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‘THE VOICE OF THE TOURISM INDUSTRY’
April 2017, Issue 5
Biodiversity & Sustainability of Seychelles Tourism
sought after destinations on the planet – both now and in the long term. In a world that is becoming busier and grimier by the day, much of what our islands have to offer is a refreshing departure from the norm; a far cry indeed from the processed, look-alike ‘experiences’ on offer in other places. The Seychellois way of life is time-honoured, our customs and traditions authentic, our environment still intact and the activities and services we offer, full of potential.
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The essence of sustainable tourism lies in each and every Seychellois ensuring that we make the very best of all that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us via well-thought through, visionary and sustainable strategies to create prosperity, not only for today, but for tomorrow as well. We must not forget that it is tourism that creates the wealth necessary to protect our biodiversity and our unspoiled natural environment. Also, that it is our contributions, both collective and individual, which provide impetus to our industry. Indeed, there has never been a better time for Seychellois who dream of a future in our tourism industry, to seize the moment and play their part, whether it be in the opening of a small hotel, guesthouse or self-catering, providing an invaluable service to the industry or training to become a part of that industry. It is an appropriate time, also, for Seychellois to ‘raise the bar’ with a ‘Quality Tourism Seychelles’ label to ensure that tourism industry players across the board, provide the welcome, courtesy, professionalism, honesty and value for money that will do our tourism proud and make our beautiful islands among the most
Editor’s Remarks In the ever-more crowded spaces of our modern world, much is made of the need for visibility which, simply put, means getting our brands out there for people to see. This makes a lot of sense, because if our brands are not seen, then how will people know about us and buy into what we are offering? Visibility is touted as one of the principal ingredients of relevance, which basically means that if you are not relevant, then you are not doing very well at all. ...Continued on page 2
Editor, Glynn Burridge
Inside Seychelles is produced by the Seychelles Tourism Board. Editor Glynn Burridge, Collaborators CAMSON Consultancy. Contact details; email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org (2512477)
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Sherin’s perspective The advances made in sports fishing over the last few years and the way the sport is increasingly focusing on sustainable practices such as tag & release, tagging and enhanced research initiatives, echoes perfectly UNWTO’s theme for 2017: International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Here we see an important dynamic in action, based on recognition of the fact that the global tourism industry may be a major money spinner and source of potential prosperity but it is also extremely fragile in nature and needs to be managed in such a way that its sustainability is ensured for future generations. We see this approach being mirrored in actions both large and small across the globe as we come to terms with, on one hand, the limited resources of our planet and, on the other, its steadily swelling population which already stands at over 7.5 billion from 3.7 billion in only 1970.
Seychelles’ fishing industry, both commercial and sport, is an important component of our Blue Economy and it is indeed encouraging to see how the integration of best standards for preventing overfishing is already taking root... ” the industry’s future which stands in stark contrast to the short-term, get-rich-quickat-all-cost mentality that can turn fishing grounds into ecological graveyards.
In the face of such an exponential rise in the number of people inhabiting the planet, it follows that we should all be asked to increase our awareness of our predicament and mainstream effective conservation practices into both our business and domestic lives. Seychelles’ fishing industry, both commercial and sport, is an important component of our Blue Economy and it is indeed encouraging to see how the integration of best standards for preventing overfishing is already taking root and that the archipelago is being increasingly recognised as a world class destination for the fishing aficionado and novice alike on account of the diversity of its catch. This can only happen in the presence of a visionary approach to
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Like most people, I can understand the need to be visible – to stand out in a crowd - but I find myself questioning whether there is not slightly more to this than meets the eye. I think what lies at the bottom of my questioning is the vast number of times I have been asked where I come from, prompted perhaps by a tanned appearance and a particular accent which people do not seem able to pin down. When I tell people that I am Seychellois and that I live in Seychelles, they inevitably reply: “oh wow, how very lucky you are”, and then after a moment’s thought they follow that with, “but where is it?’ This has happened to me more times than I’ve had hot dinners and is compounded by the fact that on a recent speaking engagement in Miami, I was introduced by the moderator as someone from the South Sea Islands of Seychelles, as if we were a part of Poly“... there persists a nesia! The same thing happened in Wales, serious knowledge where none of my augap which still dience seemed exactly sure where Seychelles needs to be f illed was located.
and visibility alone will not achieve this; there is still a pressing need for very specif ic, detailed information about Seychelles as a tourism destination to accompany the posters, events, billboards, press releases, interviews, television appearances... ”
My argument is, that if people do not know where you are located then they cannot possibly know what you represent as a culture and, more specifically, as a tourist destination. In my humble opinion, there persists a serious knowledge gap which still needs to be filled and visibility alone will not achieve this; there is still a pressing need for very specific, detailed information about Seychelles as a tourism destination to accompany the posters, events, billboards, press releases, interviews, television appearances and other traditional ways we seek the holy grail of visibility on the world stage. We must not take for granted that people know all about our islands, and must ensure in all our marketing endeavours, that we flesh out Seychelles’ profile to the maximum so that visibility goes hand in hand with precise knowledge about where and what we are and what we represent as a holiday choice.
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With New Tourism Minister, Maurice Lousteau-Lalanne The announcement of Maurice Loustau-Lalanne’s name as the new Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, came as a surprise to no one. To many, he had finally returned ‘home’ where his career had started several decades ago with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and along the way, had held key positions in many game-changing tourism-related organisations, namely Air Seychelles and the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Inside Seychelles caught up with Minister Lousteau-Lalanne in mid-February, to get his take on a few issues relating to the industry.
How would you describe the current state of the tourism industry?
I think it is in good shape. Most of the investors that I have met so far talk positively about the business and on the whole, I get the impression that most people are happy with their performance. There are one or two sectors within the industry who would like to have a bit more of the action and in some ways they feel they have been shut out. The Ministry needs to sit down and talk to them and make them understand the business model. We cannot just grab a tourist at any time or in any place and try and extract money from him. There is a proper way to deliver any kind of service. Otherwise, I think everybody is on a good wicket. The Government is happy and we are making strides in improving the economic performance of Seychelles in that industry.
Your involvement with tourism goes back several decades. Most recently, in 2008 you were the CEO of STB. Eight years have passed since your departure. What would you pin point as the most relevant development which has happened in tourism over those 8 years? When I left in 2010, we were not that well established in cruise tourism. We had it and then we lost it because the industry shifted its focus. But I think this has grown overtime.
I am not particularly keen on the large cruise ships that come here for just one day or so but I think we should continue to work harder to find the smaller, more scientific type of cruise tourism because our islands lend itself very well to that. We have an exceptional flora and fauna to show. This really marks me. From the time I left to now, there has been a lot of work put into this market and not just by Tourism but also by Port and Marine in galvanising support. There’s also work being done by the security machinery to repel piracy which was a big international effort and all of these have played in a difficult climate to bring it in the business. We have also had a few top end hotels come into the business. Raffles and Felicité, a more recent addition, come to mind. We have others who obviously continue to trust the destination because they have re-invested, be it refurbishment or expansion. This to me is a sign of confidence and one of the major milestones within the period I’ve been away. I would also add Former Minister St. Ange’s introduction of the Carnaval de Victoria. As
far as its association with the international press and holding such an event in Seychelles go, it has been a great achievement.
Many might say your predecessors’ shoes would be tough ones to fill. What should Seychelles Tourism partners both local and foreign expect under you? Something different or more of the same?
The most important thing that I want is the support of the trade so that I can tweak the industry and their investment for better returns. So far, the impression I get from both local and foreign investors within the industry is that they are satisfied despite some issues such as the cost of operating here. I want to see how best I can assist them with that. We are also making a distinction in investment, given the recent moratorium on the construction of large hotels in the country. We are only allowing construction of small hotels up to 15 rooms by Seychellois. That distinction also needs to be monitored properly because having a proliferation of
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15 room hotels can also cause an imbalance. So we need to help the interested investors to choose the right location so that we tease out some of the complaints we are getting. For those who are already established, this moratorium gives them some breathing space to improve on their products. I am looking towards that between now and 2020 for them to beef their products up and improve their services. I also want to emphasise the importance of training. Something interesting which I have noted is that most Seychellois who I have met from the industry, from the investor right through to the employee, are very good at what they do. This is not just me saying it but I am also repeating what I have heard. I want to further encourage that. I want more Seychellois to be more responsible in the Tourism industry. So, yes, I do have big shoes to fill but I will give it my best shot.
