Representatives of the Seychelles’ public and private sectors met again at the end of last week for another multi-sectoral meeting. The meeting, chaired by Vice President Danny Faure at the National House in Victoria, was aimed at maintaining the discussions during which time is spent listening to the private sector on what they see as challenges affecting the tourism industry of the country and to find ways of alleviating those constraints.
Also present were the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange; Minister for Finance; the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Energy Didier Dogley, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries; and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan; and other high government officials; representatives of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA); and that of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
The meeting also gave the chance for those present to be able touch base on what has been achieved so far in regards to the solutions proposed during the previous meetings to lessen the challenges of the tourism industry.
Before going over the minutes of the last meeting, Vice President Faure welcomed the new members of the SHTA and SCCI as well as the new Commissioner of Police, Reginald Elizabeth.
Discussions during this meeting centered on many key matters such as the air access policy which the Principal Secretary for Transport, Patrick Andre, said the document was sent to cabinet and received approval. The trade has asked that the document be circulated to all members.
Another point discussed was inter-island transportation, which Mr. Andre said that a meeting was held with the operators whereby together they addressed the concerns of this sector.
Maritime safety, street lights, stray dogs, and an eye on Curieuse island were among several other points which were discussed.
Taxi meters were once again among the topics raised during the meeting. Minister Morgan said all meters have been installed in taxis and that rates are being applied. Talking about unlicensed taxis, he said this service needs to be regulated, and discussions are being held to have them operate as community taxis.
Reporting on the carrying capacity study in the tourism industry, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, said the consultant who was in the country recently has completed the exercise. The consultant will be back in the country to have a few meetings with key partners and will submit the report in September.
Five other points were put forward by SHTA members, and these were: Gainful Occupation Permit and the 13th month salary; safety and cleanliness of beaches; publishing in one document the guidelines for construction that covers all ministries; updates on what is being done by the Environment Department to control the hairy caterpillars, fungus gnats, and sand flies; and on the seaweed collection machine mentioned in the previous meeting. After the meeting, Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, and the coordinator for these meetings, said that this ongoing public-private sector working approach is the way to go. “Government remains the facilitators and the trade; the frontline team needs to know that we hear them and that we are working with them.”
For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.