St. Ange’s Indian Ocean report
SEYCHELLES INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET 2007
INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET 2007
Seychelles was represented in force at ILTM 2007 with a delegation headed by Blaisila Hoffman, the Seychelles Tourist Board’s head office manager for French-speaking Europe, and Bernadette Willemin, the Paris-based office manager, and backed by Derek Savy and Anna Butler-Payette from Seychelles Destination Management Companies and by sales executives from the upmarket resorts of Hilton, Lemuria of Constance Hotels, Labriz Silhouette Island, Denis Island, Banyan Tree, Round Island, Maia, Naiade Desroches, Beachcomber Sainte Anne and North Island.
At this year’s conference on “Climate Change and the impact of Global Warming on the Luxury Travel Industry,” North Island was singled out as being a leader as an environmentally friendly resort, in the presentations by Costa Christ, global travel editor of National Geographic Adventure, and by Richard David Story, editor-in-chief of Departures Magazine. The 2007 ILTM is reported to have been a great success for Seychelles’ tourism trade.
NORTH ISLAND WINS TATLER 2008 AWARD
The Wilderness Safari’s exclusive North Island in the Seychelles has won Tatler Magazine 2008 Award for the “Most Consistently Brilliant Hotel.” The award ceremony took place at the Ritz Carlton in London on Monday, December 3, and the island’s managers, Bruce Simpson and Cate Procter, were on hand to receive their trophy.
ISRAELI CHARTERS BOOST SEYCHELLES TOURISM FIGURES
The arrival of charter flights from Israel to Seychelles organized jointly between Medraft Spirit, the Israeli charter vacation specialist, and Mason’s Travel have boosted the tourist arrival numbers in Seychelles. The charter flights have been operating from September to November, and Medraft Spirit is in discussion to extending a new charter season for 2008, according to Debra Malbrook, the Group & Incentives Coordinator for Mason’s Travel.
AIR SEYCHELLES LAUNCHES ITS NEW PREMIUM LOUNGE
Seychelles Vice President Joseph Belmont officially opened the “Salon Vallee de Mai,” Air Seychelles’ new premium departure lounge at Seychelles International Airport.
The new lounge is offering added comfort and luxury to Air Seychelles passengers and to those of other airlines. The “Salon Vallee de Mai” has a dominant position, which allows panoramic views of the ramp, terminal, ocean and inner islands.
CORAL STRAND HOTEL CHANGES HANDS
The popular Coral Strand on Beau Vallon Beach has changed hands. The Guta Group from Moscow has purchased the property that is now to be managed by Savoy Hotel and Resorts. Coral Strand has been managed for many years by the popular Manfred Heinkelein.
EMIRATES CAP TERNAY RESORT AND SPA OPENING IN OCTOBER 2009
The Emirates Cap Ternay Resort & Spa is anticipated to be one of the biggest and most ecologically sensitive projects of Seychelles. The main resort will feature 186 rooms for families and budget conscious travelers and 230 deluxe rooms designed as semi-detached cottage styled complexes in landscaped beachfront locations. The project will also be the first of its kind in Seychelles to feature 15 water bungalows that is guaranteed to rival the best in the world. The resort will also occupy 40 two-bedroom villas of over 150 sq. meters and a Presidential Suite of over 600 sq. meters. The main attraction of the property will be the largest swimming pool in the Indian Ocean set to cover 6 acres (2.5 hectares) that will be made up with cascading pools.
ROUND ISLAND RESORT & THE WATERFRONT SPA RESORT
These are two new projects that will be managed by Jebel Ali International Hotels in collaboration with the Dutco Group. Both properties will fall under the new brand identity “Enchanted.” The Round Island resort situated in the midst of the Ste Anne Marine National Park will offer 10 individual deluxe private chalets and the Waterfront Spa Resort and Village situated on the waterfront at Roche Caiman will have 40 deluxe rooms, suites and serviced apartments. The Spa at both properties will be managed by Serena Spa.
SEYCHELLES & MERCEDES-BENZ HOST GOLF TOURNAMENT
A prestigious golf tournament under the banner of German car manufacturer Mercedes Benz was organized at the Lemuria Golf Course on Praslin Island. The initiative was launched by Exclusive Destinations of Belgium which specializes in well manned Golf trips organizations and Luxury Hotels.
FRANCE TELECOM & MAURITIUS COOPERATION
A Mauritius holiday is one of the two main prizes of France Telecom’s “Grand Jeu la photo mystere” competition promoted by its group “Orange.” The prize of one week holiday in Mauritius for two people at a value of 3730 euro is a much sought after prize and has placed Mauritius as a leading destination for the French Holiday makers. The competition is also applicable in Corsica. France Telecom is also a shareholder in Mauritius Telecoms.
MAURITIUS TOURISM TRADE AT ILTM 2007
The successful International Luxury Travel Market 2007 brought many Mauritius Hotel companies to Cannes. The Mauritius promotional body, MTPA, was not present with a Mauritius stand, but the Mauritian hotels and the island’s destinations management companies were in force working from their respective company’s tands.
VERANDA GRAND BAIE HOTEL AND SPA
The typical Mauritian establishment celebrated its 25th Birthday. The hotel started in 1982 by Michel Pitot and Guy Hugnin, the then managing director and general manager of the Mauritius MTTB. They developed the “Hotel de Charme” concept with 29 bungalows. Today, the company prides itself as being 100 percent Mauritian and is known as Veranda Resorts with six hotels in the three and four star category and one five star establishment–the Heritage Golf and Spa Resort.
