Clipping the Wings of the Seychelles Tourism Sector?

Seychelles Government's Vertical Integration Policy dividing the tourism industry

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is Seychelles Tourism in trouble? The Seychelles Government has revived an old policy called Vertical Integration that had been shelved and are imposing limitations on the growth possibility of local businesses. The tourism trade is calling this exercise as ‘clipping the wings’ of the tourism sector.

Tourism remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy and only the tourism trade are targeted by this new regulation. One affected party has already lodged a challenge to the regulation in front of the Courts of Seychelles. Seychelles desperately needs its tourism industry to perform as it provides employment over and above ensuring that the economy stands solid.

The Seychelles Tourism Board will need to find extra marketing budget if the larger DMCs curtail their marketing expenses and diminish their presence at Tourism Trade Fairs because of their ‘wings being clipped’ by the new regulations.

The time for the Seychelles Government to have a ‘bottom up’ series of meetings on this matter is now. Anger and expectations are building and Government may well see themselves unable to deliver to demands aired and risk shrinking the island’s tourism industry at the same time.

One post on Social Media during the last couple of days said something to that:

“We hear a lot of noise from those responsible on the number of Cruise Ships visiting Seychelles. I just ask how many of us Seychellois are benefiting? Those tourists are not even buying a banana, nor a red coconut for drinking, nor do they eat in a restaurant, do not hire a taxi or a bicycle, nor a boat to get to Coco or Curieuse Island. They land at the port and board the white man’s bus to do their tour and eat at his hotel, take another boat to La Digue and do the same thing”.

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Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board. In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization. In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation. At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange. St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style. His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body. African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor. As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart. In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere. St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada” Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit. Member of Travelmarketingnetwork.