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Saint Ange Tourism Report – 10th December 2017

Saint Ange Tourism Report – 10th December 2017

Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – December 10, 2017 (travelindex.com) – The joy of the Christmas Season is everywhere and those responsible for decorating cities and villages, towns and countrysides, commercial centres, ports and airports, hospitals and offices need to be congratulated. In 15 days it will be Christmas. This is the time when close ones will wish each other a Merry Christmas and reflect on the pleasures of having family and real friends who can be counted on.

Christmas cannot be the celebration it is meant to be without its Christmas cards, its decorations, its “mangers”, its Christmas songs etc. The Seychelles Cathedral will again this year show us its own uniqueness, and our visitors will join us as we again appreciate the decorations with the much loved and visited “manger” taking its place for all to see. Everyone works hard hoping their hard work is seen and is appreciated. Susanne Reid, Head of Tourism and Events at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin posted recently a photo with its comment saying:- How elegant is Christ Church Cathedral this evening?

Christ Church Cathedral of Dublin

It is also the time to think about one’s daily action and reaction at work and in life as a whole. Jeremie de Fombelle, General Manager at Lux Resorts and Hotels must be feeling that at least he is doing something right because he was awarded “Best Employer in Mauritius” by the “Great Place To Work Institute”. A great award to pull just before Christmas Time.
Smile all the stay – Lux Resorts & Hotels

Our quote for the week is one by Dr. A. P. J. Apdul Kalam a former Leader from India who addressed the question of living to the expectations of the Office, because this helps a country and its people.

“If you salute your duty, you need not salute anybody. But if you pollute your duty, you have to salute everybody”

Those occupying the Country’s High Offices have their duty and responsibility, but every citizen also has their own.

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States said: Americans Must Decide Who We Really Are. He asked this as he said that America has a lot going for it.

President Bill Clinton

The time has come for each and every Seychellois to also ask themselves who we really are. Seychelles also has a lot going for it. A great country that remains a sought after holiday destination with a small, yet diverse, population making us the “rainbow nation”, if the tag line of President Nelson Mandela of South Africa can be borrowed. We have a tourism industry that is working, and if this is the pillar of our country’s economy, “we must be on a good run” is what we could and should all be saying.

Reality is today different on the ground with Malika Jivan, the highly appreciated Accounts Professional rightly asking if we are now prisoners in our own home. The house burglaries, the thieving and now violent assaults has reached a level that as Seychellois we must decide who we really are.

This week, a good school friend Gilbert Bouchereau, was hospitalised following what seemed to have been an attack at his residence using knives. Gilbert Bouchereau, an airline pilot by profession, is a quiet and disciplined Seychellois who would harm no one. Yet he finds himself on a hospital bed when he should be at home with his family. “Get well dear Gilbert. We feel for you and for the Bouchereau family and wish you a speedy recovery”

Gilbert Bouchereau (centre, back row) – Class 71 at Seychelles College

Last week we wrote about Brondy Hertel of Bel Air, then we touched on a guard dog at North East Point that was bashed as thieves tried to break into a home. In previous editions we also wrote about our friend, the Night Club Owner Simon Esparon, who sadly lost his life. The number of such cases happening everyday makes it impossible to comment on each one. We feel for the family of the sad and pitiful case an old mother, grandmother and great grandmother of some 98 years old at Anse Forbans, who had intruders inside her home, and so many other cases we have not touched on at all.

This is why the question we need to be answering is:- Do we know who we really are? Someone writes that Seychelles is going through a wave of organised crime. Others speak of yachts leaving Eden Island at night, as others organise Crime Watch groups keeping Seychelles constantly updated through Social Media. Reality remains that Seychellois are feeling ill at ease, and what is being felt by locals will be felt by visitors looking for that special get away holiday. Social Media saw this week worrying posts from Praslin, with dogs let loose on tourists on what was a day excursion on one of our idyllic beaches. The post shows Police on the scene and referred to a person even being bitten. The Dogs Control Act must be brought into force where Dog Owners will take their responsibility, as the posts from Praslin does little for the island’s tourism industry.

Something must be done to bring back normality, and this should be done now.

Commissioner of Police, Labonte needs the help and the necessary support, and the country owes that not only to him, but also to the people of Seychelles as a whole.

President Bill Clinton stated as he was saying “Americans Must Decide Who We Really Are” :- “Who wins in this kind of environment? Those who already have it made; they’ll make more. The least responsible members of the political media, who will prosper covering each new controversy and outrage. And the enemies of democracy, who feed the discord and hope that Americans will finally concede that informed self-government no longer works — and perhaps is no longer even possible — in the modern world. Twenty-five years ago, when I was elected president, I said that every American should follow our Constitutional framers’ command to form a more perfect union, to constantly expand the definition of “us” and shrink the definition of “them.” I still believe that. Because I do, I favor policies that promote cooperation over conflict and build an economy, a society and a politics of addition not subtraction, multiplication not division. Unfortunately, too many people in power across the world seem determined to do the reverse. If we do that here, we will miss this moment to build our brightest days. Therefore our most important challenge is deciding who we Americans really are — as citizens, communities and a nation. On that, all else depends.”