We are on the verge of recording 300,000 visitors to our shores, annually. It is an impressive number. What is your vision, in terms of numbers for the industry?
My take on it is that at the end of the day, it’s basic arithmetic and it depends on how much money we want to make out of it. The first thing we need to figure out is how much money we need to make annually from tourism as a contribution to the economy. Whatever figure we set that at, we then need to figure out the different ways to achieve it. We can bring a few people and get them to spend a lot of money or bring a large number of people who do not spend as much, but still, the same target is achieved. I personally prefer the former for a variety of reasons. 300,000 is a double digit growth figure and this has been the trend for the past couple of years which I will say is exceptional. If the growth rate was to reduce and the expenditure was to increase I would still be very happy. If you were to ask me how many people these islands can take, I would tell you I don’t think that much more. We need to see how the visitors can move around a bit so as to remove the current densities on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. There is a carrying capacity study which we want to do and , then we will try and put some limits. The intention would be to try and promote more of our trusted markets, diversify to other markets for sure but in the diversification we should not go and buy the
sectors working together?
“When a visitor comes to Seychelles he should get a Seychelles experience... This is where smaller establishments, which are mainly run by Seychellois, have an advantage. They are better able to provide a home-away-fromhome experience.”
business, we should instead set the business and then go and get it.
Over the years, there are some smaller hotel establishments which feel that they have not received the attention or support of the leading actors in the industry, partly due to the influx of larger establishments. Where does the little guy fit in your vision?
He very much fits in. When a visitor comes to Seychelles he should get a Seychelles experience. A visitor cannot land here, fly directly to an island resort, spend 5 days and then fly out and say he has had a Seychelles experience. This is where smaller establishments, which are mainly run by Seychellois, have an advantage. They are better able to provide a home-away-from-home experience. The Ministry knows this but unfortunately our head count is very small compared to such actors in the industry so a one-to-one is not always easy. I will be going to see them to talk to them but so far, what I have seen from the two-bedroom right up to the larger 15-bedroom hotels, is simply top class. They have the magic wand in their hands.
Your portfolio extends to Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine. How do you see these three
Tourism and Civil Aviation work well together. It will in my view assist in making some quicker decisions where it involves air access with development of markets. In Civil Aviation, we have already had an open sky policy for international operations and as you know, the President has also opened it up domestically which I think is a very good thing in permitting tourism to flourish domestically. The Port is one of two gateways so it plays an important role in the economic development of Seychelles. It has some improvements which we need to make to it especially when we relate it to tourism. It will be very difficult for us to invest in a dedicated cruise ship quay which ideally is what we should do. I do think the visits of cruise ships to Seychelles and the style of cruising in our waters which we should be aiming for does not necessitate us in having such a dedicated quay but we can have improvements to the port to allow for this cruise ship tourism development. Being in the same ministry facilitates a lot of the decision making, more so than if it were separate. The immediate synergies between the three will allow for a more result-focused way of doing things.
During your tenure at STB you lead an exercise to re-brand and Seychelles…Another World was launched. Do you think it’s time for another?
Well, you know there was a small team of Seychellois who guided this process back then. We said at the time, when we brand this time we would want it to last for as long as it can, given we had branded several times before. The good thing is that this one had lasted. It has not been copied but it has been adapted by other actors in the industry, like Air Seychelles who has tweaked its brand to reflect the STB brand. Others have asked us for permission to use our font so that they can write the same way that we do. The brand, when we launched it was like a dream; the launch was a start but we knew we had to live it, work it and aspire to it. I think that is why this brand has lasted so long and we are still working to make Seychelles… another world. We are not there yet so I hope it stays and no one comes in to change it. I certainly will not be doing that!
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Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa Hiltonâ€™s luxurious mountainous beach hideaway joins the SSTL bandwagon
In July 2016, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa was awarded the sought-after Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL*). The idyllic location of the resort is Silhouette Island, a stunning natural haven comprised of over 93% National Park, while the waters that surround this pristine island are designated as a National Marine Reserve. In order to qualify for the SSTL, the resort had to meet a variety of criteria relating to sustainability in different areas of evaluation for both the environment as well as consideration to human and economic resources; ranging from energy to staff and community. These categories are monitored daily, then compared against occupancy rate by Hilton Worldwide and a monthly reduction goal is suggested. The improvements made to the reduction of waste, energy use and other key areas of environmental focus range from only using recycled glass, tins and PET bottles, to using emails and e-brochures for internal communication, to the sorting and on-site preparation for recycling of bottles and other recyclable materials. The resort has also set up a composting site for food waste. The resort grows their own plants from local cuttings and seeds, no alien plants are allowed on the island. In regards to water use, the resort has made many improvements, including the use of minimal chlorine in the swimming pools, using fresh UV treated water for these also, re-suable waste water is collected and treated for use throughout the resort in toilets and gardens. The resort also showed evidence of water reduction implementation programme through dual flush toilets and low-flow devices installed in villas. In terms of cultural and social preservation, the resort has many facilities which encourage guests to learn about the history and culture of the Seychelles; the Dauban Ancestral Home, which is a national Heritage site, now houses a museum housing artifacts and biographies of the Dauban family on the first floor while the ground floor is used as a creole restaurant, and a shop selling local art is present in the resort. Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa continues to strive to continue to reduce waste, celebrate and preserve the natural beauty, culture and history of the Seychelles. For more information, visit; www.hilton.com/Seychelles
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Seychelles Tourist Office, United Kingdom 2016 has been an extremely productive year for the Seychelles Tourist Office in the UK closing the year with a total of 19,011 for UK and Eire and Ireland - which falls under our umbrella in the UK - showing an encouraging increase closing with 42% at the end of 2016. Gauging from the first two months – and forward projections for 2017, we are extremely satisfied to see a further growth from this sector to the Seychelles with January having closed with 56% and February currently at 55% both months compared to same last year. The Seychelles has garnered much confidence with the UK and Irish Travel trade market coupled by the increase in air access via various cities in the UK although not direct - has certainly influenced and contributed towards this growth as well. We are confident, with the work put in thus far as well as forward planned programs and marketing events, the UK will once again emerge as one of the top 5 producing countries in visitor arrival figures to the Seychelles. The emphasis of most activities on the market continues to be focussed strategically on the travel trade. The Seychelles Tourist Office UK has had a very active program of meetings, incentivising, trainings and communicating – on an extensive level with our
(Below: Ms Wadia with Ms Eloise Vidot from)
partners both in the UK and Ireland – as well as with the local travel trade in the Seychelles – bridging the gap between the two – to create further volume to the destination. We have also embarked on an awareness campaign to make the travel trade aware that the Seychelles is an ‘affordable’ destination - offering a wide variety of hotel accommodations from star products, island resorts, but also offering small, local, and traditional family run and managed properties that are of a high standard – with much emphasis being placed on the ‘Seychelles Secrets’ portfolio. ‘The Seychelles Tourist Office UK will continue to drive this further in the season ahead. We have forged great relationships with our suppliers and producers alike, engaging and including them on the various projects that we have embarked upon, cultivating these relationships and nurturing them, have given us the boost in increasing our numbers to the destination accordingly’ – said Miss Tinaz Wadia – Manager, STO UK. It has not been easy to provide forecasts from this market currently – due to Brexit, however gauging from consumer confidence and the resilience of the British consumer, with the forward sales that the UK and Irish Travel Operators have achieved thus far into the 2017 year, we feel confident that the Seychelles is still regarded as a popular, safe and affordable destination – to travellers from this sector. ‘The Seychelles Tourist UK – has not only had tremendous support from The UK and Irish Travel Trade, Airlines, and journalists as well as the local partners and suppliers in the Seychelles, but it has also enjoyed the support of its local head office in the Seychelles, working
as a team to achieve the support and numbers that have been produced thus far. It is encouraging to see the support that Eloise Vidot – Marketing Executive and myself receive from our local head office, colleagues and other STO Offices in Europe – working as a unified team to achieve mutual success for the destination’ – Miss Wadia said.
