The Seychelles Tourism Academy made history on Wednesday when its first cohort of students to complete a new four-year course in hotel management locally graduated.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the Head of State, President James Michel, who also holds the portfolio of tourism in the archipelago, as well as by government ministers, Joel Morgan, Jean Paul Adam, Macsuzie Mondon, Peter Sinon, Erna Athanasius, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Alain St.Ange, his Deputy Elsia Grandcourt, and the Deputy Director of the Shannon College of Hospitality Kate O’Connell.
The 15 students will now proceed to the Shannon College in Ireland next month for an advanced degree in hospitality management.
Students exceling in the different subjects were awarded with trophies and prizes, with the prestigious President’s Cup going to Joseph Cesar. The latter received a standing ovation from his fellow Seychelles Tourism Academy colleagues for also making history, as the first student to receive the most prestigious cup on this course.
When addressing guests at the graduation ceremony, the Tourism Academy’s principal, Flavien Joubert, traced the institution’s endeavor to introduce such a course here and how they finally chose to work with Shannon College despite keeping close partnerships with other countries such as Mauritius, Germany, Singapore, Reunion, and Austria, all of whom were approached for the program.
He told the graduates that they are the pioneers of this project, and on behalf of the management staff and lecturers of the academy, he congratulated them for their motivation and positive attitude which had got them that far.
“You have overcome the first hurdle. The next challenge is your Bachelor’s degree at the Shannon College of Hospitality Management. I call upon you to continue with such motivation to learn and to study well,” he said.
Mr. Joubert continued that at the launching of the new tourism brand last year, President Michel urged all Seychellois to make the most of opportunities available to them in the tourism industry and to make their own success stories.
Today, he noted, the students have “written their own success story and in them, Seychelles can count on a new group of hotel managers to take over in a few years.”
Mr. Joubert also thanked the government, different authorities, individuals, and his own staff at the Seychelles Tourism Academy who had helped to put together and realize this course. He expressed gratitude for the different hotels, which had helped to train the students during their industry placement and who supported the academy in seeing this course through.
The representative of Shannon College, Ms. O’Connell, also congratulated the graduates for having completed their advanced diploma course and wished them success in their studies in Ireland.
She said Shannon College was happy that the Seychelles Tourism Academy had delivered on and fully met the strict accreditation and validation process of the college in such a short time.
“We are now happy to welcome the students to the Shannon College for their degree program,” she said.
PHOTO: Seychelles President James Michel, Ministers, Heads of Seychelles Tourism, and Pricipal of the Tourism Academy stand with the best 2011 graduate / Seychelles President, Ministers, Tourism CEO, and many guests attend the Graduation Ceremony.