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St. Ange’s Indian Ocean tourism report

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Alain St. Ange l eTN Ambassador  Dec 17, 2007

SEYCHELLES
PRESIDENT JAMES MICHEL IN GERMANY
Seychelles President James Michel was in Lindenau Shipyard in Germany to see the latest double hull tankers belonging to the government’s Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC). The two new ships, “Seychelles Prelude” and “Seychelles Patriot,” both were berthed at the side of the same jetty at the Northern Germany Shipyard. The German Schleswig-Holstein president Petr Carstensen greeted President James Michel on his arrival via the “Seychelles Prelude” ship.

AIR SEYCHELLES THIRD BOEING 767 JOINS ITS FLEET
Air Seychelles’ third Boeing 767-200 has arrived and will be deployed principally on the regional routes of Mauritius, Bangkok, Singapore and Johannesburg. The aircraft has been leased from the British Firm XL Airways UK Limited, based in London Gatwick, will remain as part of the Air Seychelles fleet for a period of 30 months. Capt. David Savy, the chairman and CEO of Air Seychelles, said that new aircraft, named “La Belle Creole,” will meet the increased demands on the destination.

RUPEES 18.5 MILLION IS SPENT TO MARKET SEYCHELLES OVERSEAS
The Vice President Joseph Belmont, speaking in his capacity as Minister responsible for Tourism said in the Seychelles National Assembly that the Seychelles Tourist Board (STB) spends around 18.5 million rupees (US$2.2 million) annually to market Seychelles as a tourist destination.

CAR MAKERS RENAULT SENDS ITS BEST SALES PEOPLE TO SEYCHELLES
Car manufacturer Renault has rewarded its best sales people with a stay in the Seychelles. Over 180 Renault sales staff, mostly from Spain, were invited to discover the islands and Hotel Labriz on Silhouette Island. Mason’s Travel was responsible for the Seychelles arrangements and organized to transfer them on their French-built catamaran “Catalina.”

FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND SPA UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN SEYCHELLES
The Four Seasons Hotel Company is presently working on its Seychelles project which is located at Petite Anse on the southern side of the main island of Mahe. The new Four Seasons Resort & Spa in Seychelles will be five-star establishment and is being built on over 70 hectares of prime land. It will be made up of 60 standard suites, three executives, one presidential, one royal suite and 20 executive residential villas, which is expected to open its doors by November 2008.

NICHOLAS PREA AWARDED DAMAGES FOR DEFAMATION
Opposition MP Nicholas Prea, the elected member for the North Mahe District of Bel Ombre, has been awarded Rupees 70,000 (US$10,000) in compensation for defamation. This was the first time that SPPF (Seychelles People’s Progressive Front), the ruling party of the islands, has been compelled by the Courts of Justice to pay damages for slanderous allegations published in their publications. Bel Ombre is one of the nation’s main tourist areas on the island of Mahe.

TOURISM INDUSTRY MEET
Seychelles’ tourism industry met in the main room of the Seychelles Yacht Club on the December 11 to review the state of the island’s tourism industry and to propose industry demands prior to the delivery of the 2008 budget address by Seychelles’s Finance Minister Danny Faure. Mr. Louis D’Offay, managing director of Hotel L’Archipel and also the chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association, in his opening address, expressed the need for Seychelles to treat every investor based on the same guidelines and to stop the “case-by-case” stem now in place. Concessions offered to the industry and the Foreign Exchange Earnings Retention were points that dominated the meeting. The association’s treasurer, Alan Mason, who is the managing director of Mason’s Travel, expressed the need for businesses benefiting directly and indirectly from the tourism industry to also become members of the association and to join in the efforts to make the industry’s body stronger. He invited Banks, Telecommunication Providers and Casinos to also become members. Other industry personalities who addressed the gathering were Mr. William Rose, one of the island’s main ferry operator and owner of Cat Rose Fast Ferry and Mr. Paul Hodoul, the chairman of the Seychelles Car Hire and Operators Association.

TWO ITALIAN NATIONALS RECRUITING MERCENARIES
It was reported that two Italians, Salvatore Stefio and Giampiero Spinelli who had registered a company in Seychelles called “Presidium International Corporation” and who were recruiting mercenaries for Iraq, had been placed under investigation since 2004 by Bari Investigating Magistrate for hiring mercenaries for the service of a foreign state in an unauthorized way will go on trial in the Bari Court on the February 19, 2008.

MAURITIUS
STARWOOD HOTELS IN MAURITIUS
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has signed on to manage the Ebene CyberCity Hotel Ltd, due to open its doors in mid 2008. The hotel, a Four Points by Sheraton, is located only 15 minutes by car from Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius and will have 108 rSooms.

MAURITIUS CREOLE FESTIVAL 2007
The success of the Mauritius 2007 Creole Festival, which received the full support of Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam and from the Tourism Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, is now expected to become an important event on the Mauritius calendar. The themes for this year’s festival was, “Creole Celebrations and the Creole Identity,” and spearheaded the need to put valorize the Creole Culture Mauritius Style.