Tinaz Wadia was appointed as Manager for the Seychelles Tourist Office UK in June 2013. She currently oversees the UK and Ireland. Tinaz has been involved in Seychelles tourism for over 23 years with considerable experience with various companies in the destination over the years namely with Mason’s Travel, Seychelles Tourism Marketing Authority (STMA), Denis Island (under Taj Hotels and Resorts) and Banyan Tree Seychelles. ‘It has been a challenging and rewarding few years at the helm of the Seychelles Tourist Office UK especially after observing the increases in visitor arrival figures to the Seychelles year on year. There is much to do and we hope that the trend and growth continues’ Ms Wadia said.
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Seychelles’ Yoga Guide
by Nathalie Hodgson
Imagine practicing yoga in one of the most beautiful group of islands in the world. The air you breathe is so pure and clean you can taste it. Completely stripped of your daily demands and constraints, your sole responsibility is only to feel the sun’s rays warming you. The cooling breeze caresses your skin and the melodious songs of Seychelles’ nature serenades you into that perfect flow. There is no better place to roll out the mat. The global yoga phenomenon has not spared these islands. With increased styles and locations on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue you can experience the islands, meet some island yogis, continue your practise, try something new, or balance out those indulgences while on holiday. Here are a few recommended venues:
Green Yoga And Fitness - Nature Seychelles
The concept of Green Health Yoga, developed by Nature Seychelles, draws on growing scientific evidence of the health benefits people can gain from nature, combined with the established health benefits of exercise. Nature Seychelles is an environmental organisation NGO involved in environmental conservation and management. In February 2017, they launched a new Green Yoga and Fitness program held by yoga instructor Blaine Allison, who is also the Green Health Coordinator. Classes from beginners to intermediate are held daily at The Sanctuary, a large outdoor patio area overlooking the magnificent protected wetlands of Roche Caiman. Classes include Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and a Movement class specializing in fitness levels. Classes are SCR100 per person.
E: email@example.com - P: 2641934 – FB: Nature Seychelles
Taught by Maya Kvas, this style is a combination of yoga, pilates and breathing workouts. She also specializes in Power yoga. Her background is Personal Training and High Interval Training as an effective weight loss plan. There are currently three group classes and private sessions. All classes are SCR100 and held at the National Sports Council at Roche Caiman. E: firstname.lastname@example.org – P: 281 7886 – FB: Maya Kvas
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The Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre of Seychelles
This center teaches a form of yoga known as Raja Yoga. This is a meditative yoga that incorporates the spiritual aspects of life to gain insight into your true being. The center holds classes, workshops and seminars on yoga and meditation, which are open to all and free of charge (with donations greatly accepted). Classes are by donation.
P: 2534314 - E: email@example.com/valseth14@ gmail.com
Seyllbeing is a holistic freelance service run by Monica Schmidiger and Ernst Zwicky originally from Switzerland. Monica, a Breath and Body Therapist instructs Yin Yoga, Thai massage and Shiatsu and Ernst is an Ayurveda practitioner. Classes are based at Fisherman’s Cove, Hilton Northolme and Copolia Lodge and prices range from SCR120 to SCR200. Private lessons are also available. E: firstname.lastname@example.org - P: 258 42 36 - FB: seyllbeing
The Resonate Wellness Centre
The Station is a living homeopathy wellness centre, Hotel Retreat and holistic shop nestled in the mountains of Sans Souci. They offer homeopathy consultations, yoga classes programs and workshops all focused on learning how to enrich your life with abundance, joy and happiness. They offer exclusive yoga therapy sessions on a needs basis, personally designed after a thorough consultation.
P: 4224203 - E: reservations@thestationseychelles. com - FB: The Station
and desires. Seyoga thrives on integrity, compassion, joy, consideration and above all, love. Private client sessions are available for one-on-one or in groups. Open classes are available at Eden Island (for residents only) and at the H Resort, Beau Vallon and Bliss Hotel on Mahé. Classes are SCR170 per class and block discounts are available.
P: (+248) 547 307 E: Mariliseg5@gmail.com - FB: Seyoga
High Commission of India
The Vivekananda Yoga Club located at the Indian High Commission building has been offering yoga classes and workshops since 2003. They offer annual training and frequent workshops throughout the year to engage more people to consider healthier lifestyles in this stressful modern world. Classes run every week and are SCR100. P: 461 0301 - E: hoc.
Juliette de Baun teaches Vinyasa Flow at the Grand Anse Praslin Social Center every Wednesday evening. Classes are by donation and all you need to bring is a mat and a water bottle. P: 2500 760
Held on both Mahé and Praslin, Constance 5-star Resorts’ professional Indian Hatha Yoga instructors provide private classes that can be conducted anywhere from the villas, the hotel beach or any open space on the property. The classes are suitable for beginners and beyond. Prices vary and booking is essential. P: 4395 133- E: email@example.com
P: 2509040/275 6825 – E: info@elitedancefitness – FB: Lulu Yoga
With nature as your classroom, free of the mirrors, windows and designer clothes, the open spaces will expand your practice and mind leaving you more open to try new things. Yours will be a spiritual embrace of the Seychelles holiday experience. General information: FB seychellesyoga
Lucie Harter holds Yin Yoga sessions at Elite Dance and Fitness studio on Mahe. A variety of classes such as Morning Yoga and Yoga Flow are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each class is SCR100 per class with one free session after your 10th.
Marilise Goldenluys offers a combination of Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga, with some added styles to challenge each individual according to their own needs
Sun Yoga conducts Hatha and Tibetan Yoga techniques three times per week and is open to everyone. Classes are held at La Digue Island Lodge for 50 minutes and are SCR100 per class. P: 250 2396
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Books and Authors Seychelles Global Citizen:
Sir James Mancham The recent passing of Sir James Mancham, Seychelles’ first president and promoter of the islands’ tourism industry, demands a moment of reflection on the achievements of this politician and expansive personality who has remained a giant of the Seychelles political arena since first creating the Seychelles Democratic Party while in England where he was called to the Bar at Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in 1961. He returned to Seychelles in 1962 and from 1963 to 1967 served as barrister and attorney-at-law before the supreme court of Seychelles. He became Chief minister in 1966 after the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) won the majority in the legislative elections of that year and was firmly behind the construction of the Seychelles International Airport and the drive to begin marketing Seychelles as an attractive tourist destination. Mancham was the first to disembark from the BOAC Super VC-10 when it landed at the new airport on Mahé on July 4th 1971 and, throughout his life, was a tireless advocate of its tourism. He was the islands’ first president from 1976 to 1977, when he was ousted from power and went into exile in London for 15 years, serving as president of Berlin European Airways and President of International Marketing and Development.
He married an Australian journalist, Catherine Olsen, while in exile and was the author of a number of books including Island splendour, Paradise Raped; Galloo and Peace of Mind. Returning to the islands from exile in 1992, Mancham took over the leadership of the Democratic Party but failed to win an election, remaining as party leader until 2005. After retiring from politics, Mancham continued to promote the interests of Seychelles at home and abroad and focused his energies in the domain of international relations and economic development. In 2009 he published his autobiography: “Seychelles Global Citizen: The Autobiography of the founding President” and in 2015, “Seychelles: The saga of a small nation navigating the cross-currents of a big world’’ The recipient of several international awards, Sir James was recognised for his work in promoting, peace, reconciliation and prosperity in Africa by being awarded the Trophy for Democracy in Africa award. The very next year he was made Ambassador for Peace by the International Federation for World Peace. Mancham received the prestigious International Jurists Award for world peace at the International Conference of Jurists 2010 jointly organized by the International Council of Jurists, the National Human Rights Commission of India, the All India Bar Association and Indian Council of Jurists. This staunch patriot and colourful ambassador of the islands is no longer with us but his contribution to Seychelles and to peace and reconciliation on both the local and international stage will remain forever his legacy, as will setting his beloved country on the path to a thriving tourism industry.
