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September 2016, Issue 3

The Seychelles dream on horseback

Nestled in lush surrounds in the pastoral Barbarons region of west Mahé is the newest addition to Mahé’s growing list of attractions – Turquoise Horse Trails – a neatly arranged, professionallyoperated stables for a string of gorgeous and well turned out Appaloosa horses. The project, which has been several years in the pipeline is the brainchild of South African Damien Dreyer and his wife Tamara whose passion for horses and all things equestrian is immediately apparent and highly infectious. Damien was introduced to horses the hard way – working on his grandfather’s ranch in South Africa from a very young age where he rode horses to drive cattle the old-fashioned way, while his wife was prominent on the show jumping scene. Between them, they make a highly efficient and expert team to introduce young and old, novice and expert rider alike to the wonders of horse riding against the backdrop of Seychelles’ sublime, natural beauty. Some eight years ago, Damien became interested in breeding the Appaloosa, a particularly handsome breed of horse distinguishable by its spotted coat and now one of the most popular breeds in the United States. It is best known as a stock horse used in a number of western riding disciplines, but is also a versatile breed with representatives seen in many other types of equestrian activity. Appaloosas have also featured in many movies, perhaps on account of their Brad Pitt-like good looks. Today, the energetic South African

couple’s dream has come true – that of owning their own stables in Seychelles and of offering a unique way of exploring the stunning beaches and speciallyselected riding trails in an area of Mahé still wonderfully untouched. In all respects, theirs is a ‘leave only hoofprints’ eco-friendly, philosophy to horse riding that extends from the way they only use bit-less bridles to avoid damaging the horses’ mouths and their choice of the finest American saddles, down to their policy of only riding the beaches at low tide to avoid any possible harm to nesting turtles. Turquoise Horse Trails offers a variety of services that includes beach riding for one or two hours, romantic picnics for couples complete with Continued on page 22...

Inside Seychelles is a publication produced by the Seychelles Tourism Board. Editor Glynn Burridge, Collaborators Marie-France Watson, Ineke Camille and Olivia Michaud (Graphics and layout). For information about this publication please contact Mr. Burridge, or call us on 2512477 (Marie-France)

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Editor's remarks The question of Brexit and whether the UK should remain a part of Europe or go it alone, echoes a similar choice facing many tourism destinations in this busy, interconnected world of ours in which it is increasingly difficult even for an island to be an island unto itself. The way our planet is moving, the increasing fluidity of populations with changing demographics and the impact of immigration are all bringing about political, social and economic environments which are very different to those of even a few decades ago. Today, we live in a world that seems constantly in flux and where former, static entities such as borders and even national identities are gradually melting away and regrouping along more cosmopolitan, international lines. In Seychelles, in our own back yard, we are seeing how the former inter-island rivalries of our Western Indian Ocean neighbours has metamorphosed into a dynamic, new alliance - the Vanilla Islands - which is gradually gathering momentum along a number of fronts: events; (the Carnaval International de Victoria); promoting cruise shipping between the islands; an inter-Vanilla Island Travel Card that is being worked on, among a host of other collaborations. Seychelles is also part of the expanding East3Route conceived by the Governments of South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland as far back as 1998, with a view to, in particular, promoting eco-tourism development capitalising on the region’s exciting topographical landmarks and emphasising the existing blend of cultural and historical heritage. The recent Seychelles’ delegation’s trip to the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) in Guam witnessed the call for a bridge between Pacific and Indian Ocean tourism, indicating how even entire blocks of countries located in different oceans are seeing the benefits of forming partnerships and cross-border associations. In future years, this may well become our choice: to stand our ground as single entities or ride the wave created by the joint momentum of like-minded partners that may be able to take us where we could never conceive of going alone.

Sherin's perspective As we enter the last quarter of 2016, our focus turns to Europe and the several Tourism Trade fairs taking place there over the coming months. Although we have taken the initiative of diversifying our tourism markets from uniquely, or mainly, European ones, we never lose sight of the fact that Europe remains close to our heart as our traditional partner with whom we have a long and successful history of association. After all, we share much common history and ties at a multiplicity of levels. The European Trade fairs such as France’s Top Resa, London’s World Travel Market and Italy’s TTG, France’s Cannes and IBTM in Spain, each present excellent opportunities for Seychelles to heighten its profile and show off its tourism wares to consumers who are already very familiar with the Seychelles brand. Among these is the Virtual Reality technology that is taking the world by storm and which is destined to change the face of marketing forever. Seychelles has been quick to adopt Virtual Reality to market the islands – whereby a potential visitor puts on a special VR headset and is then transported to Seychelles where he or she can virtually visit the tourist attraction of their choice via a totally immersive experience, just as if they were there in person soaking up the sights and sounds. Another success has been the creation of the new Seychelles app, the free, downloadable Seychelles Travel Guide which is also useable offline and which provides comprehensive information about the islands, their attributes and full range of services. Once downloaded, pointing a phone in any given direction will show the user the full spectrum of activities, attractions and services there. In line with our policy of investing in our events and culture, in early December, we are looking at launching the first edition of the Seychelles Ocean Festival, the successor to SUBIOS, which is Seychelles’ celebration of its amazing marine heritage. This will bring another busy year to a close, one in which I share together with my team, much pride in all that has been achieved.

Glynn Burridge

Sherin Naiken CEO of STB

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Profile: Seychelles Tourism Board Office, Paris, France In 2010, Bernadette got promoted to the Director Europe position, thus responsible for the Seychelles Tourism marketing and promotion on this continent, the post she currently holds whilst still managing the France-Benelux account directly. With 4 fully fledged offices in the main European capitals: Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and London and 2 representations in Madrid and Moscow, Bernadette Willemin and her 12 women team members strongly and proudly ensure that Seychelles is always kept first in the mind of the Europeans at large as the preferred destination through our various B2B and B2C promotions.

