A ceremony took place at the academy at La Misere in the presence of Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam, principal secretaries, chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Alain St.Ange, and its deputy chief Elsia Grandcourt for the groundbreaking of the country’s new tourism academy.
Work is now ready to start on the new Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) after President James Michel officially launched the groundbreaking work on Monday.
Other guests included chairman of the STA committee Philip Guitton, government officials, patrons from the tourism industry, students from Singapore, lecturers from Reunion and Ireland, staff of the academy, and students.
The reconstruction of STA has been on the plans for some time now and the management and staff have been asking for an upgrading of the facilities so as to be in line with the growing demands of the industry.
In December last year, a workshop was organized under the theme, Academic Innovation and Creativity Management, for management of Seychelles Tourism Academy to plan and identify future actions, which need to be taken for the academy.
During Monday’s ceremony, a copy of this strategic plan was presented to President Michel, who holds the tourism portfolio.
Mr. Michel then had the honor to unveil the new Seychelles Tourism Academy maquette accompanied by Mrs. Grandcourt. Mr. Michel personally visited the academy in 2008 and after taking into account the ageing premises, he gave his engagement to reconstruct the tourism academy.
The project, which will be funded by a loan from the BADEA (an Arab bank), will be done in two stages – academic and business infrastructures – over a period of two years.
The academy’s director Flavien Joubert said the institution caters to private events and so as to offer a more modern service, the infrastructure will be improved, adding it will include a hotel, villas, and chalets.
The new tourism academy will aim to become a national and regional academy of excellence specializing in hospitality and tourism training.
It is for this reason that STB wants the academy to be well equipped with facilities to provide professional training and services for the future workforce of the tourism trade.
Students will be trained and become professionals who will contribute to raise the profile of Seychelles as destination with outstanding service.
The first working plan was made possible four years ago with the help of different partners, and Mr. Joubert said 97% of the objectives of the first plan have been met.
During the ceremony, Mr. Guitton gave an overview of STA’s strategic plan 2011-2015, while Mr. Joubert presented the working team to the audience.
In an interview with the media, Mr. Michel said the new academy represents part of his vision.
“The construction of the new school has always been part of my vision and is a promise I made to the students,” he said.
Due to the world economic crisis, plans for the project were delayed, but now that the country’s economy has progressed, Mr. Michel said the promise will be delivered.
He added that students will now have more modern and improved facilities which will help them in their studies.
Mr. Michel said Seychelles’ tourism industry is an example to the world as new developments are happening with the Seychelles brand.
He added that the academy will become a center for excellence in the region.
Mr. Michel said young people are seeing the value and importance of the tourism industry and that the academy will be beneficial to these youths in their studies and professional development.
“Seychelles cannot isolate itself from the rest of the world, and with a small population, if we want to develop, we need expertise,” he said.
“When we have the expertise, we use it, but when we do not have, we must import to form those we need,” he said.
Mr. Michel gave the example of Singapore, which he said is a success in Asia as the best expertise were brought to the country to help it develop, and Seychelles in not an exception and follow this example.
Mr. St.Ange has described the new academy as a new opportunity for the students to join the tourism industry and for those who are already part of it.
He said the Seychelles brand is not just a word, but is something that we must all see ourselves in and that everything in the country is part of the brand.