The Autobiography of the Founding President
Paragon House, U.S.A., Pub. September 2009 There is growing competition for power and influence in the Indian Ocean which is considered the world’s preeminent energy and trade interstate seaway at the time when China and India find themselves locked in an “uncomfortable embrace.” No one is better qualified to tell this story than Sir James R. Mancham KBE, Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, the 110 idyllic islands archipelago, who was overthrown in a Marxist coup in 1977 while he was in London to celebrate the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Sir James was also the lawyer for Philco-Ford, Pan Am and RCA when the US Air Force decided to build a strategic tracking station in Seychelles to gather military intelligence over the former Soviet Union during the Cold War. As Prime Minister of Seychelles, Sir James witnessed very closely the establishment by the USA of its most modern naval, air and military complex on the island of Diego Garcia. But Sir James autobiography “Seychelles Global Citizen” is more than a political treatise about the conflict for power and influence in the Indian Ocean and about Seychelles internal political intrigue and turmoil, it is also the story of a colorful human being who has been dubbed “The Trudeau of the East” and who has also been called “The Ernest Hemmingway of the Indian Ocean.”
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Veronique is the Operations Manager of the Roma Flash group of companies. She arrived in Seychelles eight years ago from France with her husband and young daughter. In France, she had been a Geography teacher so the passion for landscape and places was already within her. Insolites Seychelles, her first French publication was published late last year and has been well received locally. What did you want to achieve with Insolites Seychelles? I wanted it to be different from other books I had seen about Seychelles. I wanted it to be about my own experiences here. I thought of the tourist who is here for only one week and how to direct them to see as much of Seychelles as possible in an easy and quick way. I was once also very new to these islands and overtime learned about the fascinating places and flora and fauna of the place. Why did you pick the name ‘Insolites Seychelles’? I wanted the reader to know at first glance that what they will find in this book will be different than what other tourist brochures would tell them. It’s very much linked to the intention behind the book.
How long did it take you to put the book together? It took me one year. Given my full time job it was not something I could dedicate all my hours to so it was a project that I did in my spare time. My husband, who also has a full time job with Eden Island, did the graphics for the book. In a way it turned out to be a small family project. Even my daughter, who is now 14, got involved. What do you love then most about Seychelles? I love it when I meet Seychellois and learn something new. This happens all the time, even up on a mountain during a hike. Seychellois know the ins-and-outs of their islands so they are the best source of information. I love the pristine state of the islands and I sincerely hope much is done to preserve it. You have an active outdoor life here? I love hiking and also snorkelling. There’s so much to discover. If I had more time I would probably do more. When I was working on the book I was actively conscious of trying to discover as much as I could. Even when I would we walking in Victoria, I would pay attention to anything out of the ordinary like plants and tried to find out whatever I could. I discovered a coco-de-mer tree by Barrel Discotheque on a route I take often but had never noticed before. There are plans for other books? The most immediate plan is to translate the book into English. There is already someone working on the translation but it’s a slow process. As for an entirely different book, I am thinking of venturing perhaps to Praslin and La Digue and making discoveries there.
Chris J Feare
CHRIS J FEARE
is an ecologist whose career has been devoted to research on birds that interact with man’s interests in the form of conservation problems or in posing threats to man’s livelihoods and safety. He first visited Seychelles in 1971, living there for two years to undertake research on Sooty Terns and the effects of commercial harvesting of their eggs. This led to a lifelong interest in Sooty Terns and other seabirds, and to his enduring love of the islands. For over 40 years he has travelled widely in Seychelles and witnessed remarkable changes, affecting both birds and humans.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINE LAROSE
ORANGE OMELETTES & DUSKY WANDERERS
Orange omelettes and dusky wanderers Studies and travels in Seychelles over four decades
The book describes travel and adventure, island geography and natural history, human exploitation of natural resources and studies aimed at making this sustainable, great achievements in conservation and remarkable change in human social welfare. The story is centred around one of the world’s most remarkable seabirds, The aim of this book is to describe these in the hope the that Sooty they will interest Seychellois, tourists and visiting Tern. scientists alike, and also to inform his family and friends why he regularly forsakes Britain for the verdant
coral sands,on crystal clearthat blue interact ocean Chris Feare is an ecologist whose career has beenmountains, devotedwhite to research birds with and tropical warmth of this beautiful corner of the man’s interests in the form of conservation problems or in posing threats to man’s livelihoods and Indian Ocean. safety. He first visited Seychelles in 1971, living there for two years to undertake research on Sooty Terns and the effects of commercial harvesting of their eggs. This led to a lifelong interest in Sooty Terns and other seabirds, and to his enduring love of the islands. For over 40 years he has travelled ISBN: 978-99931-803-9-5 Contact for further information: CALUSA widely in Seychelles and witnessed remarkable changes, affecting both birds and humans. Calusa Bay Publications, PO Box 14, Mahé, Seychelles BAY Fax: +248 4225367 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.huntdeltel.com
CHRIS J FEARE
ORANGE OMELETTES & DUSKY WANDERERS Studies and Travels in Seychelles Over Four Decades D
[ INSIDE Seychelles | 12 ] operators, putting them in touch with our local DMCs. We supported local tourism pageants, local tourism expos, and this attracted more interest from the media. Seychelles is a world-recognised brand. The brand only remains relevant for as long as people continue to want to be associated with it. As Tourism Ambassadors, our primary role is I recollect my experience of first being appointed as Tourism to ensure that we continue to ensure that we utilise all avenues Ambassador to Zambia, as though it happened yesterday. I had possible to keep the brand relevant. As such we are “Brand Amthe priviledge to meet with the-then CEO of STB, Mr. Alain St. bassadors”. Ange whilst he was on official duty in Lusaka. I was nominated Tourism Ambassadors, do not receive monetary remuneration by Mr. Walter Talma to become Tourism Ambassador to Zamfor their efforts. As such, we need to be very innovative in how bia, and when I met Mr. St. Ange, he interviewed me and immewe can best utilise the limited time we have as “volunteers of diately appointed me. the Brand “ to ensure we can maintain a visible presence in the A few weeks later, I was provided with a certificate, a set of countrys we are in, without losing interest, or over-extending cards, and given the responsibility to ensure that positive develourselves financially. One way that has worked for me, is to atopments regarding Tourism in Seychelles was placed in Zambitend National Cultural events and mingle with National Touran newspapers, tv and radio where possible. I was told to ensure ism bodies. This allows for media coverage, interviews, and for that a very positive profile of our country was always visible, as repeat invitations to such events. The key is that you must not our country’s name is our identity, and we must do our best to be shy to mingle, and always have positive things to say about keep it on the list of destinations people should want to visit. their events and draw comparisons to Seychelles! I did my very best to establish this contact with the media. I work closely with STB, our Ambassador in The challange was, why would ZambiSouth Africa and the nearest STB office in my an media want to support and promote region being until recently Cape Town, but Seychelles? “As Tourism Ambassadors, our now Johannesburg. The more we engage I now had to become more innovative. primary role is to ensure that them and prove to them that we are active, I had to ensure that the articles being presented were that of AU, COMESA, we continue to ensure that we and that there are opportunities that we have created that require their support, the more SADC and other representative bodies utilise all avenues possible to we shall recieve it. It is the same for our DMCs: that Seychelles and Zambia were both keep the Brand relevant.” the more we engage them and keep them inparties to. They were not always tourformed of our activities, the more they equally ism oriented, but were supported by support us. As such, communication is conboth countries and the media started stantly required and I have been successful, in to take notice. my own small way, because of this. Then two very significant events took place. CEO St. Ange To conclude, one must remember why one has volunteered to became Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, and Zambia be a “National Brand Ambassador”! I do it with my family to feel co-hosted the UNWTO. Minister St. Ange had an interest in relevant in the national development of our country, to remain seeing Africa’s potential in tourism reach greater heights. He “entitled” and to have an opininion by being a participator in had over a period of time desired to have a formal relationship driving our economy forward, and for love of country. When with Zambia in the tourism sector, and used the UNWTO to our country allows we ambassadors to be formally recognised formalise this relationship. An MOU (Memorandum of Underto spread the word of what our country has to offer within the standing) was signed. communities we live in, we should be proud to raise our voices I was of the opinion that the MOU marked the end of my input and speak out and that I had achieved the pinnacle of my roles and responsi! I do ! Let bilities. Little did I know, that my work had just begun! that be reThere is alot of continuous work required in every relashionship ward in itself. to make it function. Bilateral relationships are no different. The As President roles and responsiblities of a Tourism Ambassador are really JFK said, dependant on the passion that one has towards one’s country. “ Ask not As a Seychellois in diaspora, I wanted my children to have a what your place to call home. I knew that it would be easy for them to call country can themselves Seychellois; however, in order for the family to feel do for you, the connection and remain part of the essence of Seychelles, we ask yourself needed to remain relevant to our country. what you can As such, my wife and I agreed, that we would tirelessly support, do for your and initiate, programmes that were beneficial to our people country” . and the people of Zambia. We identified areas of continuously supporting Seychelles’ presence in Zambia. We went to tour
Tourism Ambassador Profile
Zambia - JIMMY BUTT
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Club Liberté Casino Set across the stunning Four Season Resort, sits Club Liberté Casino in its tropical Plantation House style establishment, ticking all the boxes for an experience on par with a luxurious gaming area. But this hot spot is so much more than that, with the in house entertainment consisting of live music and delicious food options including the glamorous fresh sushi, prepared before your very eyes by Chef Ferderico. The entertainment area consists of a stage where one can enjoy live music and there is even a small dance floor which has proved to be very popular. The bar area is another popular focus where one can enjoy the cocktail list or other beverages while overlooking the entertainment area and listening to the music. The venue’s clientele is made up of a mix of both local and international guests looking to enjoy an evening of entertainment. And language is not an issue, as the staff collectively speak English, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Macedonian and Tagalog. The gaming options themselves include both a luxurious main gaming floor as well as a private gaming room which is set aside in an entirely private area for the VIP guests and offers complete privacy and discretion. In the main area, there are nine tables on which you can play single zero American roulette, blackjack, Russian poker and punto banco/baccarat. Of the nine tables, two tables are set aside and the area can be converted into a private gaming area if requested. The casino also includes the popular slot machines and here there are thirty-one options with all the favourite games. All machines and tables are in Seychelles Rupees with the machines starting minimum bets at 1 Rupee. The tables all have minimum bets of 100 Rupees except Roulette which starts at 25 Rupees. For private gaming, the VIP guests will be welcomed via a private garden entrance with an elevator and stairs leading directly
“The venue’s clientele is made up of a mix of both local and international guests looking to enjoy an evening of entertainment.”
