“We must continue these meetings and come out with policies that will benefit the country and its tourism sector,” Minister St.Ange added. This was a comment made by the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture recently during a meeting held with Destination Management Companies (DMCs).
DMCs in Seychelles have put forward their constraints and the challenges that they face to the attention of three government ministries. This was during a meeting held last week at the Seychelles Tourism Board’s headquarters, Espace building.
The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan; and the Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, Michael Benstrong, were present.
High officials from the Ministry for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, as well as other agencies and departments such as the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, Seychelles Licensing Authority, Seychelles Ports Authority, Fair Trading Commission, and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration were represented at the meeting.
Minister St.Ange said there is only one tourism industry and that both the private and public sector should work closely to ensure that this industry keeps flourishing. He added that these two important blocks (the public and the private sector) must continue to work together so as to promote what is called the Seychelles Brand of Tourism. The meeting was called as a follow-up to the “stay connected” meeting between the Minister of Tourism and Culture and his PS with the DMCs and also the meeting with the hotel trade on Praslin recently. Minister Jean-Paul Adam and Minister Michael Benstrong and high officials from their respective ministries had also met with the small operators on Praslin and had been requesting a meeting with the DMCs.
Following the meeting, the Minister responsible for Tourism said the government will take up the points raised, discuss on the recommendations put forward, and see how these can be carried out.
Minister St.Ange said the meeting was a good one as it gave the DMCs the chance to voice out their concerns and for the government to listen and together find solutions to alleviate constraints and challenges that have been tabled by the trade at large.
Issues raised during the meeting centered around customer service at the airport and at Port Victoria and the Baie Ste Anne Jetty, especially in times when there are port calls by cruise ships, as well as how to ensure the benefits of the tourism industry touches every Seychellois.
The Minister also spoke on the need to relook at the policy on insurance coverage in general that is in place today. “If we are offering a service which does not have adequate insurance coverage, and an accident happens, we are leaving our door open for litigation. A Seychellois as well as a tourist must know that they have the necessary insurance coverage when taking up services in Seychelles,” Minister St.Ange said.
Another point which was discussed was that a business with a particular license should respect its boundaries and not step over another business holding another license.
“If a car hire tries to operate like a taxi or a DMC, this will not be accepted. If this is happening at a hotel, the general manager of the establishment will be the one responsible. As a result, a recommendation for his work permit to be revoked will be pushed if he is a foreign national. Hotel general managers must ensure that they respect the laws and regulations of this country,” Minister Alain St.Ange added.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.