Member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), inclusive of the Seychelles together with the EU-ACP ProInvest Program, met in Brussels February 15-17, 2011 for a “Pro-Fit Investment in Tourism” meeting. The event was organized in partnership with the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) and was supported by the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE).
The “Pro-Fit Investment in Tourism” meeting for the 14 Southern African countries was organized by the group of Southern African Development Community Ambassadors in Belgium, with the support of the European Union ProInvest Program. The objective of this major event was to promote business partnerships and investments in the Southern African tourism sector, in particular through tourism boards, professional organizations in the tourism industry, and national investment promotion agencies. Institutions and organizations from Southern and Central Africa, and the Indian Ocean, attended, as well as potential partners from the European Union countries.
The Seychelles was represented by Ms. Jennifer Sinon, CEO of the Seychelles Hotel & Tourism Association (SHTA), Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, Deputy CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), and Mrs. Sabrina Agathine Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation at Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB).
The meeting provided the opportunity for participants –
from Southern & Central Africa, and the Indian Ocean, to:
– network with key players in the European tourism business to develop partnerships;
– promote individual and regional projects through one-to-one contacts with potential European travel purchasers;
– detect trends in the European tourist generating countries;
– access financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other development finance institutions;
– learn about individual private sector support schemes, including selected EU funded programs (ProInvest, BizClim, Centre for the Development of Enterprise, etc.); and
from Europe, to:
– receive a state-of-the-art view of the Southern Africa Tourism sector, including partnership proposals from tourism organisations;
– discover over 50 validated regional initiatives including 18 trans-frontier conservation areas and parks;
– discuss business opportunities on a one-to-one basis with Southern African suppliers;
– meet with senior officials and business leaders from the Southern Africa tourism sector; and
– cooperate with other European tourism industry representatives.
The Seychelles, being a member of SADC, said that it was important to continue to work together as a solid group of African States, if Africa is to make its presence felt and noticed. “Seychelles is one of the smallest African states, but it values its partnership with the African bodies and wants to play its part to ensure its continued success,” Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board said.