into the room which is richly decorated in the French colonial style befitting of a Plantation House. In the room, clients can expect the highest level of service and comfort as well as privacy, discretion and security. The tables offer the usual options of single zero American Roulette, blackjack and poker, with punto banco/baccarat also available on request. The private room also comes equipped with a private bar and exclusive barmen which will mix your favourite cocktails. The casino is open from 12pm for slots (as well as the bar and sandwiches) with the tables opening from 8pm till 4am. All are welcome but you must be above 18, with a smart casual dress code.
For more details, please visit the website http:// www.casino-liberte.com or email email@example.com You may also call +248 430 3539 for more information. You may also contact the Marketing Manager, Irina Etienne on mobile +248 260 5459 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings are not necessary but advisable in case there is a party of function.
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Tourism Updates VALMER RESORT UGRADES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE VALMER RESORT Seychelles continues to enhance its guests’ comfort factor with recent upgrades in its customer service experience. A complete coverage Wi-Fi system is now operational and clients can have access to the worldwide web at the touch of their mobile devices. The technological enhancement also extends to a television entertainment package with 31 channels spanning several languages catering for our many nationalities making up our clientele mix.
A personal Nespresso service has also been introduced with all villas and rooms equipped with a Nespresso machine with a pods selection for the private convenience of guests. This added touch is already being appreciated. Valmer Resort is a tourism establishment offering a variety of accommodation options in a stunning setting of naturally landscaped backdrop of granite boulders and endemic palms. The resort prides itself in delivering an authentic Seychellois holiday experience in an affordable luxury comfort.
ANSE FORBANS COMMUNITY CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Chalets d’ Anse Forbans added another mark in its involvement in environmental protection in February with two of its management staff joining the board of Anse Forbans Community Conservation Programme. The programme was launched at the Doubletree Hilton Allamanda Hotel and was attended by well-known public and private actors in the environmental sector. Mrs. Lisa Laporte-Booyse, who is the chairperson of the Board, The AFCCP aims to conserve the environment of Anse Forbans as well as look at restoring their reef area, wetlands and set up hikes and trails. All the projects look at improving and educating the lives of their community members as well as provide areas of interest for tourist and local children to enjoy. Such an initiative at a community level is a true testimony that other communities can follow and in turn make a difference to their environment and lives of their community members.
The 10th Edition of the Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon The Seychelles’ Eco-Friendly Marathon has become a much loved annual event on the islands amongst both locals and foreigners. It is the brain-child of Seychelles’ dynamic Honorary Consul in Korea Mr. Dong Chang Jeong and his assistant Ms. Julie Kim. Since its humble beginning in 2008 with only 330 participants comprising of 19 different nationalities, the marathon which features 5km, 10km and both full and half-marathons, has grown in stature to the point where the 2017 edition which took place in February, boasted no less than 4000 participants from over 50 countries. The races always start off to the sound of the waves making contact to the shores at Beau Vallon with the longer races kicking off as early as 7.00a.m. on a course that would take runners first to the north and northeast of the island, as well as the capital city, Victoria and beyond. The shorter races usually start an hour later and keep the participants in the northern part of the island, usually up to Glacis. All this happens against the stunning backdrop of the island’s spectacular beauty combined with a vibrant marathon ambiance. The curtains on eco-marathon are drawn with flavours, sight and sounds from Korea in the form of Gala Eve-
nings which Jeong and his team organise each time. Participants and winners of the races are also awarded their prizes at these ceremonies. The Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon is organised jointly by the National Sports Council and the Seychelles Tourism Board and is affiliated with AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races) who are also promoters of worldwide road running and whose efforts have helped attract large crowds of overseas participants each year. On the organising bandwagon is also INOCEAN M&C (a South Korean company headed by Mr. Dong Chang Jeong) which is also the main sponsor for the event.
For more information, visit http://seychelles-marathon.com
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Summer Rain Tours
-Specialised, luxury transportation and tours with a personal touchOne of the newest developments on the transportation scene offering a service with a philosophy as distinct as its name, is Summer Rain Tours with its fleet of up-market vehicles ready to provide a uniquely personalised service on Mahé and Praslin. Evolving from a business that started out with tours of Mahé only, Summer Rain Tours prides itself on being a sophisticated transportation service with a reputation for reliability, outstanding customer service and flair. Specialising in a luxury, chauffeured limousine service with all the trimmings, Summer Rain Tours believes that what sets it aside is its determination to exceed customer expectations via a team of dedicated professionals and its modern fleet which includes such prestigious models as Mercedes S Class, Porshe Cayenne Hybrid, BMW 5 Series, Lexus RX450h, BMW “Summer Rain Tours offers X6, BMW X5 and Audi Q7. a single point of contact for Managing Director, Mervyn Esparon explains, “We have years of experience in the field of nationwide ground transpororganising large group transportation for airtation arrangements includport transfers, business meetings, weddings, social events, trade shows and conventions, ing reservations, schedule conferences, presidential delegations and changes and billing” other corporate events and this has made Summer Rain Tours keenly aware that in this day and age and regardless of your business you must be in a position to offer something special, something unique.” Summer Rain Tours offers a single point of contact for nationwide ground transportation arrangements including reservations, schedule changes and billing while its 24-hour service provides dependable, luxury transportation seven days a week. All of this comes in a well-researched package that places great emphasis on its personal touch and attention to detail. The company also offers specially personalised tours of Mahé and Praslin with imaginative itineraries that cater for all its clients’ requirements and where the chauffeur acts as a courteous and well-informed private tour guide. For further information and to make a reservation, call +248 2783231/2794343 or email email@example.com.
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in Seychelles Fast Tracks
point. Each lane has a colour and if the racer is renting a car to race, the car would be the same corresponding colour, meaning the blue car races in the blue lane. Similar to the Drag Strip track, a race lasts for about five minutes while length-wise, this one is 13.5 meters long. The Cars - Cars for rent will be available. Racers can also bring their own personal cars. The Races - A race lasts for about five minutes. The track will be operated by a computerised system where tokens will be inserted and races pre-programmed. Similar to computerised bowling alleys, results of the races will appear on an overhead scree so that everyone knows their positions in the races.
