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Saint Ange on Seychelles Tourism Report #20

Seychelles today has embraced change. Some change everyone is happy with, others are being questioned, but change is here and the people remain determined to see it through because it should safeguard the industries that keep the economy of the islands moving. The conditions to make things work are important for everyone, this is why every Seychellois needs to remain positive. Negativity will just drag the country down and hurt the people as it hurts the economy.

Good news for the tourism industry this week as a couple are jailed after their £20,000 food poisoning claim from a Thomas Cook trip to Majorca are exposed as FAKE. The continuous torment for Hoteliers facing deductions from their invoices may well come to an end now that a precedent has been set after a successful challenge. From the UK alone, the holiday sickness bug claims had risen by 500% said the Daily Mail in the UK on the 13th October.

It was the Tour Operator holiday company Thomas Cook who, in a private prosecution case, saw a British Couple sentenced to jail nine months and 15 months respectively, for their claim for compensation by stating they and their two children had fallen ill on holiday in Majorca in 2015 and 2016.

Tour Operators are the partners of the hoteliers and with their local DMCs (Destination Management Company) must work as one to fight off claims that are far-fetched and often raised by holidaymakers who have become experts at raising such claims.

Peter Sinon, the Secretary-General (elect) of the new Seychelles Labor Union stood with the nurses last Saturday as they demonstrated in Victoria for better working conditions. The new Workers Union remains one that is not affiliated with a Political Party and looking at the best interest of workers and encouragement for the businesses to ensure they can employ more Seychellois. Members of the Executive Committee come from all the political colours of Seychelles and two of the leaders of the new Union were part of the Government of the day. Peter Sinon was a Member of the Central Committee of the LP Political Party until he handed his resignation some three weeks ago. Alain St.Ange, on his part, happily says he is only a Seychellois and belongs to no political party after having resigned from the ruling party (SPPF, the predecessor of LP) in 1981. He was then a member of the Opposition Party at the start of what was the transition to the third republic. He joined the Government as Minister but was not a member of the ruling party.

Since all the excitement about the arrival of the new Labour Union, the Alain St.Ange / Peter Sinon Team have been meeting with the Stevedore Workers, the Nurses, the Taxi drivers, small hotel owners, hotel workers, cargo truck drivers, IT technicians, Civil Servants, Air Seychelles Staff, Transec Staff and this week with the Teachers.They have also received a letter from the Civil Status employees seeking support for their grievances. For the Teachers meeting, they were joined by Marie France Marie, the Secretary (elect) of the Union.

The Government of the day will be encouraged to hear the pleas of everyone who is working for the good of Seychelles, and the Opposition in the National Assembly will be invited to table a Private Members Bill to support the aspirations, dreams and ambitions of all working Seychellois as they have shown they have successfully done for the OffShore Sector.

The Seychelles Labor Union (SLU) has said that they will be standing for all who are working and this includes the salaried employees as well as the self-employed businessmen and women of the islands. At the end of the day, everyone is working and are therefore workers and they need a politically independent body to be by their sides.

Workers will be Recognised, Respected and Remunerated for their respective efforts and in return, a Responsible and productive workforce will now help Seychelles grow.

“The Seychelles Labor Union is already having opposition for their determination, but this is a sign of being effective. If there’s opposition, it means they’re noticing change”

Tourism & cost is the talk in the hospitality and tourism circles. The new tax on the higher salaries seems to be a fait accompli, but has Seychelles looked at the implications of this move? Any employee who will be hit by a higher tax bracket will not accept to have a take-home pay that is less than what they were on before, and this will result in businesses having to increase their salaries to make up for the shortfall. Any increases in operational costs will then be passed on to clients, and for the tourism industry, the visitors to Seychelles will be expected to pay. How much more expensive can we become before we start pricing ourselves out of the market is the BIG QUESTION for the tourism industry of Seychelles and all the staff working in that industry?

Until next time, I bid you Bon Voyage.

Alain St.Ange
[email protected]

Saint Ange

Read more: Saint Ange Tourism Newsletter – 20th Edition.

Topics featured in this edition include:

  • Annou Sov Nou Zanfan (Let’s Save Our Children) – a new NGO for Seychelles
  • Seychelles trip top prize in Irish wedding competition
  • Festival Kreol 2017
  • ACI Africa/World Annual General Meeting in Mauritius

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