Seychelles President James Michel met with Mrs. Rose-May Lavigne, nee Payette, a Seychellois student who is the overall Best Academic Student of Shannon College of Hotel Management of Ireland for 2013, this afternoon at State House.
Also present during the meeting were the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St. Ange; the Secretary General of the Office of the President, Mrs. Lise Bastienne; the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt; the Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy Mr. Flavien Joubert; and Mrs, Lavigne’s father, Mr. Denis Payette.
The President congratulated Mrs. Lavigne on her outstanding performance at Shannon College. Her course and training were part of a twinning program with the Seychelles Tourism Academy, a program initiated by the President in 2009. The first group of Seychellois students started studying there in 2011.
“You and the other students have done well to make our country happy and proud. You are a shining example of our students’ ability to excel. I hope you will make good use of your knowledge to build the Seychelles Brand and to be a role model for Seychellois tourism managers in the future,” commented President Michel.
Mrs. Lavigne forms part of a group of thirteen Seychellois students from the Seychelles Tourism Academy who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management on March 7, 2013 in a cohort of about a hundred European students. It is to be noted that this is the first batch of students which have completed their degree tailored by the Shannon College of Hotel Management of Ireland.
During the meeting at State House, the President and Mrs. Lavigne discussed possibilities for her to further her studies, her experience in Ireland, the graduates’ future in the tourism industry, the President’s vision to retain Seychellois professionals in the industry, and programs being envisioned to that end.
Mrs. Lavigne thanked everyone who has supported her and her fellow graduates throughout their studies. She further expressed her gratitude to President Michel and the government of Seychelles for their commitment in initiating the training program, its funding, and their belief in the Seychelles Tourism Academy. She emphasized that it was encouraging to see that they had come back to a strong system of support. “The STA and Shannon College have thought me so much. Being at the College has built up my confidence. I am very happy, and I know I will move up slowly but surely,” said Mrs Lavigne.
Mrs. Lavigne now wishes to acquire more work experience at the Allamanda Hilton Hotel and, subsequently, further her studies at Master’s level, covering topics such as finance, business studies, and marketing which she feels are important to help grow the hotel industry.
Such an accomplishment illustrates the strategy and programs being implemented by the Seychelles Tourism Academy to pave the way for the Seychellois Hospitality Management professionals to take up key positions within the Seychelles tourism industry.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).