The success of the likes of Disney’s Lightning McQueen and the Fast and Furious series along with the rising popularity of SMC shows (Seychelles Modified Cars) here in Seychelles, certainly indicate that we have some form of fascination with cars. Kids (and adults) who have a passion for the four-wheeled creations will soon be able to explore the racing side of the game with Fast Tracks, opening up at Riverside, a stone’s throw away from the centre of the capital city, Victoria. “Racing real cars is expensive, not to mention potentially dangerous,” says Eddie Westergreen who is developing this entertainment project. “Fast Tracks will provide a way to race which will keep costs down and make it possible For further information, call: 2512007 for anyone to give it a go.” Initially, Fast Tracks will have two tracks and will be opened for racing as well as birthday parties. The Drag Strip Track - This two lane track will be 21 meters long with each lane measuring 30cm wide. The Hill Climb - Eight racers can have a go at this one at any
Seychelles’ Spoken Word Open Mic Night #wordupseychelles Under a starry sky with a soft island breeze, a cappuccino or fresh fruit cocktail at hand, let the words of prose and rhyme entertain you and touch your heart. New on the art scene, Word Up is Seychelles’ Open Mic night where poets, performers and storytellers are welcome to entertain an audience in a friendly, intimate and unique atmosphere. Each and every month poets and performers from different backgrounds step up to the mic to express what they are passionate about and share their love for poetry in front of an audience. Not only a poetic and artistic scene, the Open Mic Night has become a sociable environment where artists exchange ideas, network and friendships are forged. A platform for poets and performers, the Word Up Open Mic Night is an event held every month at Chatterbox Café and soon other cafes in Seychelles. A popular trend in Europe and the USA, spoken word events are becoming a particular trendy event in the Middle-East and the continent of Africa due to the intercultural and artistic exchanges, as well as the power of the platform as the stage for expression. If you are looking for a soulful, unique and exceptional experience whilst on holiday in the Seychelles, the open mic night is the perfect choice for you. The rare opportunity is there - to meet and watch Seychellois artists as well also participate if you are a spoken word enthusiast, if you have a poem, a story-we welcome you to step up to the mic.
Follow Us: Facebook: @wordupseychelles Instagram: @wordupseychelles Get in Touch: E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Golden Tickets Lottery South4 Games, a lottery and games management agency, has devised a new lottery which would provide a unique opportunity for a couple to re-experience the Seychelles islands. The company is gathering a group of sponsors and partners to come together to work on this project to make it as grand as possible. In a nutshell, each and every client that visits our islands has the unique chance of winning a 2 WEEKS ALL INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY BACK TO SEYCHELLES. This includes air fares, private ground transfers, 10 days accommodation on half board basis with Berjaya Resort, special lunches from renowned restaurants, romantic dinners, private island tours, all inclusive island hoping, and any other prizes that the sponsors would like the winners to experience. A portion of the profit gained through the lottery will be going to a charitable cause (orphanages), a portion will be going to Eco Tourism Projects (the reforestation project of Fond B’offay and the clearing and restoration of the Roche Sodyer Nature trail) and finally a portion will be going into Education (a contribution to the Seychelles Tourism Academy).
Tourism Board launches new ‘Seychelles Diary’ blog As part of its ongoing drive to raise its profile across social media platforms and fill the all-important knowledge gap about the islands, the Seychelles Tourism Board has launched a new blog: www.seychellesdiary.com, designed to engage with readers and drive tourism business to the destination. “We are always looking for new ways to create interest about our islands,’ explains the manager of the digital marketing section, Vahid Jacob, ‘and blogging has become a very effective way of reaching our audience as it reaches out and touches consumers at a very personal level, allowing us to impart knowledge about Seychelles and what it offers to tourists in a way that they can relate to, and also react to, by leaving comments on the blog.’
The new Seychelles Diary blog presents a fresh, user-friendly interface with a category section for quick identification of the reader’s specific interests and a gallery featuring enticing images of the destination. Resources allows access to various downloads and tips while the latest tweets about Seychelles appear conveniently in a box along with all of the islands’ social media platforms. Completing the comprehensive design of the landing page is information about visitor arrivals to the archipelago and also an archive section. ‘We are confident that this new addition to our social media arsenal, will become an important influencer when it comes to helping people choose a tourism destination’, adds Vahid Jacob.
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A Year in The Life of a Beauty Queen
room with Ms Fiji, Pooja Priyank and she was just lovely. The rest of the girls were also really nice and one thing that struck me is that most of them knew about Seychelles and some had even visited the islands before. Being in Washington DC, where the pageant took place was also an interesting experience. It was really cold! It took me a while to adapt to it and I got through it fighting off colds consistently. The training was not easy, I’m talking about 12 hours of training each day for three weeks. Aside from rehearsals for the pageant itself I also gave a lot of interviews and as a group, several visits were organised around the city and also New York which was great! It was a big learning experience for me.
Remind us what was your project and has it kicked off?
My project was building a half way home for orphanage children who reach the age of 18 and need somewhere to live before getting on their feet. Some companies have committed to funding the project and we are now waiting for a plot of land to build on.
What has been the highlight of wearing the crown?
I would say the night of the pageant itself. I was so proud of myself for having made it. Having said that, each time I’ve put the crown on for any activity I have had similar feelings. I have loved every moment from taking photos with kids to interacting with different people.
How did you handle the popularity that came with the crown?
It was new but I think I handled it ok. There were times when people were not so nice but along the way I learned when to pay attention and when to just ignore. Overall though, I think Seychelles as a whole, supported me well.
Speaking of support, what was your immediate support system?
Christine Barbier was crowned Miss Seychelles… Another World 2016, on May 28th, 2016 during the annual beauty pageant which was held at the International Conference Centre. Christine went on to represent Seychelles at the Miss World 2016 contest which was held in the United States later on in December that same year. 25 year-old Christine works as a Sales Executive at the Mason’s Travel and sat down for a chat with Inside Seychelles to tell us how the past year has been for her.
Christine, how has the past year been?
It has been really good. I’ve built a lot of self-confidence along the way especially throughout the pageant itself a year and also the Miss World experience. I have made a lot of new friends and I have met a lot of new people. It has been a great experience.
How was Miss World?
There were 119 of us girls competing in the pageant. I shared a
I have to mention my big brother Rudy Larue here. He has been by my side since the start. Even if he lives overseas, we are in touch every day and he always has supporting things to say and offers me great advice. The rest of my family has also been very supportive. I would also add that Mason’s Travel has been incredible with the whole situation. I have had to be absent from work several times and at times even without much prior warning and they have always been understanding and accommodating. They supported me from the start, even sponsoring me on the night of the pageant and for the Miss World pageant too.
As far as your ‘partnership’ with STB goes, any words on that?
Looking back I would say it would be great if whoever bears the Miss Seychelles title actually works with STB during the tenure of the crown. It would facilitate communication between the two and help the ‘Miss’, who is afterall, an ambassador for Seychelles, have a better understanding of STB’s message to the world.
What would you say to girls thinking of participating in the pageant?
I would say go for it. It’s an experience like no other. The amount you learn over a short time is incredible especially during the training before the pageant. It is life changing and in a good way.
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Rodney Payet of Chez Payet
For those who know Rodney Payet, Mason’s Travel would come to mind the minute he is mentioned. Rodney worked for the company from 1988 to 2014 which totals up to 28 years. His most recent position with Mason’s prior to venturing out on his own business adventure was VIP and Guest Representative which kept him away from the office and on the field for most of the time. Pursuing his dream to own and run his own little guest house, Rodney conducted some research and concluded that the ‘transit niche’ was the right one for him to tap into. That would mean opening his doors for day users and one-night only clients who would normally have some resistance getting these services from other establishments. Chez Payet’s guest are mainly clients who have one remaining night left and want to be close to the airport prior to their departure. Rodney also targets clients from Praslin and La Digue who visit Mahé for weekends or on weekly business trips. The establishment also has clients who stay for the typical week-long vacation and a few who tick off months. Clients can currently choose from five rooms ranging from a one-bedroom apartment on the ground floor with garden view to a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor with sea view, all equipped with kitchen, living space and air conditioning. Two more rooms are being added in 2017. With a total of only three staff running the operations at Chez Payet, they have managed to score excellent points with both booking. com and tripadvisor.com.