For more than 2 decades, Bernadette Willemin has been managing the Seychelles Tourism Board Office first in the Spanish capital Madrid and later from a central office location in Paris, today the Regional office for Europe. Bernadette Willemin, a native Seychelloise, joined the Seychelles Tourism Board in 1994. Previously she worked for the Radio Television Seychelles which later became Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation both as Presenter and Assistant Producer Director and this after graduating from the University of Reunion in Information and Communication. At ease in occupying the scene, and already an effective communicator, she took over the Iberian Peninsula Account looking after Spain and Portugal from the Madrid based office. An experience which she values and cherishes as today she is not only fluent in English and French but also Spanish.

In 2003, Bernadette Willemin was asked to take over the French-Benelux account in addition to her existing Spanish and Portuguese ones and was thus transferred to the capital city of Paris. She kept her promise of not only consolidating but growing the French market business for the Seychelles by combining her strong product knowledge with excellent negotiation skills to identify and maximise sales opportunities and deliver results in high-pressured target-based environments. The French market grew by 44% from 2003 to 2015, catering alone for 15% of the total arrival figures to the Seychelles last year and which is still the first market source for our country to date.

Europe has always been the first and most important source market for our tourism. Arrival figures have kept increasing from this continent and to date we are 10% above last year’s figures. Significant growth so far is being recorded from all the markets with the exception of Russia. "We take great pride in these achievements whilst always remembering that the success of tomorrow depends upon our hard work of today," she says. We have a global marketing strategic approach for the continent with the primary objective of increasing visitors’ numbers by volume against higher yield and volume against yield maintenance. In the absence of “real” advertising funds, we stimulate consumer interest utilizing public-relations efforts with the endorsement of a strong media plan to support this initiative. Our efforts are further enhanced by the availability of modern technologies now at our disposal, resulting in a greater focus on social media and e-marketing whilst continuing to target consumers in the niche market, in order to stimulate interest and ensure that they aspire to choose Seychelles first! Being a trade driven destination, it is important for us to continue strengthening and growing business through the travel trade network. For this very same reason, all our offices actively participate in key trade partners activities in parallel to staging our own initiated ones as such continue to promote confidence-building and also destination positioning and awareness. 2016 promises to be yet another “grand cru”. The first semester is already showing positive double digit growth. With the usual dedication, passion and team effort, we are on the way to surpassing our goal, over 190 000 Europeans visiting our shores.

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Constance Ephelia Seychelles Eco-Friendly Practices things despite some of the financial benefits that come with it. However, adopting the SSTL label is making a commitment to look a little beyond the shareholders’ profit, but also that of Seychelles; its environment and people, and ultimately, the planet.


2016 marks four years since Constance Ephelia received its Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label Certificate (SSTL). Being one of the first, and few, to earn the label, the hotel has been continuously trying to take the concepts behind the label to another, extraordinary level. Along the way, they acquired the Green Globe certification, which in itself depicts the extent of their commitment to keeping their ways of business as eco-friendly as possible. Constance Ephelia discreetly occupies the beach front property at Port Launay and stretches far back to cover an impressive 120 hectares of

land. It is no surprise that it boasts a total of 313 rooms which range from Junior Suites to Hillside Villas making it the largest hotel establishment in Seychelles. On its grounds, in-house and visiting clients can enjoy a range of activities from kayaking through its mangrove marsh, to zip lining for the more adventurous. Five restaurants and the largest spa set up in the Indian Ocean are also some of the key features on its to-note list. Given its sheer size and the operations which come into play to run this hotel, it is safe to assume that imposing and sustaining ‘green’ rules is not the easiest way of doing

The Corossol Restaurant, one of the five restaurants in the hotel

The ultimate goal with the energy issue is efficiency. Energy saving lights, LED bulbs, motion sensors in rooms which detect when clients are no longer present in the room, timercontrolled outdoor lights are some of many initiatives which Constance Ephelia has adopted. With 313 rooms to supply hot water to, the hotel also produces its own energy with generators which have a heat exchange system which ultimately supplies hot water through the ‘waste’ energy heat from the generators. In simple terms? There is no need for water boilers. A central chiller which produces cold water is also used to supply the cooling systems in each room with the cool air guests usually desperately need. The system produces cool air which is very similar to what an air-condition provides but using cold air which is ‘pushed’ out with an internal fan. The only zip-lining facility in the Seychelles

Creole Festival 2016 [ INSIDE Seychelles page 6 ]

The minute the calendar reads October, anticipation of the Creole Festival begins on the islands of Seychelles. The locals begin to keep an ear out for Joe Samy’s famous “Lasezon Kreol in Refleri” on the local radio channels, as the annual sign that the week-long festival is about to begin. There is one thing everyone must remember about Seychellois – we love and we know how to have fun, and such events bring the perfect opportunity for friends, neighbours and strangers to come together and celebrate.

CREOLE FESTIVAL 2016 The event will be held from the 22nd to 31st October 2016 with the main opening falling on the 28th October which is also ‘International Kreol Day’. This year’s event will place special focus of traditional dance and will also a trade fair which will celebrate creole creativity.

Pictures taken from previous festivals

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Background It goes without saying that the Creole Festival is more than just fun and gatherings. At the core of all the activities, a very strong message is upheld and that is creole is part of the identity of the Seychellois people. It is to be noted that Seychelles is one of very few countries (and the only one in the Indian Ocean) that has made Creole one of its official languages. In 1982, the Seychelles Government decided to allocate a day to commemorate the nation’s ‘Kreolite.’ Speeches made for that occasion highlighted the importance

of maintaining our culture and identity alive through our language. Of course, Kreolite, is much more than a language, it has cultural, artistic and lifestyle implications as well. Let us not forget the famous tagline associated with our national airline, “Flying the Creole Spirit.” While there are various interpretations of this tagline, most of them relay the same message – it is a reflection of the Seychellois warmth and hospitality. It did not take too long for the one day event to become a week-long celebration. There was simply too much to do in just one day. As the years went by, the Festival grew, both in terms of activities and participation.