TROPHEE INTERNATIONAL DE GOLF TOUESSROK/AIR MAURITIUS
More than 150 golfers and amateurs have descended on Mauritius for this year’s Touessrok and Air Mauritius annual golf tournament. Specialized international press and Francois Delamontagne de Golf Pro. This year is the third edition of this tournament.
PRINCESS STEPHANIE OF MONACO IN MAURITIUS
Monaco’s Princess Stephanie was in Mauritius, in her capacity as the UN’s ambassador in the fight against AIDS and also on Monaco’s foundation against AIDS, to open a new center in Port Louis. Princess Stephanie used this occasion to echo a message of hope for those suffering from the deadly disease.
NEW AIR MAURITIUS AIRBUS FAILS TEST PRIOR TO DELIVERY
Seven out of ten persons aboard a new Airbus A330 fell unconscious during a test flight in Toulouse, France prior to the delivery of the aircraft to Air Mauritius. According to Mauritian press Le Mauritien, this occurred when the cabin de-pressurized during the flight, causing the passengers to collapse due to lack of oxygen. The three pilots managed to get hold of their oxygen masks, but not the seven in the cabin, as part of the “acceptance flight” just before delivery. At that time the Airbus was flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet and the de-pressurization took everyone by surprise. Air Mauritius aeronautical team are investigating the cause of the accident. Five of the passengers have since been released from the hospital and two others are said to have been in a critical condition.
ELECTORAL REFORM NEXT YEAR SAYS MAURITIAN PRIME MINISTER
Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has announced that electoral reforms will take place next year. The prime minister noted that a South African constitutional expert had made a series of recommendations on the electoral system and the holding of elections as well as the financing of political parties. The question of public funding of political parties will be addressed along with recommendations of the Sachs Commission which had recommended a dose of proportional representation of up to 30 percent to balance the seats won by the political parties on the present first-by-the post system. Presently, eight of the 70 seats in parliament are allocated to the “best losers,” which, however, gives more priority to ethnic representation than the scores obtained by political parties. This concern is being highlighted and disputed by the Federation Creole Mauricien, led by Roman Catholic Priest, Joycelin Gregoire, who is against the existence of ethnic groupings (Hindus, Muslims, Chinese & General Population), as set out in the Mauritius Constitution.
TWO MILLION WATCH MAURITIUS & RODRIGUES ON ITALIAN RAI 3
One of the most important television tourism program in Italy, “Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro,” which broadcasts every Sunday afternoon, has put the spotlight on Mauritius and Rodrigues with a program called “Mauritius and Rodrigues, the jewel of the Mascareignes.” The 18-minute report on the natural attractions of Mauritius and Rodrigues was presented by Italian TV star Lucia Colo and was estimated to have a captive audience of some two million.
The report on Mauritius and Rodrigues has been compiled by journalist Mauro Micheloni with the support of the MTPA, Beachcomber Hotels Group and Mauritour, the Mauritian Dedstination Management Company.
ONE AND ONLY LE SAINT GERANT, PREFERED RESORT FOR ELEGANT RESORTS
One and Only Hotels has received the “favorite award” from UK tour operator Elegant Resorts as their preferred hotel chain, while One and Only Le Saint Geran Resort received the award for “favorite resort.” Olivier Louis, the general manager for One and Only Royal Mirage, was also awarded “best general manager” by Elegant Resorts. The award presentation ceremony is an annual event, and this year, Elegant Resorts chose the Kensington Roof Gardens in London to hold the event. Andrew Milton, One and Only Le Saint Geran general manager, was quoted as saying that he was happy that the One and Only Resorts had been chosen as the preferred resorts for the UK upmarket and exclusive tour operator Elegant Resorts.
MAURITIAN PRAVIN BANCHARAM WINS ‘LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD’ AWARD
Pravin Bancharam, training manager and responsible for Learning and Development at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, has pulled the prestigious Juan Gaspart Award. This award is awarded to staff from one of the Leading Hotels of the World by Paul McManus, the president and executive officer of the organization.
REUNIONNAIS JOSIAN TURPIN WILL ATTEMPT MAURITIUS–LA REUNION CROSSING IN KAYAK
It will be a first for the islands, when the crossing between Mauritius to La Reunion in kayak will be attempted. This is the adventure that Reunionnais Josian Turpin is set to try on December 22. He has received the support from Dr. Karl Mootoosamy of the MTPA and has been training and planning the event for two years. Josian Turpin is set to depart from Le Morne in Mauritius and try to make land at Saint Pierre in La Reunion in about 30 to 36 hours. Two rescue boats will be making the crossing with Josian Turpin.
MEETING ON ‘FURTHER EDUCATION’ NEEDS
A meeting on the needs of the French-speaking Indian Ocean countries of Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comores and France – La Reunion took place in La Reunion to give support and to determine collaboration between the participating countries on development of their education systems, technological development and training for professionals. A representative from Mozambique also attended the meeting.
MAYOTTE SHORTAGE IN TOURISM PERSONNEL
The president of the tourism committee has said that Mayotte was suffering because of the continued shortage in tourism staffing. An information and sensitizing program has been launched to attract the youth from Mayotte to the tourism industry.