires to operate, the Car Hire Association is still convinced the country’s business climate can improve for car hire operators to gain a fairer share of tourism market. "Unless, more is done to address their challenges, tourism yield will continue to remain stagnant" they claim. The newly elected Chairman Vincent Padayachy, and the new Committee Members of Car Hire Association say that they are today determined to make their voices heard on obstacles hampering their businesses.
Following meetings with Ministry responsible for Transport, the Car Hire Association’s next stop was at Ministry of Tourism and Culture. In the first meeting with Minister Alain St.Ange since taking Office, the Office Bearers of the Car Hire Association painted a negative picture of how some general managers of hotels are “pressuring” car hire operators for complimentary vehicles. The Office Bearers of the Car Hire Association said that this behaviour will not help to increase the tourism yield of the country, but will on the other hand reduce the income by car hire operators.
At the meeting at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture at the ESPACE Building that was also attended by the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, members of Car Hire Association added that without direct flights from source markets and the total liberalisation of Air Access, the tourism business in Seychelles cannot grow. “Air transport is one of our major concerns. We need as a country to firstly show that we believe in our destination and our National Airline needs to lead the way, and then we need to work to increase international flights for our country to continue to grow its share of tourism business cake’’ outlined members of the association.
Minister St.Ange said that Car Hire Association should work alongside their Hospitality and Tourism trade partners on a common platforms and to echo the message aimed at encouraging everyone to work together to help increase the tourism yield of the country. The Chairman of the Car Hire Association also appealed to Ministry of Tourism and Culture to use participation at international tourism trade fairs to promote Car Hire operators.
Minister St.Ange said the market share of Car Hire operators for pre-bookings for arriving tourists is low and that Tour Operators often raised the question of standards when a Car Hire Operator sub-contracted a car from a third party. Minister St.Ange announced to members of Car Hire Association that effective of this month all requests for car hires by the Ministry and by the Tourism Boards would now go through the association but requested that the Ministry and the Tourism Board received a special Trade Rate.
Members of the association welcomed the announcement as a positive business development move. The association also expressed concern of a lack of training for their car hire workers meeting clients on a daily basis. In a bid to remedy the problem the association appealed for the Ministry to equip them with graduates trained in this domain. Minister St.Ange said that presently the Seychelles Tourism Academy was not offering courses in this specific field but felt that the general tourism course was an option.
The Minister added that the Seychelles Tourism Academy can assist Car Hire Association to tailor short courses to meet their specific requirements. Members of the Car Hire Association walked out of the meeting confident that their voices had been heard. When he closed the meeting Minister St.Ange re-assured the Car Hire Association Committee that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture will continue to “work with them and take their concerns to highest level’’.