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St. Ange’s Indian Ocean tourism report

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Alain St. Ange l eTN Ambassador  Dec 26, 2007

SEYCHELLES
SHANGRI-LA RESORT AND SPA SEYCHELLES OPENING 2008
The new Shangri-La Resort and Spa on Round Island in the Seychelles is set to become one of a kind luxury resort and will occupy its own private island off the coast of Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles. This new project is expected to have 55 villas and 88 spacious suites.

The resort will feature Seychelles’ first funicular, a cable car system, to take guests to its Sap facilities and Wedding Chapel, poised on the island’s central hilltop.

‘TIE THE KNOT’ ON THE SEA IN SEYCHELLES
A new possibility or option that is fast becoming popular in Seychelles for holidays makers traveling to these tropical islands to exchange their wedding vows. This is using the 25-meter Catamaran “Catalina” as the venue to tie their knot cruising in the middle of Seychelles’ crystal clear waters with white sandy beaches and green hilltop as the backdrop. This latest addition is being offered by Mason’s Travel with their French-built 25-meter Catamaran yacht, which sits 50 people comfortably for dining.

SEYCHELLES AT HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE
Mr. Roger Mancienne, the secretary general of the Seychelles National Party (SNP), represented the African Liberal Network, an organization of Liberal Parties in Africa under the umbrella of Liberal International of which the SNP is a member, at a conference in Taipei, Taiwan called “Strengthening Networks and Combating Human Trafficking.”

Asian Delegates concentrated on human trafficking, as the human rights issue affecting their continent, whereas Mr. Mancienne used examples from Seychelles to argue that liberal parties in Africa needed to highlight their case for better political conditions.

The conference was organized by Liberal International with the support of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan to coincide with the anniversary of Human Rights Day.

SEYCHELLES NAMES ITS AMBASSADOR TO THE VATICAN
The Seychelles has named Mr. Alain Butler-Payette, the current secretary of state in the president’s office, as its first ambassador to the Vatican. Mr. Butler-Payette presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XV1 on December 13 and spoke of the strong links between the Catholic church and the people of Seychelles. He also extended an invitation for the Pontiff to visit Seychelles.

RESPECTED HISTORIAN AND BOTANIST GUY LIONNET DIES
One of the greatest Seychelles authors, historians and known botanists passed away at the age of 85. Mr. Guy Lionnet was regarded as a giant of environment protection in Seychelles. He is a Mauritian by birth who arrived in Seychelles in the 1940s to become, during the British colonial era, the first non-British Seychelles director of agriculture. He published some five books about Seychelles history and about the nation’s flora and fauna.

STAR HAS SUB-LET ITS DESROCHES ISLAND PROPERTY
The Seychelles government island of Desroches, which already has a 20-room resort that is being managed by the Mauritian Hotel Group Naiade, has seen part of the island previously leased out to STAR, the subsidiary of Suez Environnement, sub-leased to Great Plains Safari Company, a South African Group, the for the construction of a second hotel project. STAR has since 1997 been given an exclusive 20-year contract to treat waste disposal in Seychelles and for the cleaning of the roads and beaches on the main island of Mahe. It is now believed that the government has approved the building of a 28-villa project that will be sold to private individuals. They will be built on a 7-hectar land, and it will be a joint venture between French group Sita, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, and a Mauritian-based company called Ireland Blyth Ltd (IBL).

LUC CHANG-KO APPOINTED TO ICAO IN AFGHANISTAN
The Seychelles former director of meteorological services, Mr. Luc Chang-Ko, has been appointed to take up a position with the International Civil Aviation Organization in Afghanistan to train local recruits and for ensuring the proper functioning of the meteorological equipment at Kabul Airport and the facilities supplied by NATO. Mr. Chang-Ko is a graduate of Florida State University.