Eden Island mall’s new Chatterbox Cafe combines comfort and chic into an altogether new experience. It’s not truly accurate to call the newly-opened Chatterbox a café, because the experience of being there takes you way beyond just drinking coffee. There’s something about the Chatterbox experience which is delightfully new and fresh. It starts with the funky decor and the way the colour scheme instantly pulls you in among the warm, wooden furniture, casually arranged to create a classy yet informal, friendly atmosphere. Sure, the Illy coffee’s really good and the same goes for the vast range of biscuits, scones, prepared meals, salads and the ever-changing temptations of the daily menu. The impressive choice will ensure you remain healthy throughout your busy day, from breakfast right through to dinner, cocooned in this oasis of pure island – style hospitality and soul. But somehow, you rather expect cafés to provide good coffee and snacks, (alcoholic beverages too) which is why the wonderful value add-ons at Chatterbox are what set it apart from the competition. What makes a difference at Chatterbox is that it’s a place with a strong sense of purpose: a natural place for meetings, rendezvous, hangouts, chillaxes and that special get-together where the need for a real sense of atmosphere comes top of the list.

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Restaurant in Review

Trader Vic's


ife in paradise just got a whole lot more exciting with the home of the Mai Tai cocktail in town. Trader Vic’s is a definite paradise fusion hotspot – in personality, people and experience. Hidden in the trappings of The H Resort, Trader Vic’s is a rare gem on the nightlife scene in the Seychelles. On a recent Friday night visit, I walked through large wooden Indonesian hand carved doors, into a very unique setting. Welcome by a fresh faced smiling lady in a flowery long dress, here the ambiance was lively, with all sorts of artefacts adorning the ceiling, the authentic wooden carved Tiki statues and fascinating handmade craft pieces lining the walls. As I was directed to a table and handed the menu I had a hard time choosing from the exquisite list. The waitress Janice, proceeded to tell me the very interesting story behind this island style Restaurant. Trader Vic’s is in fact named after its founder a trader called Mr Victor Bergeron, whom along with his Tahitian friends in Oakland California invented the Mai Tai back in 1944. The Polynesian theme stems from the influence of his friends and hanging on the ceiling his collection of artefacts from his journeys as an infamous globetrotter trader. “Where did Mr Bergeron collect that?” I asked as I pointed to a small decorated canoe hanging from the ceiling near the entrance. Her eyes glitter and her smile widens; there’s an interesting story behind this canoe – it was a tree that

A vintage paradise experience for the foodie, the cocktail enthusiast and the lover of dance. By Alexandra Faure

Photos supplied by Trader Vic's

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a child had planted and after 18 years cut it down and carved it into a canoe. Not only are the crafts unique at Trader Vic’s but the cuisine and the cocktails also come in their unique categories as well. At the far end of the restaurant behind a glass wall sits a large Chinese traditional wooden fire oven where the meat is hung over the fire at the bottom of the oven to cook as the fat drips down giving the meat a special wooden taste; and a healthy option too! Fancy a fruity mocktail in a pineapple or a strong hot coffee and rum in a skull chalice? As a tropical antique spot, Trader Vic’s is also famous for its cocktails! These alcoholic and nonalcoholic concoctions come in the most imaginative and exquisite goblets and pots. Finding it difficult to choose from all the amazing Cocktail options on the menu, I told Janice that I preferred fruity and sweet cocktails leading to her recommendation of the Moku Nani. A mix of tropical fruits and rum, this cocktail definitely satisfied my sweet tooth. Lavish bread with Coco Peanut Butter dip was served as we checked

the menu to order the starters and main course. Popular with children, if there’s anything that will make your taste buds buzz, it’s definitely that. Trader Vic’s buy local meats to make sure the quality of the meat is fresh and delicious. The Togarashi Spiced Scallops and creamy Shitaka Mushroom Risotto dashed with a hint of spice was scrumptiously followed by the Banana Fritters dessert, I indulged in every bite whilst the band, Ámbar, played soothing cubano rhythms in the background. As the night falls, the cubano rhythms get livelier with the salsa beats and if you have a dance partner – the dancefloor is all yours. The 1944 Mai Tai that was originally created by Mr Victor Bergeron surely sparked a punch. And the Coffee Grog, coffee, coconut cream and Trader Vic’s Rum was the night cap I needed after a long week of work. Whether you are looking for a night of salsa, merengue or bachatta, a perfect date or to start off a night out with spice then Trader Vic’s is the place for you. Trader Vic’s is within The H Resort at Beau Vallon Beach. For more details call on 00248 4387000

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The Russian market

Karen Confait - Manager for Scandinavia, Russia CIS & Eastern Europe

The Russian market still remains one of the top 5 European markets for Seychelles after France, Germany, Italy & UK, despite the economic downturn last year. Over the past five years we have seen an average increase of 39% from this market, from 2010 to 2014 Unfortunately, during 2015, external factors namely the Ukraine crisis and the devaluation of the ruble impacted negatively on the performance of the market with the dynamics of the ruble primarily being determined by the fluctuations of the oil market. Consequently, the arrival figures to Seychelles for 2016 dropped from the beginning of the year to date by 9% even though the Russian market overtook the rest of the world during the first two weeks in January occupying the pole position due to the extended Russian holidays and Russian New Year. Though the market is still on the decrease, the overall outlook is not totally bleak; there is still a market segment which continues to travel long haul, which also has the purchasing power and can afford travel to the Seychelles. Moreover, the holiday budget among Russian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) tourists has increased by almost 29% in 2015 vs 2014. As a result, the Seychelles Tourism Board re-strategized, adapted our business model and developed the appropriate action plan to tap into this segment. Overall we have managed to minimize the effect and proportionally secured better results compared to other competing destinations. Our short term objective is to arrest the decline and stabilize the business from this part of the world.

