Among the varied suggestions arising my last Report is the proposal for a Tourism Conference, an idea that I have been toying with ever since.
The discussion in last week’s Report regarding the proposed ring-road from Anse Lazio to Mont Plaisir on Praslin, Seychelles sparked a lot of outrage and support for the Talma family. Other feedback from last week’s Report consisted of more shared stories of the struggles being experienced and encountered by those involved in the tourism industry of Seychelles.
In particular, the question of staffing generated quite a reaction. Debates around the issue of expatriate employees in Seychelles tends to polarise the public. It cannot be denied that the curtailing of expatriate staffing will inevitably impact the standard of service and also the success of many licensed operations in the field. As a Nation so dependent on tourism, we cannot afford to taint the tourism industry with political agendas.
Others wrote in to share their concerns regarding the potential introduction of fast food chains in our humble town of Victoria. Many wondered who was behind this ambitious venture. We sympathise with the traditional takeaway operators who work hard to keep Seychellois traditional cuisine alive, and whose livelihoods would undoubtedly be threatened by the arrival of the flashy neon lights.
Some readers raised their qualms about the costs involved in construction on the islands of Praslin and La Digue. The cost to dock to offload construction material needs to be re-examined by the relevant authorities because it is passed on to the Diguois. It is said that on La Digue SCR30,000 is payable per day for a landing craft carrying building materials docked next to the fuel station. This cost is exorbitant for the men and women trying to repair their homes or to build a little establishment for their family’s livelihood. This is a real concern for those living on these islands, and it is something which needs to be addressed.
The Seychelles Tourism Board met recently and discussed the way forward for tourism. Their forecast is brave, but they know, as we all know, that they remain highly dependent on visibility, which is key for Seychelles as a tourism destination to continue to remain relevant. Press coverage does not happen by itself; it requires work and dedication by those responsible for putting Seychelles on the map. Now that the catalyst for bringing considerable press coverage to Seychelles for the past six years, the annual Carnival, has been discontinued, the trade appears to be blindly hoping for a miracle.
The Saint Ange Consultancy is proud to announce that we will be branching into Environmental Consultancies. The Seychelles, like other small island states, rely heavily on tourism, which remains the main pillar of our economy. If we were to ask the many visitors that flock to island destinations like Seychelles the reason they chose to holiday in these parts, the majority would say ‘to admire the rich natural beauty which surrounds’. Therefore, it is clear that the environmental well-being of small island nations remains crucial to the tourism industry.
Ameer Ebrahim, a Seychellois Marine Scientist and current Ph.D. Candidate with the University of Queensland, has been selected to deal with any Environmental queries that may reach Saint Ange Consultancy. Ameer has previously worked with the City Council in Australia in developing a mangrove rehabilitation project and has gained valuable experience in mangrove rehabilitation and protection. Furthermore, he has worked alongside Australia’s leading shark scientist, Dr. Jonathan Werry, for a period of two years, gaining insights into shark morphometrics, tagging, DNA sampling, and monitoring. Locally, Ameer has completed some major consultancies in the recent past. He was part of the Consultancy team that drafted the National Protected Areas Act bylaws and regulations for the Seychelles Government. He is also working with a team of scientists in developing fish monitoring baselines and training of island staff at four protected Outer Islands of the Seychelles.
Until next time, I bid you Bon Voyage.
Saint Ange Consultancy. www.alainstange.net