MAURITIUS
CALL ON INDIA TO PRESS FOR CHAGOS SOLUTION
Seychelles former President James Mancham has called on the Indian government to use its influence to find an equitable, fair and just solution to the plight of Chagossian people. Mr. Mancham used the occasion of the International Conference for the Chief Justices of the World in Lucknow, India to call on India to use its influence with the Unites States of America and with the United Kingdom to seek a solution for Chagossians. He also called for the claim of the government of Mauritius to the sovereignty over the Chagos archipelago to be addressed.

Mr. Mancham lead a group of about 40 chief justices of various nations to a meeting at the Presidential Palace in New Dehli with Indian President Pratibha Patil before being presented with a Scroll of Honor of the International Council of Jurists and the “All India Bar Association” at a reception given by the Chief Justice of India, K. J. Balakrishnan.

MAURITIUS HELPS COMORES REPAY ITS DEBT
The Mauritian government has decided to make a donation of US$300,000 to the Islamic Republic of Comores to help them settle outstanding debts with the African Development Bank. Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolan made the announcement at a council of ministers and said that it was a sign of solidarity with a neighbouring Indian Ocean state facing economic difficulty. Mr. Ramgoolan said that this gesture would help to ensure political stability in the Islamic Republic of Comores and in the Indian Ocean.

‘EIBTM’ IN SPAIN SAW MAURITIUS TRADE PARTICIPATE IN FORCE
Mauritius is looking at bookings for Incentives, Events, Meetings and Conferences to boost it visitor arrivals during low season. Its delegation to Barcelona’s comprised of Viana Murday representing the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) and representatives from Apavou Hotels, Beachcomber Hotels, Naiade Resorts, Sun Resorts and Hilton and Maritime Hotels. EIBTM remains the most important fair in Europe for this market.

MAURITIUS GOLF OPEN 2007
The most prestigious competition of the Mauritius golf circuit on the Greens at Constance Belle Mare Plage was again grandiose with tough competition. The four competitions over the six days of golf at the fourteenth edition of the Mauritius Open was seen as a competition among champions. Over 188 amateurs and 66 professionals were on hand with 70 teams for the competition.

‘RESAMAURICE’ BRINGS OUT A VIDEO WITH HOTELS IN MAURITIUS
Veronique Louis of Resamaurice has produced a new video dedicated to hotels in Mauritius. Her new video is being backed by her website. They have used their knowledge and experience of the island and of every hotel to bring out pertinent points about each Mauritius hotel establishment.

MAURITIUS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS MICROSCOPE
An important group of some 60 members of the international press who were in Mauritius for the Mauritius Kreol Festival took time to get to know the island and its people. Lena Kaiser of the Aviareps Mangum, the MTPA in Germany, was also on hand with the German-speaking journalists. The press team was impressive and covered the European continent and the Australian continent.

BELGIUM RADIO BROADCASTING DIRECTLY FROM MAURITIUS
One of Belgium’s most popular radio stations has made history by broadcasting directly from Mauritius. RTL Belgique has managed to broadcast its popular program “Le Grand Jeu” directly from Movenpick Resort and Spa in Mauritius. Popular radio personality Christian de Paepe, accompanied by a group of 50 Belgians, spent a week in Mauritius to broadcast from the shores of the Indian Ocean directly to his listeners in Belgium. This special programming was sponsored by Movenpick, Air Mauritius and Arthema.

MADAGASCAR
HELEN HODGSON PART OF ECONOMIC TRADE FAIR
The British owner of Domaine de L’Heritage and the restaurant Le Bateau Ivre in Toamasina, Mrs. Helen Hodgson, was among the local operators chosen to be involved in the holding of the economic trade fair in Mantasoa, Madagascar. The fair was meant to re-launch the ‘revive tourism campaign’ in that region of Madagascar. The Group Sino-Malagazy des Travaux Publics has at the same time been contracted to repair the roads linking Manjakandriana and Mantasoa to make access more possible.

St. Ange’s Indian Ocean tourism report



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