Pluses to note:
-Free arrival/departure point transfers -Free wi-fi -Foreign Currency Exchange -Car rental can be arranged -Excursions and private tours (on request)
A most recent booking.com review said, “Great Hosts, Spacious and Clean apartment, Free Airport Shuttle!!” Rodney is an amazing host. He gave us free Airport pick up and drop off as well as a very late check out. He arranged a car hire which was dropped off for us at the property. The property is only a 3 minutes ride from the Airport or a 10 minutes walk! We were with our kids so the best beach is Anse Royale which is hardly a 10-minute drive from this property. Local shops and a bus stop is only 2 minutes away. Housekeeping staff is very helpful and pleasant too. Overall 10 out of 10. http://www.chezpayet-guesthouse.com/ (Photos opposite: Elaine Jumeau)
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ABSOLUTE SEYCHELLES - a new magazine Absolute Seychelles magazine will be the first internationally produced magazine selling Seychelles to the international market and will make its debut in April 2017. This lush magazine is produced by Simon Darcy Abbot who already publishes Absolute magazine in his home town of Brighton, England. Here we hear from Simon about the magazine as well as his love of Seychelles and why this is such an important project for him.
IS: Simon, tell us how this idea come about and a little about the journey to get to this point.
SD: The idea all came about a few years ago after visiting the islands for a fashion photoshoot. I was invited to meet with Mr. St. Ange at a student fashion designer awards show and during conversations that evening it was discussed that the perception of the islands was it was only the high end luxury resorts and that most visitors tend to stay within the confined spaces of their resorts and limit explorations to see what the islands have to offer. So, over the coming years and more trips back, the idea of a high quality magazine style “directory” showing the traveller both new to the islands and more seasoned the very best of what can be seen and experienced was developed. Crucial in the mix was the chance to offer the island’s smaller hotels and guest homes and other businesses an equal voice to showcase themselves along side the biggest brands on the islands.
IS: Absolute Seychelles magazine will emulate Absolute magazine with graphics, photos and finish to a high international standard. Tell us about the market you wish to target and how you feel they will respond to Seychelles as a destination. SD: We are looking to produce a super high end magazine in terms of the design and print finish that will sit alongside the very best inflight and travel titles, plus an in-depth website with its own stand alone social media pages offering all businesses involved not only the printed magazine/directory produced yearly but year round online coverage to promote offers and news to a global audience. Although we are a UK based media company, my countless visits to the islands, staying in various hotels both large and small, meeting countless Seychelles business people and locals, my love for the islands is absolute and it’s become my mission to produce this project for them, and show everyone what I have seen and fell in love with as one of the best destinations in the world.
IS: To those in the Seychelles Tourism industry who have not yet heard of Absolute Seychelles,
what is the editorial base and who can be part of it?
SD: We are open to one and all. We will be featuring both online and in the directory all businesses that are listed on the new STB APP, and this is 100% FREE. We will also then be commissioning various features, reviews and stories on businesses both large and small covering nature, culture and history. Our sole aim is to provide the ultimate guide to the islands, a read for the seasoned traveller to the Seychelles who fancies learning more and seeing more, the new traveller both for the high end LUX travel market, but also the more affordable travel market and not forgetting the ECO traveller, we are open to all, and would welcome all Seychelles business owners to get in touch with us. We are here to help you.
(Below: The cover of the first Absolute Seychelles edition and on the next page, Simon Darcy with Mr Alain St. Ange)
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IS: What are your plans for the launch and how can those interested get a copy of the first issue?
SD: We will be launching globally on the 7th April, where all the UK copies of the printed edition will be distributed to the subscribed readers plus the online e-magazine version will be sent out globally to our data-base of travellers. The STB will also be promoting the e-magazine version via their pages and networks, with extra print copies then being dispatched to airport lounges at key travel hubs. On top of this we are working with a local hotel partner to hold an event in May to launch the magazine to the Seychelles business owners and the movers and shakers of the islands, this will be a high profile business event, leading into a sunset beach party with a top UK ex Pacha / Ministry of Sound DJ we will be flying in. After this, copies will be delivered across the islands to all businesses who would like them for their lounge areas as reference points for their guests and customers.
IS: Once the first issue is out, what is next for you and the team?
SD: We still have the UK magazine that is published every 6 weeks on the South coast just outside from London, but once the Seychelles magazine is finished we move straight on to the launch of ABSOLUTE IBIZA in partnership with Luxury Ibiza travel firm Privadia for May and then ABSOLUTE MALDIVES for a launch in October 2017. We have seen that there is a great market for well produced travel directories /guides to certain destinations â€“ we are in talks currently with the Greek Tourist Board for the Greek Islands guide plus the Caribbean and the Emirates for launches in 2018, all under the ABSOLUTE banner. Connect with Absolute Seychelles with the following; www.absoluteseychelles.co.uk, facebook/absoluteseychellesmagazine, twitter/absoluteseymag Or view the UK magazine at www.absolutemagazine.co.uk For more information about the magazine, you may contact the local representative, Mrs. Marie France Watson at email@example.com, or for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Seychelles Tourism - its biodiversity and sustainability The concept behind the development of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) originated from the Ministry of Environment in the preparation of Vision 21 with the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism (now through the Seychelles Tourism Board) adopting the SSTL project. The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label has been developed over recent years through research, stakeholder discussion, and local piloting. The criteria used in the assessment are as per international standards but their development has drawn on local knowledge. The mission of the SSTL is to encourage hotels of all sizes in Seychelles to mainstream sustainability practices into their business operations to safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles. This is achieved by assisting operators in improving the sustainability of their operations with useful tips and advice, motivating those operators to improve the sustainability of their operations by providing them with tangible incentives and by rewarding through the award of the Label those operations that have successfully improved in terms of sustainability. The SSTL seeks to encourage and guide improvements in sustainability outcomes and as such the project is as much an educational process as an examination process. In January 2017, the SSTL achieved Recognition Status with the Global Sustainable
Global Council (GSTC). GSTC is the body which aims to promote sustainable tourism through the establishment and management of global sustainable tourism standards. The application for Recognition Status and its process took a little over a year to be completed and involved the reviewing of the SSTL criteria for alignment with the GSTC standards. This Recognition Status means that all SSTL-certified establishments will now be included in the GSTC directory of responsible products and be promoted via the GSTC website bringing visibility to their businesses. In July 2015, the SSTL signed an MOU with Fair Trade Tourism whose expansion into Africa has been given a boost through its signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL). The agreement enables six of the Indian Ocean island nationâ€™s leading hotels to be marketed under the Fair Trade Holiday brand. This Mutual Recognition Agreement will allow approved tour operators to incorporate these Seychelles properties into Fair Trade Holidays - holiday packages that represent global best practice responsible tourism. Fair Trade Tourism is a leading southern African non-profit organisation promoting responsible tourism development. It grows awareness about responsible tourism to travellers, assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates a globally recognised certification programme. The rationale behind the SSTL is that there exists an inextricable link between tourism and the biodiversity which underpins it. ...Continued on page 23
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-Food & Dining in SeychellesBoat House
Location: Beau-Vallon Opening days/times: 7 days a week; From 9a.m. with meals broken up as follows; Breakfast: 9 am – 11 am, Lunch: 12 pm – 4 pm, Dinner: 7 pm - 10 pm, Bar: 4 pm- 10: 30 pm Open since: 1995. We serve: Creole food, the Beau-Vallon way. Our signature dish: We do a buffet every evening so every dish is a signature dish. What you should know about our wine selection and cocktails: All our cocktails are the same price @ 150 Rs per cocktail. During our happy hour, they are all Rs 100. All our wines are Rs 400 each. Also know that: We post regular activity on our facebook page for promotions. Our bar’s happy hour over looks the sunset on an original boat. Climb on board and have some local rum!