Guided mountain walks with Basil Beaudoin

See the flora and fauna, unique to Seychelles with the aid of expert mountain guide Basil Beaudoin. For more information please call 4241790 or 2514972 or email us on

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Seychelles Travel Guide Smartphone App FEATURES OF THE TRAVEL GUIDE:

Over the past two years, the E-Marketing team at the Seychelles Tourism Board headquarters has been working hard ensuring that Seychelles is marketed on all e-platforms available. The next box which the innovative team will tick on its list is the Smart Phone App which will be Seychelles’ first official travel guide and will be available 100% Offline on the Android additionally, it has been customized to work on Tablets and IPad screens as well. Visitors will be able to download the app onto their smartphone for free and have access to close to 1000 listings of accommodations, activities, attractions, cafes, transportation and much more, including their prices, opening hours, contact info, and pictures. Additionally tourist will be get access to a fully interactive map of the islands with all listings and will be able to get directions similar to Google Maps. The app also has information about Seychelles, a trip journal and the user will have the ability to create his or her own customized itinerary.

One special feature of the App is the Augmented reality feature which will enable the user to point the phone in any direction and the ‘ listings ‘ in that area will appear on the screen along with its directions and route map. An example of this is if a person enables the feature and points the phone to the direction of North Mahé, all hotels, attractions in the north of Mahé will pop up on the screen together with the route map and directions. The travel guide is available in multiple languages, being English, French, Italian and German.

• Point Of Interest Directory - Find information on attractions, activities, accommodation, and many more… Including their prices, opening hours, contact info, and pictures. • Reviews and Ratings - View the reviews and ratings of other travelers and enter your own. • 100% Offline Maps - No internet access? No worries. The detailed maps are completely available offline. • Navigation - Using your device’s in built GPS, you can easily get directions from your current position to a selected location, including the distance and time to the selected location. • Languages - The travel guide is available in multiple languages, with new ones to be added. • Itineraries - Create personalised itineraries for your trip, based on your trip’s duration and your interests, be it diving, sailing, nature, etc... • Nearby Places - Find places, such as restaurants and cafes which are close to you. • Additional Features: Augmented reality, Facebook integration, Currency converter.

seychelles ocean festival

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As we enter the last half of the year, the Seychelles Tourism Board will be concentrating on the architecture of the first edition of Seychelles’ newest event, the Seychelles Ocean Festival, which is the successor to long-running SUBIOS (Sub Indian Ocean Seychelles) as the event which celebrates Seychelles’ rich marine heritage. Postponed last year on account of its dates conflicting with those of Seychelles’ Presidential elections, the Seychelles Ocean Festival has been scheduled between 2nd and 9th of December.

The week-long happening will feature a grand flotilla of lit boats for the opening, VIP invited guest, photographic exhibitions, film shows, photographic and video competition, a week of themed Ocean Festival soirées at certain hotels, NGO, Blue Economy and school activities, gala dinner with auction of artwork, a yacht race, boat trips, diving lessons and a special family fun day on Beau Vallon beach inclusive of various sports and other competitions, live music and food stalls. “We are looking for this new event to be more reflective of the broader scope of Seychelles’ marine activites,” explained STB’s Glynn Burridge, “and we are aiming to make it as inclusive and representative as possible of all the sectors that constitute Seychelles’ burgeoning marine scene.” Work on the festival is still ongoing via a number of meetings with all the proposed participants and the hope is that the new Seychelles Ocean Festival will be a powerful first edition of vibrant future event.

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Seychelles Tourism Board taps into the power of Virtual Reality Technology to market the Seychelles Islands Virtual Reality is an increasing popular breakthrough computer technology enabling the simulation of real or imagined events via a special headset that allows a person to experience a virtual world of both sight and hearing. Currently being used in such areas such as tourism marketing, training and gaming, the most popular forms of content feature 360Ëšimages and videos that can be found on YouTube and on many other video portals, websites and mobile apps. The Seychelles Tourism Board has been quick to tap into the power of this new technology to market the Seychelles Islands as a tourism destination and in the future will be providing headsets at trade fairs, roadshows and workshops to allow trade partners and consumers alike to not just learn about Seychelles but also experience it by way of the immersive experience virtual reality headsets allow. This exciting, new technology which is set to take the world by storm, allows a person wearing virtual reality headsets to be fully immersed without distraction in a powerful, crystal-clear, visual experience of a product, service or destination in a way that has hitherto been impossible. The expression of amazement on the faces of people who have just used the headsets point to an other-worldly experience that is powerful and captivating beyond their wildest expectations.

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Once a user wears a virtual reality headset, they may feel as if they are actually standing on a beach, forest or any other location in Seychelles, where they are able to look around them, taking in the various sights and sounds just as if they were there in person. This means that people from anywhere in the world can be taken on a guided tour around the Seychelles Islands which has huge implications for future advertising strategies and the direction that marketing itself will take.

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The Seychelles Tourism Board is among the first tourism boards to use virtual reality to market the destination, with Tourism Australia releasing 17 virtual reality videos earlier in 2016 to attract potential visitors. More destinations are sure to follow suit as the trend towards real-time marketing gathers pace and popularity.

