Seychelles develops fly-cruise tourism
The Chief Executive Officer, Lt. Col. Andre Ciseau, and the Director of Business Development, Mr.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lt. Col. Andre Ciseau, and the Director of Business Development, Mr. David Bianchi, of the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) participated in a one-day workshop organized by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority on COSTA CROSIERES’ re-branding and its return to the Indian Ocean. Branded COSTA’s “Neo Collection” program, COSTA aims to offer a new cruising experience in the southwestern Indian Ocean region and during the port calls in the different Ile Vanille Islands.
The workshop was held in Port Louis, Mauritius, on May 22 and was attended by the Chief Executive Officers and Senior Directors from the ports of Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Reunion. COSTA CROSIERES was represented by its Director for Itinerary Planning, Mr. Emilio Zunino. The workshop was officially launched by the Minister for Tourism and Leisure of Mauritius.
COSTA CROSIERES has been a faithful tourism partner in the region and in Seychelles, maintaining ocean cruising itineraries even at the time when several cruise liners opted to pull out of the region or scale down their operations because of the risks associated with maritime security issues in certain parts of the Indian Ocean. COSTA’s continued presence is testimony to its continued confidence in our region. The company has operated several cruise liners in the past including “COSTA ALLEGRA,” “COSTA MARINA,” “COSTA ROMANTICA,” and “COSTA RIVIERA.”
In its new itinerary which it plans to begin in January 2015, COSTA CROSIERES has proposed a new experience for its more than 1600 on-board guests including longer stays (up to 3 days) in Port Victoria which has been welcomed by the SPA. The 48-hour leg sailing from Port Louis (Mauritius) to Port Victoria (Seychelles) will constitute an exotic experience where more activities will be offered to the guests to experience life at sea following their stop-overs on land.
|“COSTA ROMANTICA” in Port Victoria|
|Seychelles Minister for Tourism & Culture Alain St.Ange|
COSTA’s new strategy and longer stays in Port Victoria will open up additional business opportunities for local service providers including shipping agents, Destination Management Companies, ship chandlers, taxis, car hire operators, tour guides, craft vendors, boat charter operators, local shops, and bus operators. COSTA is planning up to 10 cruises during the 2015/16 season.
COSTA CROSIERES has expressed great satisfaction with its past experience in Port Victoria including the efficiency of SPA, the hospitality of Seychellois, the relative ease of accessibility of its guests to service providers, and the efficiency of local authorities such as passport control. SPA is, therefore, calling on all tourism stakeholders and service providers to continue to maintain the high standard and to go the extra mile in order to render the proposed prolonged stay of the guests more interesting, special, and unforgettable. New activities can be organized to cater for the extra days and nights of COSTA’s guests in Seychelles.
The Port Louis workshop concluded on a positive note to continue to find ways to smooth out procedures and enhance the overall efficiency of the different stakeholders and service providers as well as the handling of the cruise vessels and their guests as part of the “special experience” within the Ile Vanille Islands. In so doing, the southwestern Indian Ocean region aims to become a benchmark for cruising and to remain a magnet to attract more cruise liners. Discussions are ongoing between various stakeholders to attract a further two cruise companies to the region.
In meetings subsequent to the COSTA CROSIERES workshop, the Association of Ports of the Indian Ocean Islands (APIOI) endorsed COSTA’s re- branding program and its new strategy for the region. The APIOI, whose chairperson and vice chairperson are on a country rotation basis, elected Mr. Avellin Christian Eddy, CEO of the Port of Toamasina in Madagascar as the new Chairperson following a 3-year tenure of the position by the CEO of the Mauritius Port Authority, Mr. Shekur Suntah. Lt. Col. Ciseau was elected the Vice Chairperson and Treasurer.
The APIOI also discussed strategies for common capacity building through training opportunities especially for port management staff, port engineers, and harbor pilots, including funding possibilities.
In line with government and tourism strategies, the Seychelles Ports Authority continues to work with various partners and stakeholders locally and internationally to promote Port Victoria as the preferred port of call in the region for cruise ships and super yachts.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has congratulated the Seychelles Port Authority for engaging with the Indian Ocean Islands community to further the cruise ship business of the region. “It is together that we make economic sense for more cruise ships to be based in our region and to really develop the fly-cruise possibilities,” said Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .