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Saint Ange Tourism Report – 24th February 2020

Saint Ange Tourism Report – 24th February 2020

Victoria, Mahé (Seychelles) – February 26, 2020 (travelindex.com) – Welcome to Seychelles Richard Quest of CNN Quest’s World of Wonders. Pulling our beautiful islands into the international spotlight CNN Anchor, Mr. Richard Quest is in Seychelles and met STB Chief Executive, Sherin Francis this morning at the airport on his way to Bird Island… We think our sunny weather agrees with him, don’t you ?” with these few lines the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board told the world that the famous Richard Quest of CNN was in Seychelles.

This is the first visit by Richard Quest to Seychelles. He has had many interactions with different Seychellois tourism personalities and interviewed me on the CNN “Quest means Business” when I was the Seychelles Candidate for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) in 2017.

Richard Quest remains a very influential press personality and his visit to Seychelles should bring positives vibes for the country’s tourism industry.

Corona Virus is on the African continent with Egypt reporting its first case – but the Indian Ocean Region is still free of the virus

The Corona Virus is causing a lot of concern for the world of tourism. Some countries are expressing their feelings for all to see whilst others are more quiet on what the effects will be.

Two sides of the possible repercussion is today being analysed. The first is the drop in tourists coming out of affected countries such as China and other tourism source markets such as Italy, South Korea and Japan. These important tourism source markets are facing challenges of their own as planes have dropped flights to China and countries putting in place more strict quarantine regulations for anyone coming from China and train services from Italy being curtailed in some areas. The drop in visitor numbers will be an impact all by itself.

The second cause for concern is the economic impact resulting in trade. An economic program on the news was discussion a year long possible impact directly or indirectly.

Seychelles, the Vanilla Islands and the African Continent have been blessed so far for not having had to face by the virus. With the exception off Egypt the continent has been spared the deadly virus. Let us continue to work to remain Corona Virus Free.

Seychelles undertaking a carrying capacity for its tourism industry

Last week I met with someone who had sadly told her family we have discovered Seychelles but we shall not be coming back. The family are well to do and upmarket in the bracket that best describes them in the breakdown of visitors. It is not that they did not like the Seychelles, but simply found it too expensive. That family stayed put on Mahe and did not even manage to get to Praslin and La Digue. The price comparition between Seychelles and its neighbouring tourism destinations is done often and how Seychelles is perceived when going through Tour Operators Brochures is worth deeper analysis.

Seychelles is fishing in the same pond for tourist and shoud never forget that. The islands have too much at stake to allow it to be but a dream instead of remaining a holiday option.

Seychelles brings in a new landing fee of US Dollars 15 from 1st April
(called a disembarkation levy of US $15 )

Seychelles already has fees attached to airline tickets but are set to add a new one effective 1st April this year. The new Disembarkation Fevy was confirmed in a letter addressed to the CEO of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority by Didier Dogley, the Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister on the 1st February.

The recent aviation conference in Mombasa and the last ROUTES Africa Conference held in Ghana addressed the cost of air travel in Africa which is being hampered by Government Taxes and Levies. The new Seychelles Disembarkation Levy falls exactly in line with the reports submitted and discussed at these meetings. Fuel Taxes, Landing Taxes and Levies are easy mechanisms to raise revenue, but are these really ways that help the economy grow?. These questions when raised can only bring negatives for the Continent of Africa and its individual tourism destinations.

The Seychelles has been pushing for family holidays and these visitors are making use in a lot of instances the homely small Seychellois owned and managed tourism establishments. The new Seychelles disembarkation levy case will see a family of four dish our a further sixty US dollars on a Seychelles package holiday. This will be subject to further markups in TO programs.

The Tourism Board will have to sell this new levy at the coming Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin in March because all packages to Seychelles are not showing this new tax that comes over and above increase in fees to some islands marketed as nature parks and as IATA is confirming that COVID19 (Corona Virus) is impacting passenger demand. Packages to Seychelles has been contracted over a year ago and mid year increases often annoys tourism trade partners and can have negative repercussions.

The big question is Seychelles now moving to encouraging travel or are the islands set to discouraging travel in line with their new carrying capacity limits being set?

“These are challenging times for the global air transport industry. Stopping the spread of the virus is the top priority. Airlines are following the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health authorities to keep passengers safe, the world connected, and the virus contained. The sharp downturn in demand as a result of COVID-19 will have a financial impact on airlines—severe for those particularly exposed to the China market. We estimate that global traffic will be reduced by 4.7% by the virus, which could more than offset the growth we previously forecast and cause the first overall decline in demand since the SARS crisis of 2003. And that scenario would translate into lost passenger revenues of $29.3 billion. Airlines are making difficult decisions to cut capacity and in some cases routes. Lower fuel costs will help offset some of the lost revenue. This will be a very tough year for airlines,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Governments have an important role to play in this current crisis:

Leadership: It is also important for governments to take leadership in shoring up their economies. The Singapore government, for example, is allocating SGD 112 million to provide financial relief to airlines struggling to economically maintain connectivity. “Airlines and governments are in this together. We have a public health emergency, and we must try everything to keep it from becoming an economic crisis. Relief on airport costs will help maintain vital air connectivity. Other governments should take good note and act quickly,” said de Juniac.

Great new initiative launched by The Ocean Project Seychelles

The detrimental impact of balloons on the environment has been well documented. They drift around the world and pollute even the most remote places, killing countless animals who mistake balloons for food.

The Ocean Project Seychelles is calling on all hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars, boat charters, event planners, and anyone decorating with balloons to choose to #SeyNoToBalloons and commit to not to using balloons in their decorations.

Businesses that have jumped on board to support this campaign to opt for more eco-friendly alternatives instead of balloons include:
– The Boardwalk Bar & Grill
– Maison Marengo Bar & Restaurant
– Les Lauriers Eco Hotel and Restaurant
– Oscars
– Seyscapes Yacht Charter
– Turquoise Horse Trails
– Anse Soleil Beachcomber
– Gran Kaz
As we congratulate The Oceans Project Seychelles with this task we have to accept and embrace the notion that the best outcome for our vulnerable environment is ours to sculpt, and we already have the necessary tools at our disposal. Let us lead by example, always.

Uganda Tourism & Travel Meeting

At the 5th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo at Uganda’s Speke Resort in Munyonyo. Standing with the chief guest Uganda’s first Deputy PM Hon. Moses Ali and Lilly Ajarova, the CEO of Uganda’s Tourism Board

The 2020 calendar of Africa tourism events kicked off in Kampala, Uganda, as tourism experts gathered for the 5th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE). The former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine of the Seychelles, Alain St. Ange, who is the current President of the African Tourism Board led discussions on the topic “Policies In Place To Ease Movement Within Africa.”

Alain St. Ange shared the stage with tourism experts, Mr. Ikechi Uko, publisher of ATQNews and organizer of AKWAABA African Travel Market, and Ms. Pearl Kakooza, Chairperson of Uganda Association of Travel Agents (TUGATA) to analyse accessibility within Africa as far as transport and connectivity is concerned.

Tourism remains a vital industry for the African continent and the surrounding islands, especially the islands on the Indian Ocean. St. Ange led the industry as minister and was founding president of the Vanilla Islands, an affiliation of the island nations of Seychelles, Madagascar, Réunion, Mauritius, Comoros and Mayotte.

Alain St. Ange is a much sought-after speaker at international tourism and aviation conferences where his off the cuff speeches continue to impress.