Location: Alliance Française (next to the French School) Opening days/times: Monday-Friday from 07h30 till 17h00 Open since: December 2016 What we serve: Breakfast, lunch and afternoon sweets Our signature dish: Seychelloise salad Also know that: We offer a very tasty affordable lunch in less than an hour. Contact: Call Aïcha on 2 537 803
Contact details: Boat House (4247898 and 2510530) or 2604454 for the management / group reservations
Sam’s Bar & Restaurant
Location: 1st Floor Maison Suleman, Victoria Opening days/times: 11am to 10pm daily Open since: October 1999 What we serve: Wood fired oven pizzas using fresh dough as well as pasta grills and seafood dishes. Our customers love: Our fresh pizzas! What you should know about our wine selection: A variety from France, Italian, Spain and South Africa. Attractions: “Happy Hours” from 4pm to 7pm with 50% discount on all beverages with a special snack menu. Special note: The restaurant was recently renovated. The interior was done by Sphere Interior Design, a Durban based company. The local contractor was Turnkey Solutions.
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Seychelles Tourism its biodiversity and sustainability In an age when, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, uncontrolled land conversion, climate change, pollution and other unsustainable human activities are causing biodiversity loss at many times the rate of natural extinction, it is time to take stock and reflect upon how, in so many ways, our civilization is energetically sawing through the ecological branch upon which it is seated. Seychelles has integrated the SSTL criteria in the hotel classification programme and Seychelles Secrets criteria with the aim of ensuring that all our resorts and high-end small tourism establishments are sustainable tourism products. As of December 2014, the Tourism Department through funding from UNDP is offering 50 free audits (and registration) for the first 50 hotels that apply for certification which has generated interest in the label. There are also ongoing discussions with the STB to develop a more effective marketing plan/strategy for the label that will target the hotels and also the DMCs and international tour operators. Biodiversity, another ingredient critical for tourism success, is important for its own sake and it is clear that large areas of unique, natural beauty worldwide are attracting rising numbers of visitors, demonstrating how biodiversity is not only one of tourism’s greatest assets, but quite fundamental to its long-term, sustained growth. However, biodiversity is far from being just a simple ‘attraction’ and we must never permit ourselves to lose sight of one, simple fact of paramount importance: our eco-systems also sustain us by providing food, energy, health and some 40% of the global economy. It may, therefore, be claimed that our biodiversity is our lifeline – one that needs to be nourished and protected
because, when it becomes impaired, so will we. Tourism and biodiversity are natural partners; each one in need of the other and with each partner contributing invaluably to the partnership. However, that synergy is a very delicately-poised balancing act, requiring us to ensure that our tourism remains sustainable. Also, that it contributes positively to biodiversity conservation and the quality of life of local populations while, at the same time, minimising negative environmental and social impacts. Safeguarding the interests of that in-
waters created by the exigencies of the industry itself and, also, by external factors such as the recent global recession. The more our people buy into the industry at every level, the more they will find themselves taking the level of ownership required to become sensitive to the impact of tourism on the environment and the community and, therefore take steps to ensure that it remains a positive one – not just for today but also in the future. The role of governments in sustainable, community-based tourism is also critical: in addition to providing a stable economy, government needs to ensure a market-friendly business environment with appropriate regulation and oversight to ensure that social policy, environmental and safety concerns are adequately dealt with. Governments also need to ensure that the necessary physical infrastructure is in place, that the schools are producing sufficient numbers of trained men and women and that the workforce is healthy. In the case of Seychelles, in particular, conservation of our unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity is key to maintaining tourist interest in the region and needs to be brought to bear in such a way that the longterm interests of these assets are not sacrificed for short term gain. Here, again we come to the question of ownership: communities are more likely to protect their environment if they share in the rents or profits accruing from tourists who appreciate their unique heritage, flora & fauna etc. It is only through such an integrated approach that Seychelles’ tourism industry will flourish as a balanced enterprise – one that takes into consideration the many requirements of tourism but also those of its host – the Seychelles islands, their diverse and fragile ecosystems and their communities.
“Biodiversity is important for its own sake and it is clear that large areas of unique, natural beauty worldwide are attracting rising numbers of visitors, demonstrating how biodiversity is not only one of tourism’s greatest assets, but quite fundamental to its long-term, sustained growth.” dustry and, at the same time, those of the environment and local community is a delicate balancing act the outcome of which will very much determine the future prosperity of this nation. Sustainable tourism is definable as an industry committed to making as low an impact as possible on the environment and the community at large while helping to generate income and employment for the people of that community. The overall aim of sustainable tourism, then, must be to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies and, of course, the tourists themselves. In order for this to happen, it is of prime importance that we as a nation take ownership of our tourism industry and, through that ownership, find ourselves in a position to charter its course through sometimes turbulent
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[ INSIDE Seychelles | 26 ] CONTACTS
Seychelles Tourism Board HEADQUARTERS Chief Executive Officer, Seychelles Tourism Board P.O. Box 1262, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4 671 300, e-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Inside Seychelles invites advertisers to promote their products and services at inexpensive rates on this page, sure in the knowledge that they will enjoy world-wide exposure via the wide distribution of the magazine to all of Seychelles majr and secondary tourism markets.
Cable & Wireless (Seychelles) Ltd. Francis Rachel Street, Victoria P.O. Box 4, Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4284000, W: www.cwseychelles.com Airtel Telecom (Seychelles) Emerald Building, Providence P.O. Box 1358, Mahé, Seychelles Tel: (+248) 4600600, W: www.africa.airtel.com/seychelles
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), Tel: (+248) 2713193 E: email@example.com
Central Police Station, Victoria Tel: (+248) 428000 Hotline: 133 / 112, E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.police.gov.sc Baie St. Anne Police Station Tel: (+248) 4232332, E: email@example.com W: www.police.gov.sc Grand Anse Police Station Tel: (+248) 4233251, E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.police.gov.sc La Digue Police Station Tel: (+248) 4234251, E: email@example.com W: www.police.gov.sc Seychelles Hospital, Mt. Fleuri Tel: (+248) 4388000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.health.gov.sc Baie Ste Anne Praslin Hospital: 4233414 Logan La Digue Hospital : 4234255 Ambulance 151
Villas du Voyageur, Praslin Tel: +248 2 59 00 03 or +248 42 33 161 Email: email@example.com www.villasduvoyageur.sc
Ryan Moncherry Stylist
Espace Building Eden Plaza, Ground Floor, Room 8258 48 08 Ile du Port firstname.lastname@example.org Ground Floor No. 12 Mob: 2584808 Harbour Barber
Email: email@example.com Appointment ONLY Facebook: Harbour Barber www.harbourbarber.salon
Hanneman Holiday Residence, Mahe Tel: +248 4425000 Mob: +248 2523828 Fax :+248 4425010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hanneman-seychelles.com
Emirates Airline, Caravelle House Tel: (+248) 4292700 / 4373008 E: email@example.com, W: www.emirates.com Kenya Airways, Kingsgate Travel Centre Tel: (+248) 4323903, E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kenya-airways.com Ethiopian Airline, Mason’s Travel Building Tel: (+248) 4288907, E: email@example.com W: www.ethiopianairlines.com
Etoile Labrine, La Digue Tel: +248 423 51 40 Mob: +248 277 23 83 or +248 274 20 22 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.etoile-labrine.com
Au Fond De Mer View, Mahe Tel: +248 2 52 69 45 / 4 37 21 20 Email (1): email@example.com Email (2): firstname.lastname@example.org www.aufonddemerview.com
Casa de Leela, La Digue Tel: +248 423 4193 Fax:+248 423 4193 Mob: +248 251 2223 Email: email@example.com www.casa-de-leela.bplaced.net
Zil Air (Pty) Ltd., Tel: (+248) 4375100 E: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com , W: www.zilair.com
Cat Cocos Ferry - Inter Island Boats Ltd Tel: (248) 4297164, Reservation: (+248) 4324843 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.catcocos.com Praslin to La Digue Ferry, Inter Island Ferry Ltd Tel: (+248) 4322329
Le Sur Mer La Digue
Tel: +248 4 23 51 81 Mob: +2781770 Fax: +248 4 23 51 82 Email: email@example.com
Carana Hilltop Mahe Tel: +248 4 24 19 90 / +248 2 78 16 01 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: carana.hilltop.villa www.caranahilltopvilla.com
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Published on Apr 5, 2017
The 5th issue of the quarterly newspaper produced by the Seychelles Tourism Board which gives insights into the tourism industry of the Seyc...