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Seychelles delegation attends PATA Summit and UNWTO debate on

US Island of Guam

On 15th May, a two-man Seychelles delegation consisting of Minister for Tourism & Culture, Minister St. Ange and Senior Tourism Consultant, Glynn Burridge travelled to the US island of Guam to attend the annual PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Summit and UNWTO debate. Hosted by the Guam Visitors Bureau, the 2016 annual PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Organisation) summit is a 4-day programme consisting of the association’s executive and advisory board meetings, annual general meeting and PATA Youth Symposium as well as a one-day conference

that addresses major issues relevant to the travel and tourism industry. This year’s summit saw an increase in participation to more than 600 delegates which sets a new record for the association.

which explored whether destinations should be promoted individually or collectively within a region and Merging Motivations, on how to align tourism public/private sector roles to best effect.

As testament to the influence exerted by Seychelles tourism on the international arena, Minister St. Ange was asked to make the summit’s keynote address and also participated on a panel in two separate debates: Driving solo or following the pack,

During the course of their stay, the Seychelles delegation witnessed the call for ‘a bridge between the Pacific and Indian Ocean Tourism’ to be established and nurtured.

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If I was to advise foreigners on must-do activities while visiting the Seychelles there are two things on which I would insist: take the bus at least once; and visit Market Street in Victoria. As a Seychellois, I find that these two scenes portray the personality and spirit of the Seychellois people at their core. There is no guarantee that either experience would be particularly pleasant, but, at the very least, they would provide for one of the most unique and charming memories that a visitor would take away from our shores. Market Street is the most vibrant scene in Victoria. It is a short-cut for other streets and locations around the capital and it is a place where people intersect from all walks of life. Aligned with shops from beginning to end, any form of purchase is possible – clothes, shoes, CDs or even groceries. On Saturdays, you are likely to find one of the local artists selling their latest album outside one of the music shops, with tracks from the album blaring in the background. When they are not there, you’ll have to make do with the music choice of the vendor, which irrespective of your own personal music preference, adds to the ambience of the experience. The Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market, built in 1840 and renovated in 1999, and named after Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn Clarke who was the Governor of Seychelles from 1947 to 1951, is the epicenter of the street. First and foremost it serves its original purpose as the main location in Seychelles for fresh produce. You will find children tagging along behind their mothers, often being shouted at for not adhering to the ‘duck-line’ that ensures their safety, or fathers attempting to cross out their shopping list in record time. Whatever the case may be, the market is where Seychellois emotions come to life and one of the few places where Seychellois do not make excuses for their behaviour or opinions. The ‘rawness’ of it all might cause your head to spin as you will hear vendors shout out their produce and their prices at you and someone behind you arguing over it just as

loud. If you are lucky and the vendor is in a pleasant mood, you might get a discounted price for a purchase or a freebie might be thrown in with your buy. Some friendly negotiation is accepted but don’t over-do it unless you want a sour face in front of you. At the back of the market you will find a variety of spices in sachets for making curries and other Creole specialties, which make for great gifts for family and friends. Expect to learn a thing or two about the spices as you make enquiries about them. Education is the one thing that’s free in the market, and the vendors are neither shy nor mute, so you’ll get your money’s worth there! For a trip to the market dress casually and preferably wear a pair of trainers – you will get stepped on and you might not get an apology. Take it as part of the experience - after all, you were most probably in someone’s way. A camera is a must-have accessory since the market provides for an array of possible shots which will whisk you back to the sights and smells of the experience years later. Do not hesitate to ask the vendors to be photographed (and please do ask before doing so). Generally they love the attention, though you should avoid making the request in the middle of a purchase – vendors love their money more than posing for you. The market street experience allows visitors an up-close look at residents going about their daily lives, and for that reason it remains one of the most authentic attractions a visitor to Seychelles can experience. And its uniqueness is further evident when you consider a market street visit is no less intense for a Seychellois than for a visitor! It leaves a lasting impression, and for certain, there would be at least one character which will be engraved in your mind. Keep it there for as long as you can – it would be great ‘place’ to visit in your mind when you need a reason to smile. @MFW Photo credit: Gerard Larose

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The Arterial Network Seychelles The Arterial Network is a significant development within the Art community in the Seychelles. The International body of Arterial Network, founded in 2007 and currently centralised in Cape Town, has branches in over 30 countries, mostly in the African continent. The Seychelles chapter of Arterial, is rooted in a recognition of the vital role that the arts have to play in the health of a society, its role extends beyond personal development to encompass social and economic development. The organisation believes that the arts are an integral part to the cultural life of a community. Seychelles already has a thriving arts community, but Arterial Network can offer support and guidance for the further development of all Seychellois, as well as provide important international partnership opportunities. The core vision promoted by the organisation echoes Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Seychelles is signatory specifically stating that ‘everyone shall have the right to freely

participate in the cultural life of a community and to enjoy the arts.’ Arterial Network is a multidiscipline organisation, within which the work of artists, musicians, dancers, craftspeople, is equally valued,

celebrated and promoted. Arterial Network is about making things happen, and the Seychelles chapter, will seek to apply this vision, through supporting vibrant, dynamic and sustainable practices in the arts in Seychelles. The Structure The Network has a committee of dedicated individuals whom are committed to ensuring Arterial continues to thrive and deliver its objectives. The committee comprises of; George Camille: Chairman Federico Lang: Vice-Chairman Erwin Burian: Treasurer Martin Kennedy: Secretary and Projects Officer Charles Dodo: Committee Member Allen Ernesta: Committee Member Christine Chetty: Committee Member As well as the committee the network has a free membership scheme currently comprising of 80 members. Members of the public are continuously encouraged to join and will be made aware of the various activities undertaken by the organization. Projects As Arterial is a non-profit organization it pursues its vision with a strong body of voluntary representatives. Collectively we Endeavour to increase the profile of Art for the benefit of the Seychelles community. The committee and its members have several projects they hope to be able to implement in the future. The first is a publication that will trace and document the history of visual Arts in the Seychelles. The publication will offer an educational and inspirational set of information that has contributed to the identity Continued on page 22...

