Soon, Seychelles will see its 2019 Budget presented to the National Assembly for discussions, debates and for approval. The island’s Council of Ministers is probably already discussing the fine print of this document that will impact, in one way or another, on the lives of each and every Seychellois.
On the tourism front, Tourism Operators working with Seychelles from right around the world are saying that the writing is on the wall if the Government refuses to hear their plea of the island’s private sector trade, for a budget that is deemed appropriate for the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy. Discussions today are centered around the need to increase the Seychelles Tourism Marketing Budget.
Too many Seychellois are dependent on this industry and so many local investments depend entirely on a buoyant tourism industry. New airlines have launched their services to Seychelles, and today we are connected with a range of direct non-stop flights to Europe. Europe remains the main tourism source market for the islands, and it will need to be continuously nurtured. It is the budget of 2019 that will consolidate the good news brought by the arrival of adequate air connectivity that we are now enjoying, but that has taken years to materialise.
The appeal on behalf of Seychelles is to ensure the ability of the Tourism Board to be supported enough, so that they can work with their airline and tour operator partners, and to be free of bureaucratic cobwebs so that they can respond fast when working on marketing partnership proposals they received.
Failure to show care and understanding of the tourism industry may be costly and could well result in the discontinuation of one or more of the air services in place today. We should never take what we have today for granted. Seychelles needs its airline partners because the island’s tourism industry remains dependent on them, and the island’s economy on its turn is dependent on tourism, the industry that is the main pillar of the Seychelles economy.
The islands must appreciate the seriousness of the situation and the importance of pushing for a budget that shows we want tourism to work, because that is the only way to strengthen the “We Are Tourism” call being spearheaded by the private sector.