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Weekly Report from the Indian Ocean nations of Seychelles, Mauritius, La Reunion and Madagascar.


St. Ange’s Indian Ocean weekly report

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Alain St.Ange l eTN Ambassador  Dec 04, 2007

Weekly Report from the Indian Ocean nations of Seychelles, Mauritius, La Reunion and Madagascar.

SEYCHELLES
SEYCHELLES VICE PRESIDENT BELMONT LED DELEGATION TO WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2007
The Seychelles delegation to this year’s World Travel Market in London comprised of 40 stakeholders, who was headed by the country’s Vice President Joseph Belmont. At WTM, Seychelles launched its electronic brochure which gives tour operators access to pull out a hotel page with all its information and use it in their own brochure. Vice President Belmont stated upon his return to Seychelles that all actors in the Tourism Industry have to work more closely together to mitigate the effects of climate change and at the same time ensure that the tourism sector continues to develop and flourish.

LEISURE & BUSINESS SEYCHELLES 2008 LAUNCHED
The last European and UK Tourism Trade Fairs saw the launch of a new hotel collection brochure called “Leisure & Business Seychelles’.” This latest brochure is published by Connect Seychelles Ltd of Alis Laurent and Daniella Payet-Alis. They have attempted to bring out the best in Seychelles Tourism in the one publication.

AIR SEYCHELLES ANNOUNCES FUEL SURCHARGE ON ITS DOMESTIC ROUTES
A Fuel Surcharge of U.S. Dollar 1.50 has been added on a return flight on the 15 minutes domestic route of Mahe-Praslin-Mahe. The increase follows the new fuel prices on the world market.

SEYCHELLES WILL CONDEMN THE US BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA
It was reported in Havana, Cuba that Mr. Patrick Pillay, Seychelles’ minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, had expressed that Seychelles will condemn the US blockade against Cuba at the UN General Assembly.

The Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque was encouraged by the Seychelles stand on the Blockade of Cuba which was described by Minister Pillay as ‘Non Negotiable’ during an Official Visit to Cuba.

MO IBRAHIM FOUNDATION PRIZE WENT TO CHISSANO
The $5 million prize of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Prize for achievement in African Leadership has been won by Mozambique’s Former Leader, Joaquim Chissano.
Six former African Leaders had been in the running for the prize aimed at getting African Dictators to adopt democratic norms. Seychelles former President Albert Rene, who took over power following the 1977 Coup D’état, was also one of the six former Presidents in the running for the prize. Mr. Kofi Annan, the Former UN Secretary General was President of the Award Committee for the $5 million prize.

AN HUI JONG IS NORTH KOREA’S NEW AMBASSADOR
The new ambassador of North Korea (DPRK), Mr. An Hui Jong, has presented his credentials to President James Michel. He is based in South Africa and is his country’s 5th Ambassador to be accredited to Seychelles since diplomatic relations was established.

JOURNALISM AWARD FOR OPPOSITION M.P., JOSE HENRIE
Former Radio Producer Jose Henrie, now an Opposition M.P., has won this year’s award of the Gender and Media Organization for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Journalism in Africa. The African Achievers were honored at a gala event in South Africa’s Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Mr. Jose Henrie did not travel to South Africa because of budgetary constraints. Jose Henrie was nominated for his weekly radio program “Seychelles Digital” which he has been producing since 2003.

Other winners this year were Rwandan President Paul Kagama who was presented with the Lifetime Achievers Award for his dedication to the proliferation of ICT industry in Africa and the Mauritian Minister for Information Technology and Business, Etienne Sinatambou who was nominated Top Minister in Africa with ICT portfolio.

