Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – August 7, 2018 (travelindex.com) – An important week and one that marks the arrival of the month of August telling us clearly the final months of 2018 are upon us. We were thrilled this week to see the African Diaspora Tourism Group of the USA write about the Saint Ange Tourism Report and refer to it as the “Premier Destination Publication”. Recognition by the tourism and travel press has been increasing and it is this partnership we today have that is keeping us visible and indeed relevant.
Control and Protection of Dogs Bill, 2018
The world of tourism finally saw that Seychelles had succeeded in producing a modern and comprehensive “Control and Protection of Dogs Bill, 2018”. “Seeing how you treat your dogs will tell me who you are as a people” has been the repeated statement made by so many visitors to the islands. This new legislation is a step in the right direction for our small island Nation.
Assumption Island Military Base project
Following the Government’s decision to revive the Assumption Island Military Base project, peaceful protests in the streets of Victoria have recommenced. The Preserve Seychelles group chaired by Terry Sandapin said the following on various posts:- “Assomption pou Seselwa! Recommencing the protests against a military installation on Assumption Island following our President’s visit to India and subsequent contradictory statements made and huge credit lines allocated. We say NO to any foreign military interference (directly or via credit lines) and NO to the direct threats & dangers to our environment. Vesna Rakic and Ricki Morin were both on the local news and are asking for everyone to join the next protest and to make your voice heard. Follow Preserve Seychelles for the details. This is a non-political citizens movement”.
Assumption Island is but some twenty miles from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra and not suitable at all for the installation of a foreign power military base .
Operating costs must decrease
The outcry for a reduction of operating costs in Seychelles continues. Tourism is an integral part of the business community, which has called for better understanding of operating costs they are faced with. It cannot be in dispute that the operating costs incurred by the business community in Seychelles are too high and consequently serving to stifle growth. The time to assist the business community is now because, in return, it will consolidate the island’s economy and also provide more employment opportunities for the people of Seychelles.
This call was reinforced in the last Cross-Sectorial Meeting chaired by Minister Didier Dogley, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine. The press reported on this particular point as follows:- “The private sector representatives also had the opportunity to put forth their concerns relating mainly to security and safety, illegal tourism activities, increasing operating cost for the trade, among others”.
The call has been made by the private sector bodies, the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) and the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA) and reinforced once again only last night on national television by the Seychelles Car Hire Operators Association (SCHOA) following the recent General Assembly.
Anguilla has undergone a dramatic decline in the tourism sector
During the final days of the month of July, Pam Webster published a document on the downward spiral of tourism in Anguilla. She wrote:- “As of June 2018, Anguilla has undergone a dramatic decline in the tourism sector of the island’s economy. As summarised by the Anguilla Statistics Department, under the Tourism Statistics Summary 2018, Anguilla has experienced its sixth decline for 2018. In comparison to the summary of June 2017, we have managed to decrease our visitor numbers by 56.8%, which is more than half of the visits. Anguilla and our people are dependent upon tourism for the most basic underpinning of the economy, but not only as a means of securing the necessities of life – also to maintain stability. With numbers continually declining at this rate, we risk experiencing hardship, struggle, and instability as we have not experienced it in living memory…… The Tourism Statistics Summary recorded a decrease from 9,610 persons during the period of June 2017, and compared it to the number of visits during June 2018, which was 2,440 persons. It is said that this is in fact the lowest recorded number of excursionists to the island for any June month as far back as 1993. While day trippers do not bring the same economic benefit to the island as tourists staying longer and occupying overnight accommodation, every little helps.”
Anguilla is suffering from a reduction of visitors for a different reason, but like Seychelles, it depends largely on tourism. Seychelles needs to give oxygen to its tourism industry and to its business sector in order to sustain its economic viability.
Granite boulders shaped by nature
Gilles Lionnet posted a photo of granite boulders in Seychelles which he claims bear striking resemblance to an elephant, a gorilla and a wolf. Locals will note other interestingly shaped granite boulders around Mahe, including ‘ros koson’ (Pig rock). These quirks are today providing photo opportunities to visitors eager to discover what unique gems our islands have to offer.
Sea turtles mating on a beach at Denis Island
Another amazing photo published last week was from Denis Private Island, where workers found a pair of turtles mating on the beach. This is not a normal scene because these acts by turtles can normally be seen in open sea. The photo has generated a lot of interest because it is just not common at all. Denis Private Island has been leaders in the field of environment protection and today many more sea turtles are seen in the turquoise blue seas surrounding that island