On Friday, July 15, the first draft of the Seychelles Tourism Master Plan was submitted for perusal by the Seychellois public from the Seychelles Tourism Board at the International Conference Centre in Victoria.
After opening remarks by Mr. Louis D’Offay, who placed the document in the context of some of the challenges that the destination is facing, Mr. Alain St. Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, gave further clarification of the exhaustive process of consultation with stakeholders that preceded the production of the green paper and its importance for the evolution of the industry in the years to come.
Economist Ms. Marquise David then took the audience through a detailed PowerPoint presentation that outlined the dynamics governing the evolution of the Seychelles’ tourism industry along sustainable lines. She made the correlation between bed supply, adequate air access, and the provision of such services as water and electricity, that underpins the health of an industry, which is the pillar of Seychelles economy. She stated that Seychelles currently possesses a bed stock of more than 9,000 beds, appreciably more than was believed before a recent audit was undertaken.
Following her presentation, the floor was opened for discussion and several points were raised, including the need to educate schoolchildren concerning the importance of tourism to the economy, the need to safeguard Seychelles’ safety label, and the desirability for all Seychellois to take ownership of their industry and to fight for its protection.
“I was particularly pleased to see how the paper was well accepted by the public,” stated Alain. St. Ange, “and to witness the positive atmosphere in which elements of the future plan were debated.”
The Tourism Master Plan, which is being prepared incrementally, will be made available to stakeholders for their perusal and feedback prior to the whole plan being rolled out at the end of 2011.