SEYCHELLOIS ARTIST AT ‘COP 13’ CONFERENCE IN INDONESIA
Seychellois Artist Nigel Henrie will put his final touches to a canvas of a painting of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon and Indonesian President, Susilo ‘Bambang’ Yudhoyono when attending the 2007 ‘COP 13’ Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The sale of this painting will be at an auction at the end of the conference and the proceeds will be given to the People of Bandar Aceh, the Region worst affected in Indonesia by the 2004 tsunami. Nigel Henrie was invited to the “COP 13” conference dealing with environmental issues such as climate, global warming and sea level rise because of his reputation as a specialist in paintings of marine life. This year’s edition of ‘COP13’ is expected to attract international pioneers such as former US Vice President Al Gore and actor turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.

CLAUDE MOREL IS SEYCHELLES AMBASSADOR IN FRANCE
After presenting his credentials in the U.K. as the island’s High Commissioner, Claude Morel presented his Official Documents as Seychelles Ambassador to the French President Nicholas Sarkozy at the Palais de L’Elysee in Paris.

Mme Rama Yade, secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights and Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, President Sarkozy’s “Conseiller diplomatique” assisted the meeting between Mr. Morel and the French president.

JAMES MANCHAM ATTENDS CHIEF JUSTICES OF THE WORLD ‘8th INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS’
Seychelles Founding President, Sir James Mancham delivered a keynote address on the theme “Empowering the International Court of Justice to safeguard the future of the World’s two billion Children” at the 8th International Conference of the Chief Justices of the World in Lucknow, India.

MAURITIUS
NEW MEASURES TO PRESERVE THE BEAUTY OF THE ISLAND
Tourism Minister Xavier-Lux Duval has stated that the Natural Assets of Mauritius must come first and that everyone must work to preserve the beauty of the island. He said that Mauritians should not become victims of islands success in its tourism industry.

The Minister has also announced new measures aimed at safeguarding the Mauritian Natural Beauty and for making Mauritius a safer tourism destination. “We shall take the bull by the horn to achieve the peace and security of our visitors” said Minister Duval. The new measures announced covers a range of topics from designated anchorage for boats to speed limit for speed boats in the lagoons to the handling, with the MSPCA and PAWS, of stray dogs to security for visitors to Mauritius. Minister Duval, speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Beau Rivage Villas, ended in saying that the strategy for the development of hotels is based on the protection of the environment, of the beaches and of the lagoons of Mauritius.

LE PETIT FUTE MAGAZINE TO REPORT ON MAURITIUS
The Travel Guide with some 600 titles providing objective information for travellers is to prepare, for its Magazine, a detailed report by Catherine Dairin of the Country Guide Petit Fute. Le Petit Fute Magazine is a Press Oriented Publication with 30,000 Points of Sale. The Report on Mauritius is due out in the December/January issue of the Magazine.

GERMANY SHOWS MARKED INCREASE IN VISITORS TO MAURITIUS
Mauritius is recording an important increase in its tourism arrivals from Germany. Dr Karl Mootoosamy, the Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority stated the he now wanted Mauritius to further its increase its presence in Germany which remains the main tourism market for Mauritius now recording an increase of 22.6 percent between the months of January to September 2007 when compared to the same period in 2006. The German Visitors are also known to be the biggest spenders per head as Holiday makers in Mauritius. Aviareps Mangum of Keith Mangum which represents Mauritius in Germany said that it was possible to further increase arrival numbers to Mauritius from Germany. Keith Mangum and Karin Froehlich have recently visited Mauritius to present to the Mauritian Tourism Trade their vision for the coming year.

WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS NAMES HILTON MAURITIUS AS THE LEADING CONFERENCE HOTEL IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
Mrs. Gisela Munchgesang, general manager for Hilton Hotels Mauritius and Seychelles, received the award at the U.K. World Travel Market. These awards are considered as the Oscars of the tourism Industry, and the Mauritius Hilton Hotel was chosen as being the “Leading Conference Hotel of the Indian Ocean.”