PRINCE MAURICE WINS LOUNGE BAR 2008 FROM RELAIS AND CHATEAU
Le Prince Maurice, the palace of the Mauritian Hotel Group Constance Hotels, has received the prize “Lounge Bar 2008” by the hotel exclusive grouping Relais and Chateau. The architecture for the two bars of Le Prince Maurice were created by Jean-Marc E ynaud and interior decorator Martin Branner and were transformed in 2003 by architect Amelie Montocchio.

VIRGIN HOLIDAYS NAMES MARITIM HOTEL “BEST INDIAN OCEAN HOTEL”
Virgin Holidays of the UK has named Matim Hotel as “best Indian ocean hotel” for four years running and their “best all inclusive hotel” worldwide. The hotel has been able to attract a large number of its visitors to become repeat clients because of its competitive edge, good standard of service. Maritime is situated with its 180 rooms is situated on the North West Coast of Mauritius and is only 15 minutes from Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius.

RAMGOOLAM’S LOBBY AGAINST SUGAR BARONS
Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolan has intensified the existing conflict with the White Sugar Producers of Mauritius. Ramgoolan used his Labor Party conference to criticize the white land owners. He also spoke about the need to revise MAAS, (Multi Annual Adaptation Strategy) strategic plan for the sugar industry to take into consideration the interests of the small planters who are primarily from Hindu Origine. This is part of the populist propaganda launched by Mr. Ramgoolan in the electoral campaign for the 2005 parliamentary elections. The government has demanded that sugar producers’ landowners give up 1500 to 2000 acres of their land in return for authorization to close three sugar refineries.

MAURITIAN MINISTER ENROLLS FOR “ALLIANCE FRANCAISE” COURSE
One of Mauritius ministers, Mahen Gowreesoo who was a trader and iron craftsman, has enrolled in a course for French Language training at the island’s “Alliance Francaise” to better his addresses in the French Language. He was encouraged to do so by his colleagues in the government because of the poor handling of the French Language when he makes public statements. Mauritius has French as one of its official languages.

AFRAA MEETS IN MAURITIUS
The thirty-ninth General Meeting of the AFRAA (Association of African Airlines) took place in Mauritius at Hotel Meridien from December 9 -11, under the chairmanship of Mr. Sanjay Bhuckory, the chairman of Air Mauritius. About 300 delegates attended the meeting including representatives from the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization and from the African Union.

171-ROOM MORNEA WILL BE A NEW FOUR STAR HOTEL
The new 171 Room Mornea Hotel will open its doors in mid 2008 as four-star “Hotel de Charme.” Situated on the south of the island with the spectacular landscape of the Morne as its backdrop, the Mornea is being marketed as a leader in an affordable tropical getaway.

LA REUNION
US COUNCILOR ADDRESSES DEMOCRACY FORUM
Barbara Hanna, a local councilor from Banning, California, addressed a democracy forum in La Reunion at the invitation of Alain Benard, the mayor of St. Paul in La Reunion. Mrs. Hanna is an activist in participatory democracy aimed at encouraging members of the community, not usually interested in elections to take part an cast their vote during elections.

LE CAP RESORT AND SPA, PAVOU’S FIRST FIVE STAR FOR LA REUNION
The new Resort Hotel at Boucan Canot, the “Le Cap Resort & Spa” will be a five-star property. It is being planned to open its doors early in 2008 and will be the most luxurious hotel of Boucan Canot at Saint Gilles les Bain on one of the white sandy beaches of the West Coast of La Reunion. The property is owned by the Reunion Hotel Group, Apavou.

MADAGASCAR
CARLTON HOTELS MAY OPEN IN MADAGASCAR
The former Hilton Hotel in Antananarivo may soon become a Carlton Hotel, if negotiations by the management of the property and the “Company Henri Fraise and Fils” group and the government of Madagascar as owners of the building known as the Hilton Hotel. Odile Raharijaona, the hotel representative in the Fraise Group, is in charge of the negotiations and transfer of Contracts from Hilton to Carlton.

DERA ZAFINDRAVAKA TO HEAD “JEUNE CHAMBRE ECONOMIQUE”
It will be in January 2008 that Workonline owner Dera Zafindravaka which is a family printing business will take up his position as the new chairman of the Jeune Chambre Economique of Madagascar. He is replacing Sylviana Andrianasy, manager of hotels in Toamasina and Mahajanga. Mr. Dera Zafindravaka is also a consultant for President Marc Ravalomanana.

CECILE MANOROHANTA IS NEW MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Madagascar made a first by naming Mrs. Cecile Manorohanta, a civilian from the North Costal Area, as the new minister for defense. She was the former president of the University of Antsiranana and hails from a well known but discreet family.

St. Ange’s Indian Ocean tourism report



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