Tourism success story: Seychelles hospitality graduate


Late last week, Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture St.Ange and PS Lafortune visited the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa and caught up with a returning Shannon College graduate.

Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has been following up on the progress of the islands’ graduates in the hospitality field returning from Shannon College. Last week, Minister St.Ange, accompanied by Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism; Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board; and Sinha Levkovic of the Inspectorates Department of the Tourism Department were on a working visit to Praslin island and made time to meet the management of Raffles Resort to discuss the proposed salary bracket for the returning graduates with an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management. “We have been following our returning graduates and needed to firm up their actual working conditions at Raffles Resort. Our Mentors Committee made a commitment to our returning graduates and the ministry’s responsibility is to ensure that this is being applied. Today, we can confirm that most hotels are working together with us, but we need to ensure every hotel is on board if we want this exercise to be the success that is expected of it by Seychelles,” said Minister St.Ange on Praslin.

Graduate Vanessa Albest joined the first cohort of students at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA), to study the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management in 2008. She graduated in 2011 where she received a First Class honors 1,1 and won the Award in Best Overall in Professional Subjects. The same year, she went to Shannon College in Ireland to do her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies in International Hotel Management and graduated in 2012 with a First Class Honors 1,1, making her country proud and also her family.

Her career started in 2012 with the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa as a Resort Host. After 6 months, she was promoted to Front Desk Supervisor. She worked in this position for 7 months, before receiving another promotion to Assistant Front Desk Manager. For 5 months, she was in this position, before she was given the responsibility of Acting Front Desk Manager for 3 months, before being promoted fully to Front Desk Manager. Currently she has been in this position for 2 years now, and working towards her next career goal of Operations Manager.

During her time at Hilton, Vanessa has successfully completed the Management Development Program level 1 and level 2, pending to attend level 3 next year.

Vanessa has also been exposed to other Hilton properties abroad when she attended the Front Office Academy in Dubai last year. “Vanessa Albest is a young and passionate individual who believes in achieving great things,” Doreen D’Souza, the Manager of Human Resources and Training, said as she met with Minister St.Ange in the presence of PS Lafortune; Gregory Thierion, the Resort’s General Manager; and Vanessa Albest herself.

“We are so proud of Vanessa Albest. As a country, we believed in her, and today is flying our flag high. Seychelles has invested to put its people at the center of development in its tourism industry. To fully achieve this objective, we need to ensure that we continue to offer the necessary training possibilities for our people and also to ensure our private sector trade appreciates the need for them to work with the ministry and guarantee a trained workforce for the Seychelles Tourism Trade,” said Minister Alain St.Ange.

For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.