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The Seychelles: A Tropical Cultural Cocktail

According to mixologists making the perfect cocktail requires a strong liquor base along with sweet and tart elements that also become the canvas for creativity. The possibilities are endless. The Seychellois culture is very much influenced by its geographical placing and more importantly its past colonial encounters. The Indian Oceans’ historical epic dates back to as early as the times of the Phoenicians and beyond; the islands transformed culturally by three different continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. These three continents, bursting with a rich ancient backbone of its own met together in a historical encounter that has created a nation of who, today’s people pride themselves in being called Seychellois-Seselwa. The origins of the Seychellois people are from far stretched lands and tribes, and the culture, like with many other Creole nations

‘To perceive our existence is to perceive us in the context of our history, of our daily lives, of our reality…’ ~ Patrick Chamoiseau move beyond the dominant idea of cultural contact as a linear process whereby some cultures are displaced and some survive, in fact it moves towards the object of ‘mixture’ in all its facets. The creole nations, born out of a blend of cultures and continents are similar to genius fusions of ingredients, only that they are categorized by heritage - language, music, dance, food, art, environment, religion, superstition. Taste buds are awakened by the traditional cuisine in Seychelles, which offers a blending of spices, fruits and vegetables – from the Indian influenced coconut curries with an island twists, to the heavy

cassava, sweet potato and banana dishes from the coast of east Africa. The history of slavery in the Seychelles has had such a profound effect on the cultural and social identity of the people today. It is primarily because of the mixing of the multi-ethnic slaves and masters that we today have the Seychellois Kreol culture and identity. There are very few material objects or written forms of documentation that testify for the lives of the plantation workers and migrants during the colonial era of the Indian Ocean. These stories lie hidden in the Oral Traditions of Songs, Riddles, Proverbs and the Creole Language. The slaves who were brought from mainland Africa and Madagascar to the Seychelles created the dance forms of Moutya, Sokwe, Sega and many others – each dance with its own theatrical style, earthly roots and epic story. Lastly, the Seychellois Creole language epitomizes defiance. A language created by the slaves so their French and English masters would not understand them, is today the ultimate testimony for the lives of those who endured hardships of the colonial past. The Seychelles has an inexplicable beauty of turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and lush blankets of forest caressing the mountains; but if we look closely in the distance, we can discern the explorer ships that set sail across the seas hundreds of years ago, the footprints of a people we see reflections of in the faces of multiracial population and the epic journey we hear in the maternal tongue that is mutually intonated. By Alexandria Faure

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Seychelles Escapades roadshow strongly supported in the BENELUX

After completing its first successful week, taking the Seychelles destination and its array of products through various cities in France, presented by our hotel and airline partners, the Seychelles delegation took to the road in Belgium and Netherlands from the 06th – 08th June 2016  where it continues to be a firm favorite amongst the Belgian and Dutch travel professionals. It was not the first time that this popular roadshow, carried out by the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Paris Office in conjunction with the support of the Seychelles Private Sector Trade, stopped in these towns. These are important catchment areas that provide clientele to the destination and it was most important that we continue to show our presence and keep penetrating these regions and servicing these agents with the information of our islands and products, and in turn

enabling them to recommend and sell the destination further, with more confidence and facts - said Bernadette Willemin – European Director of the Seychelles Tourism Board. The fact the Seychelles brought their products to the doorstep of these agents - was immensely appreciated and well supported. This was clearly recognised in the successful turnout of travel agents and trade professionals during the events which took place in Brussels, Antwerp and Amsterdam from the 06th – 08th June 2016. In attendance, was a strong delegation of 14 participants comprising of various hotel partners: Banyan Tree Seychelles: Mourad Essafi and Patrica Demayer, Beachcomber Ste Anne Island: Veronique Ibrard and Sandra Ober, Constance Hotels and Resorts: Jhoan Payet, Denis Private Island, Indian Ocean Lodge and Carana Beach Hotel:

Priska Constance, Eden Bleu : Isabel Turon Lagau, Domaine de l’Orangeraie, Domaine de La Reserve and Cat Cocos: Guillaume Albert, H Resort Beau Vallon Beach: Fabienne Tirant, Hilton Seychelles: Devi Pentamah, Maia Resort and Paradise Sun : Daphne Hoareau and Etihad Airways/Air Seychelles: Rimmert Gryseels, Alecia da Luz and Christine Ozouf, Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa: Anna Alvis and Aline Chan-Tien and led by Seychelles Tourism Board France based European Director: Bernadette Willemin accompanied by Senior Marketing Executive:  Christine Vel. The events were held in a “train and dine” format, which from its inception, has proved to be a most popular format, over the years amongst the attendees potential and faithful alike. This was clearly seen through strong participation and turn out, at all 3 events. The synergy between the local partners and the Seychelles Tourism Board in France has contributed to the overall awareness of the destination for the past 5 years resulting in an increase of figures to the Seychelles from Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively said Bernadette Willemin, the Director for Europe. As this series of events have proved to be such a success, we will continue to embark upon other such events in the future. The next rendez-vous set for Escapades Benelux will take place from the 05th – 08th June 2017. In the meantime, the Seychelles Tourism Board in France continues its geographical footprint further into Benelux through the various activities planned for the rest of year, bringing the Seychelles destination into greater focus.