MAURITIAN IS ‘TOP MINISTER’ IN AFRICA AWARD
Minister Etienne Sinatamboo was nominated “Top Minister” in Africa with an ICT Portfolio. Etienne Sinatambou, who is the Mauritius Minister for Information Technology and Business, was among this year’s winners at the African ICT Awards at the Gender and Media Organization for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Journalism in Africa. The African Achievers were honored at a gala event in South Africa’s Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Other winners this year were Rwandan President Paul Kagama who was presented with the Lifetime Achievers Award for his dedication to the proliferation of ICT industry in Africa and Seychellois Jose Henrie, an Opposition M.P. who was nominated for his weekly radio program “Seychelles Digital” which he has been producing since 2003

MANDATORY SENTINCING DEEMED ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL
It is some years now that the Mauritian parliament passed legislation allowing mandatory sentences for persons convicted of murder or drug related trafficking. The full bench of the Mauritius Supreme Court has now declared that mandatory sentencing is anti-constitutional. The judges ruled that parliamentarians could vote laws only if they conform to the Constitution. If that is not the case, the Supreme Court of Mauritius, who is seen as the true guardian of the constitution, may, as in the present case, deem such laws to be anti-constitutional.

BEAU RIVAGE OPENS ITS ‘VILLAS’
The Beau Rivage Hotel of Naiade Resorts has moved to consolidate itself in the Five Star Luxe Group of Mauritius Hotels with the opening of its new villas. The new Beau Rivage Villas are said to be for those looking for the ultimate in luxurious retreats.
In the presence of Mr. Xavier-Lux Duval, Mauritian Tourism Minister Patrice Hardy, Naiade’s managing director expressed his joy at the opening of the villas as he introduced Mr. Michel Blamchi, the hotel’s new general manager. The architect of the new villas at Beau Rivage was Christopher Gebert and the interior decoration was undertaken by Virginie Koenig.

‘TIME MAGAZINE’ HAILS MAURITIUS
The US ‘Time Magazine’ has hailed Mauritius as the “development darling” of Africa. The publication records that Mauritius has been able to peacefully swap Governments since its Independence from Great Britain in 1968. The US ‘Time Magazine’ states that Mauritius, known as a high class tourist destination, had also become a hub for global business with uniform taxes of 15 percent for individuals and companies and regulations simplified to allow ventures to take off within as little as three days.

The Magazine also cites the example where the Mauritius Textile Business can switch from an order for 200 designer dresses to a 200,000 T-Shirt order from Wal-Mart without missing a stitch.

FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF AIR MAURITIUS TO BE SUBJECTED TO MEDICAL TEST TO DETERMINE IF HE IS FIT TO STAND TRIAL
Sir Harry Trivengadum, the former Chief Executive of Air Mauritius will be subjected to medical examinations to determine if he is fit to stand trial before the Mauritius Court of Justice.

This was decided by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in relation to the case involving 85 Million Mauritius Rupees fraud involving the National Airline of Mauritius at the time Trivengadum was the Boss of the Company.

Sir Harry Trivengadum was carried by two ambulance assistants on a stretcher for his last court appearance. He will now be examined by a panel of four Doctors including the Chief Police Medical Officer.

MAURITIUS PROMOTION IN LEIPZIG WAS A SUCCESS
The Leipzig Tourism Trade Fair (Touristik & Caravaning) saw the participation of Mauritius MTPA and its partners Blue Ocean Tour Operator and Naiade Resorts. A total of 1200 business from 53 countries were in Leipzig for the Fair which was deemed a success by the Mauritius Tourism Promotional Authority.

LA REUNION
‘RED VOLCANOS’ PHOTO ALBUM
Red Volcano (Volcans Rouges) is a document on the “Piton de la Fournaise” issued by Photographer Edouard de Lajartre and American Brad Lewis. The Book displays photographs taken during the last 5 to 6 years on Volcano Eruptions of the two sister volcano in La Reunion and in Hawaii.

MADAGASCAR
PRESIDENT SAYS ‘NO TO SEX TOURISM’
Madagascar President, Marc Ravalomana, has appealed to foreigners, who are settled in Madagascar and who are promoting sex tourism as a business, to leave the country. The President said that he deplored the increase in the numbers of prostitutes now seen in the main tourist areas including the town of Tana.

St. Ange’s Indian Ocean weekly report



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