Seychelles tourism industry appeals to government not to tamper with what has proved to be a winning formula


Louis D’Offay, the veteran hotelier and Chairman of the Tourism Industry of the Seychelles, has asked the Seychelles government not to tamper with what has proved to be a winning formula for the Seychelles Islands in his editorial of the January issue of the country’s tourism industry e-news.

The Chairman of the country’s tourism industry said: “We have gone through the first month of 2011 with unbelievable speed. Many things are taking place before us and in our industry that remains vulnerable as always to forces beyond our control. We have to be prepared to face the next 11 months with as much determination and with as much conviction for our cause.

“The 2011 Seychelles ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ has seen the launch of its countdown, and I addressed the event on behalf of our industry. This event in March will have a positive impact on the visibility of our country. This no one can question, but we all need to ensure that all our visitors are well updated on the happenings of the carnival when the launch of this national celebration takes place. Our visitors must have the opportunity to participate and become ambassadors for the celebration. Hotels and guesthouses outside Mahe should start thinking how to get their guests to Mahe without losing their crucial overnights.

“Many in the country questioned the possibility of pulling through this carnival, and today I can say that I sat in amazement at the ICCS listening to the list of countries that will be represented in this Seychelles March carnival. On behalf of the tourism trade I say congratulations to Alain St.Ange and the Tourism Board. Once more they have managed to do what was seen as impossible. Let us continue on this path and not tamper with what has proved to be a winning formula.

“Other airlines are needed to increase the yield of our country’s tourism industry. Today the ‘supply and demand’ phenomenon continues to keep large hotels discounting to get the business coming to Seychelles. The smaller Seychellois establishments will continue to suffer as they do not have the financial resources to offer discounted rates and still remain alive. This is why the industry pushed for the freeze on GST [Goods and Services Tax], because the equilibrium is today lopsided. Many of the bigger establishments are on prime state land at way below market value deals, whereas the Seychellois establishments have had to buy land at commercial value. This situation can only be resolved when arrival numbers surpass available bed numbers, and it has always been known that airline seats from our major markets is the missing link in the equation.

“We must today congratulate Air Seychelles for the new Twin Otter plane to service our domestic routes. It was needed and finally a light at the end of the tunnel for tourism industry of Praslin and the surrounding islands. The price for the 15-minute run remains a bone of contention, which we hope can be addressed sooner rather than later.

“Members will have heard that our CEO, Jenifer Sinon, is now sitting on the Licensing Authority Board. Another step in the right direction, and for this we say thank you.

“Enjoy the read, and remember to continue to support your publication by advertising in it. The readership is now well over 15,000 with most tour operators and travel agents dealing with Seychelles being on the mailing list. The press fraternity are also listed as recipients of our monthly publication.”