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Visibility & Relevance in the world of Tourism as the 13th annual Seychelles Escapades Roadshow in France is recorded as another successful story The 13th edition of the dedicated Seychelles Roadshow Escapades Seychelles took place in France from the 30th May – 02nd June 2016. As always, this event was extremely well supported with a great turnout by the Seychelles private sector partners, French tour operators, journalists and travel agents. Seychelles has been working hard to maintain its visibility in France to ensure that it remains relevant as a holiday destination in France which remains the main tourism source market for the islands. For 2016, the train-and-dine evenings took place in Reims, Versailles, Bordeaux and Lyon where a most successful attendance of the French travel trade graced the island’s promotional expedition with their presence. The support from the local Seychelles Private Sector Trade was immense and with so many faithful participating hotels together with the airlines, Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways. The delegation consisted of the  Seychelles Tourism Board European Director: Bernadette Willemin accompanied by Marketing Executives  Jennifer Dupuy and Valerie Payet, Etihad Airways/Air Seychelles: Nawell Benzbir, Nadia Perreira and Christine Ozouf, Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa: Tony Rodach and Patrick Genie,  Beachcomber Sainte Anne Island: Veronique Ibrard, Constance Hotels and Resorts: Virginie Fimbel, Coco de Mer Hotel and Black Parrot Suites: Ash Behari, Eden Bleu : Isabel Turon Lagau, Domaine de l’Orangeraie, Domaine de La Reserve and Cat Cocos: Guillaume Albert, Denis Private Island, Indian Ocean Lodge and Carana Beach Hotel: Prisca Constance, H-Resort Beau Vallon Beach: Isabelle Le Strat, Hilton Seychelles: Devi Pentamah. 'For an event to be so well supported by both the Seychelles private sector trade partners and the travel trade alike, over the many years of its existence, goes to show that the right mixture of ingredients were used to create this perfect marketing  recipe and tool of success,' said Bernadette Willemin the European Director of the Seychelles Tourism Board. She also added that it is very important to host such dedicated Seychelles events, abroad, thus bringing the beautiful islands

of the Seychelles, into the lime light and forefront together with the unified help of its trade partners. Bernadette Willemin went on to also say that the French market has had remarkable increases in passenger numbers to the destination and so far this year, has enjoyed a 20% increase - year on year. This has been made possible, by powering events such as these - in taking the  islands and the products they offer, directly to the doorstep of the agents, as well as the support of the local hoteliers and airlines, in participating in such events, creating more awareness of a destination that is safe, easy to access and affordable to visit. With high-tech, giant screen presentations, state of the art technology brought together the Seychelles as amazing islands in a panoramic destination feature. The images and descriptions of the Seychelles islands conveyed the message of what makes the islands unique and sets them apart, as a destination of choice amongst the French, and the reasons why they should experience the variety and diversity of what the country has to offer. This annual event not only delivers the impact of the beauty of the Seychelles and the various reasons to visit, but also creates an amazing bond between the Tourism Board and its partners, who together as a team stand side by side,   proudly presenting travel to the Seychelles …..another world. “We look forward to another year of hard work, support, dedicated motivation and further success in growing, maintaining and nurturing the French market in its pole position it enjoys, on the podium of successful sales to the Seychelles. The Seychelles Escapades will come back to France and take place between the 29th May and 01st June 2017” said Bernadette Willemin, the Seychelles Tourism Board European Director.

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Champagne and canapés, wedding celebrations and photoshoots, horse riding lessons, and lead riding for youngsters and others not yet confident enough to ride alone. There’s even swimming with a horse in the ocean! Open since March 2016, Turquoise Horse Trails promises to be a memorable day out not just for all the family but also for novices who would like to take up horse riding under expert tuition and even advanced riders looking for that special way to soak up the beauty of the Seychelles countryside. Full details of all the services, prices, individual profiles of the horses, terms and conditions, suggestions for riders and a booking form are available at: There is also a Facebook page and Instagram account under the same name.

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system in the face of global warming and raising sea levels and also reinforces Seychelles’ reputation as a champion of the natural environment. The aim of this project is not just to put art onto the streets but also to help make it a more pleasant environment and to raise people’s spirits, to put colour and laughter into the townscape. The initial tortoise models are made by members of Arterial Network, involving the community with an emphasis on inclusion of groups who might not usually have access to such an endeavour (the disabled, the elderly etc) and then approved by the committee.

of Seychelles today and in turn to the differing art styles coming from contemporary local Artists. The second is the ‘Giant Tortoise Parade’, which was recently launched during the National Show in collaboration with its main sponsor Hunt Deltel, who ‘adopted’ the first Giant Tortoise. The Giant Tortoise Parade is a street art project that uses the iconic image of our giant tortoise to revive awareness of our environment protection and heritage. Using the giant Aldabra tortoise as the subject for the sculptures also reinforces the fragility of the Seychelles eco

The project will impact upon the environments of the three principal islands. Life-sized giant tortoises, each one unique in appearance and message, will be installed in public spaces. Each will be ‘tagged’, with information about the specific sculpture and the project in general displayed in the immediate proximity of the sculpture. These site-specific installations will inform, entertain and sensitise with a light touch, promoting further consideration of key environmental issues through the complimentary schools project. The Seychelles Chapter of Arterial Network intends to implement its objectives using innovative projects in which all sectors of the art community will have an opportunity to input their ideas and creativity. Delivering these projects through various partnerships will ensure the needs of the entire community are represented.

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There is an on-going three-year old pilot project using photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity in certain areas of the hotel. An analysis of its efficiency and cost is currently being done.

