Back in October 2014, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, wrote to Serge Dassault, the President of Le Figaro Magazine, to establish that their published photo had firstly nothing to do with the Seychelles and to state that Le Figaro had acted in a malicious manner with the aim of destroying the Seychelles tourism industry.
It was on October 11, 2014 that Le Figaro Magazine published a photo of Trash Island of the Maldives (taken from a report, “Welcome to Trash Island or Thilafushi. An island landfill island landfill made entirely of waste”) on a double-page spread (Pages 18 & 19) and labeled it as Seychelles. The publishing of this photo labeled as Seychelles caused an outcry from the visitors who enjoy a Seychelles holiday and who took exception at such a false reporting.
In the meantime, visitors to Seychelles kept writing and expressing their anger at Le Figaro for the wrong impression they gave with the Trash Island photo. The Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture followed with a letter to Le Figaro addressed to Francis Morel, the Head of Publication, on advice from lawyers in France following which an environmentally-friendly photo with a clean white sandy beach and baby turtles was published on October 17, 2014, a copy of which was forwarded to PS Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism, by Soizick de Linares of the legal team of the Societe Du Figaro.
“We are today communicating this because of the number of people still writing to say that they found the photo published by Le Figaro as a false and misleading report. We thank each and every one who has written in to express their sympathy on what they saw as abuse by the press. We also thank Le Figaro for understanding the mistake they made, a mistake that could impact on the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy,” said Minister Alain St.Ange to the press as he explained that Seychelles prides itself on the work in place to safeguard its environment.
“The Seychelles is today a clear example in the world of environment protection. We have over 50% of our total land area protected as natural reserves,” said the island’s Minister of Tourism and Culture.
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.