Seychelles deserves better and the new culture we are living in needs to change for something better. Our peace-loving islands need to be saved for every Seychellois to be able to stand up once again and feel we are One People in our One Country. A message received from “Mr R” said:- “The importance of the good people in our life is just like our heartbeats.. It’s not visible but silently supports our life”. Let us all be good people and make Seychelles proud.

Air Seychelles has announced that it is reconnecting the islands to China and will restart its flights to Madagascar. Air Seychelles needs to be seen to be our partner, our Insurance Policy and OUR airline. We need our National Airline, and our Air Seychelles needs us more than ever before. Competition is coming, and this can be the opportunity to bring out the best from the Staff Team and by the airline. Edelweiss will join new comers British Airways (BA), JOON of Air France, Austrian Airlines and Seychelles Airline to link Seychelles directly with their non-stop flights to Europe and Air Seychelles needs at the same time to hold its own to be the airline of choice.

A message on Linkedin last week said: “Hi Alain, We have not met yet but I hope to! We have been homeowners on Eden Island since 2010 and come here often! I am sitting on a flight HM61 26/11/17 on way back to SA for a week. There were only a small number of pax boarding at Mahe. The rest were flying to SA from Mumbai. One can often book tickets from SA to Mumbai cheaper than to Mahe or Praslin 🙁 I have friends coming in Dec who have to fly via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian as Air Sey is full). But mostly as I have come to experience – the seats are taken up by passengers who won’t spend a cent in Seychelles !!. Hard to understand why Air Sey undermines tourism to Sey for the sake of flying what must be loss making passengers from SA to Mumbai or visa versa??. I have taken this up with …, but clearly that was a waste of time. Seems like his agenda and that of tourism at Sey were not aligned. I really hope you can see this issue as you know the tourism side better than anyone else in Sey!. Please take up this issue if you can”(Name withheld).

This is but one of the many such comments received from Tour Operators in South Africa and from the local tourism industry. It is Christmas time and therefore a good time for reflection…

We need to feel proud of our Airline, as we need to be proud of our people especially when they go the extra mile. Trisha Dubignon from Joëlle Fabre’s Coral Models Seychelles pulled the prize of the “Face of the Year” at the Swahili Fashion Week in Tanzania early December. Congratulations to Trisha Dubignon and to Joëlle Fabre and the Coral Models Seychelles for making Seychelles proud and not letting our size scare us from participating in international competitions. We are an able and indeed very capable people, we must all just have faith in ourselves as Joëlle Fabre and the Coral Models Seychelles showed they have.

Madame Wheeler Mahawa Kaba and Alain St.Ange as she delivered her message for the Swahili Fashion Week

The Swahili Fashion Week is a platform for fashion and accessory designers from the African Continent to showcase their talent, market their creativity and network with clientele and the International Fashion Industry. This is all aimed at emphasising to the region that fashion is an income generating creative industry, meanwhile promoting a “Made on Africa” concept. A great opening also for our “Made in Seychelles” drive if we can look further than the horizon.

Madame Wheeler Mahama Kaba, the Director for Women, Gender and Development in the Bureau of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) said that this event was opening doors for young women of the continent and position ourselves as global players in the fashion industry. Thank you to H.E. Madame Wheeler Mahawa Kaba, the Director for Women, Gender.

Seychelles having faith in ourselves and in who we are is so important. This we have said before and with a lot of reason we can we say it again, because as we end this week’s editorial, we need to say Congratulations to Seychellois Hotelier Maxime Rachel for his appointment as General Manager of the Villa Treville hotel on Positano, a magnet for the super rich on the Amalfi coast in Italy.

We need to continue to recognise our Seychellois who are making Seychelles proud and not letting our size scare us. We are an able and indeed very capable people, and again I say we must all just have faith in ourselves. Maxime Rachel on his part from Italy says:- “in Seychelles we sometimes think we cannot achieve anything in life, being from a small island, but we have to stop that way of thinking. We have potential. We need to believe in ourselves.”

Yes Maxime Rachel, this we need to do.

Finally, as I have said before I will say it again, I will not stop to throw stones at every barking dog because this will just delay me getting to my destination, and as was said last week in the editorial:- “When people throw you stones it’s because you are a good tree full of fruits. they see a lot of harvest in you. Don’t go down to their level by throwing them back the stones, but throw them your FRUITS so the seeds of yourself may inspire them to change their ways. It is important to again today acknowledge all who are diligently re-posting the Saint Ange Tourism Report weekly. Our Report ranges far and wide, from Australia to the Americas, from the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands to Africa & Asian and Greater Europe, with your continued support, which is greatly appreciated. You are helping us to go from strength to strength with each new Edition.