Water bottles from the bottling plant offered free of charge to guests in their rooms


Water management is also another key element which the Label focuses on. Given the bed count of the hotel, from the beginning they had to set up desalination plants in order to meet the water requirement of this large operation. Constance Ephelia has gone a step further and set up a water bottling plant to provide drinking water for its guests in the rooms – free of charge. This also helps with the amount of plastic disposed on a daily basis since the water is bottled in glass bottles. The sprinklers in the gardens also have automatic sensors which dictate when to sprinkle and when to not. So, when it has been raining heavily, nature is left to take care of its business and the water stock is not unnecessarily depleted. One significant part of the daily operations is laundry and this is where water and energy come together. The in-house laundry dryer run on gas and the washing machines operate on a weighing system. This ensures that every time a load of laundry is done, it is done to its full and maximum capacity while washing detergents are injected via a dilution control system.

Purchasing Policy

The benefits of keeping ‘it’ local is vast and the hotel is very much clued on to this fact. Aside from the obvious arguments of fresher products and the likes, buying locally significantly minimises transport energy in turn the carbon footprint of the process. Stepping off the SSTL line for a minute, a purchasing policy such as this goes a long way in helping local businesses and employment in general.

that recycling and/or elements of it are applied in other areas – whenever possible. One example is the purchase of eggs which is now done in plastic trays which are then washed and sanitised and returned to the seller to re-supply a future batch in.


Operating five restaurants on a daily basis result in leftovers which due to health and safety regulations need to be disposed of. With options such as donating to staff or the community is only done with fresh food while the leftovers are given to a pig farm. Stepping off the SSTL line once again, this is also a helpful gesture to the local farmers who benefit from this.

20,000 Trees

In March 2016, the Ministry for Environment launched a ’20,000 trees in 2 years’ campaign as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative. With the aim of assisting Seychelles to achieve this

target, the Constance Ephelia made a commitment to contribute 1,000 mangrove trees towards that initiative. The ‘1,000 Tree Planting Campaign Day’ will see the hotel plant 1,000 trees throughout the year and was launched on World Environment Day, June 5th 2016. With so many wheels in motion to maintain eco-friendly practices, the hotel ensures that everything is being done right by having someone on site everyday to oversee the processes. In addition, a very strict monitoring scheme is in place so that every manager on a daily basis can see the energy consumption for their department and compare it to the set, daily target. To stay ‘green’ requires team work and Constance Ephelia has every member of its staff on the ball in this regard.

IN ADDITION; • • • •

A trial is taking place to replace disposable plastic cups with biodegradable corn-starch cups. Plastic bottles and cans are given to centres for recycling. Compost is made in-house using green cuttings, leaves and branches which are crushed in a wood chipper. Guests are given the option to re-use towels and bed sheets after one night if they so wish.


Recycling is the million dollar word that comes up in any eco-related conversation. Aside from the energy and water recycling mentioned earlier, the hotel also takes steps to ensure

The launch of the campaign to plant 1000 mangroove plants this year

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Contacts Seychelles Tourism Board HEADQUARTERS

Chief Executive Officer, Seychelles Tourism Board P.O. Box 1262, Victoria Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4 671 300 E:

CLASSIFIEDS Inside Seychelles invites advertisers to promote their products and services at inexpensive rates on this page, sure in the knowledge that they will enjoy worldwide exposure via the wide distribution of the magazine to all of Seychelles major and secondary tourism markets.


Cable & Wireless (Seychelles) Ltd. Francis Rachel Street, Victoria P.O. Box 4 Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4284000 W: Airtel Telecom (Seychelles) Emerald Building, Providence P.O. Box 1358 Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4600600 W:

Casa de Leela, La Digue Tel: +248 423 4193 Fax: +248 423 4193 Mobile: +248 251 2223 Email: Website:


Air Seychelles Ltd. (International & Domestic) Head Office Tel: (+248) 4391000 Praslin Airport, Amitié. Tel: (+248) 4284666 International Flight Information Seychelles International Airport. Tel: (+248) 4391200 Immigration Office (Airport) Seychelles International Airport Tel: (+248) 2713193 E:


Central Police Station, Victoria Tel: (+248) 428000 Hotline: 133 / 112 E: W: Baie St. Anne Police Station Tel: (+248) 4232332 E: W: Grand Anse Police Station Tel: (+248) 4233251 E: W: La Digue Police Station Tel: (+248) 4234251 E: W: Seychelles Hospital, Mt. Fleuri Tel: (+248) 4388000 E: W: Baie Ste Anne Praslin Hospital: Tel: 4233414 Logan La Digue Hospital: Tel: 4234255 Ambulance 151


Emirates Airline, Caravelle House Tel: (+248) 4292700 / 4373008 E: W: Kenya Airways, Kingsgate Travel Centre Tel: (+248) 4323903 E: W: Ethiopian Airline, Mason’s Travel Building Tel: (+248) 4288907 E: W:

“A Self Catering with a difference offering superb seaview.” Hanneman Holiday Residence Mahe Telephone: +248 4425000 / +248 2523828 Fax : +248 4425010 Email: Website:

Au Fond De Mer View, Mahe Telephone: +248 2 52 69 45 4 37 21 20 Email 1: Email 2: Website:

Le Sur Mer La Digue Villas du Voyageur – Praslin Telephone: +248 – 2 59 00 03 or 42 33 161 Email: Website:

Tel: +248 4 23 51 81 Mobile: +2781770 Fax: +248 4 23 51 82 Email:


Zil Air (Pty) Ltd. Tel: (+248) 4375100 E:, W:


Cat Cocos Ferry - Inter Island Boats Ltd Tel: (248) 4297164 Reservation: (+248) 4324843 Email: W: Praslin to La Digue Ferry, Inter Island Ferry Ltd Tel: (+248) 4322329

Etoile Labrine,La Digue Tel Office: +248 423 51 40 Mobile: ( +248) 277 23 83 or (+248) 274 20 22 Email: Website:

Carana Hilltop Mahe Telephone: +248 4 24 19 90 / +248 2 78 16 01 Email: Skype: carana.hilltop.villa Website:

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Inside Seychelles - 3rd issue