As we start 2013, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has congratulated the islands’ Tourism Board for not only achieving, but exceeding, the 7% increase in visitor arrival figures as set for Seychelles at the Tourism Board’s 2011 marketing meeting held at Le Meridien Barbarons Hotel.
“It was at the 2011 December marketing meeting at Le Meridien Barbarons, attended by the Heads of the Tourism Board, members of the islands’ private sector, all the Tourism Board’s overseas directors, and the heads of Ile La Reunion Tourism, that the forecast for the visitor arrival target for 2012 was called. Today, we can all see that the Tourism Board had not only been realistic with their forecast, but that it had proposed a well-calculated plan of action for developing Seychelles tourism when they knew that the main markets for Seychelles were suffering from their own economic difficulties. It is easy to take the efforts of those in the frontline for granted, but when we see what is happening in other tourism destinations, and when we read what the big boys in the regional world of tourism are saying, we must and we should be humble enough to say congratulations to the team at the Tourism Board who have worked hard during 2012,” Minister St.Ange said.
“But as we celebrate as a country on our achievements of 2012, we must also appreciate that the existing public/private sector partnership has brought positive results for Seychelles. The private sector has worked side by side with the government agencies in the promotion of Seychelles, and they have again shown their commitment by coming out last December to work with the Tourism Board on the country’s 2013 marketing plan. I have personally maintained a close working relationship with the private sector and continue to meet their elected representatives on a regular basis,” the Seychelles Minister for Tourism said.
Seychelles is today receiving in visitor arrival numbers well over 2 times its total population and around 5 times its adult working population. These mid-ocean tropical islands with a weather pattern that has given them the name of the tourism destination with a perpetual summer are dependent on their tourism industry. This is why the islands’ Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture is often heard saying that they are not allowed to fail in their work to market the islands and to continue to consolidate the Seychelles tourism industry.
“As we start 2013, my appeal is to the tourism industry as a whole to continue to work as a united team for Seychelles. In so doing, each and everyone will see their respective businesses grow. You have been calling for more funds to go to marketing, and the 2013 government has heard your pleas, and you will continue to be consulted on how we spend these funds that will be operated from an account at a private bank. We understand the need to now gradually increase further the yield from tourism, and we commit to working with the trade as they review their rates they feel is most suited for their respective business,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Hotels in Seychelles have always said that they are not competing among themselves, but suffer when price dumping occurs in the region. This is why Seychelles has been playing a leading role in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization. They have said over and over again that if the region works as a team, then each and every island of the region will come out as winners.
The Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel, has declared that 2013 will be the year for “Striving for our Seychelles,” in order to reinforce the progress that has been achieved and to overcome the challenges of the continued global recession. The Seychelles President said that the life of a people is defined by the capacity to overcome difficulties, overcome obstacles, without giving up, and that these abilities are what make us stronger as human beings and render us valiant as a people.
President James Michel said as he declared the theme for the islands and that: “Life does not improve by chance. Progress comes from positive changes and hard work. We have to sail away from the coast in order to discover new oceans, new horizons. Have courage. Have belief. Assume our responsibilities…”
The Seychelles President’s message reaffirms the conclusions of the last marketing meeting held at the Hilton Silhouette Labriz Resort and Spa where the private sector trade and the Tourism Board sat together and agreed to move to discover new oceans and new horizons for the country’s tourism industry.
“It was agreed at the 2012 marketing meeting that Seychelles needed to remain proactive and to continue to work on diversification of our island’s tourism markets as we relook at measures to reclaim our fair share of the traditional main markets. It was also agreed that even more needed to be done to keep Seychelles visible in the 4 corners of the world, and here, the Friends of Seychelles in the Press Fraternity will be called upon to assist,” Minister St.Ange said.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).