Minister Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister responsible for Transport, Tourism, and Sports, this week received his Seychelles counterpart, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, at his offices at 44 Kildare Street in Dublin.
The Seychelles Minister was on a working visit to Ireland on his way to London for World Travel Market (WTM) 2012. He had a day earlier visited the Shannon College of Hospitality Management where some eighteen Seychellois students are presently following their Hotel Management degree studies.
Minister Leo Varadkar is a Medical Doctor by profession and is the elected Member of Parliament for Dublin West. He was accompanied to the meeting by his Private Secretary, Mr. Chris Smith, whereas Minister St.Ange was accompanied by Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and Mr. Falvien Joubert, the Principle of the Seychelles Tourism Academy.
The two Ministers discussed tourism cooperation and exchanged views on market forces and changes that were today facing the global tourism industry. The Seychelles Minister used the opportunity to raise the carbon tax issue which he says remains a difficult tax for small island states to swallow. “We are already long-haul tourist destinations, and we have done everything possible to protect our environment so that visitors can enjoy a picture-perfect destination. We today boast that we have over 50% of our total land area dedicated as protected nature reserves and for doing this, we are being slapped with a tax called a carbon tax only to make travel to our environmentally-protected destination more expensive,” the Seychelles Minister said.
The cooperation between the Seychelles Tourism Academy and the Irish Shannon College of Hospitality Management was also discussed.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).