The Seychelles St. Ange Travel Report for February 12, 2018

Welcome to Edition #6 of 2018: Monday 12th February 2018

by Alain St. Ange
The Indian Ocean Region is dominating the news these days and Seychelles is right in the middle of it all with the proposal to facilitate the creation of a military base by India on its Assumption Island. This beautiful island is right on the door step of Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage site. Protests and petitions #SaveAldabra have been launched,  and it is very much the duty of every Seychellois to join the International Community and World Environment Groups to nip this proposal in the bud. A symbolic peaceful protest is set to be carried out everyday by the Clock Tower in the centre of Victoria to urge Government to listen to its people and to preserve our invaluable natural resource. These protests are said to be continuing until the State of the Nation Address by President Danny Faure.

If the Assumption Island Military Base is for Seychelles we do not need any agreement or lease document with India. We only need a proposal from India for what will be termed ‘foreign aid’ package.

The Little Turtle of Assumption
“People of Seychelles, It was your duty to save environment’s Beauty!”
Credit: Facebook
Assumption Island is just next door to
Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mauritius is also raising the tempo for their island of Agalega, where plans are in place to construct a three kilometre airport for the 300 inhabitants of the Island, or for another rumoured military base. Similar to Seychellois at the moment, Mauritians are up in arms over the prospect of losing another one of their precious islands.

Do we, the People of Seychelles, deserve a say in what happens to our islands? Of course we do. A referendum is needed today. The links below show just how much coverage this topic is currently getting on global media:

– Article published in India pushing Seychelles to remove hurdles on the Assumption Island deal:-

Why Seychelles Has Been ‘Very Slow’ in Removing Hurdles for India’s Assumption Island Project – The Wire English | DailyHunt Lite http://dhunt.in/3nj2c?ss=wsp&s=wa

– Ainteresting report by BBC Radio on the Assumption Island saga.
BBC Radio 4 – From Our Own Correspondent, Invisible Scars (12 minutes in the interview is Seychelles) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qh8y1
– Two reports on the Agalega Island of Mauritius show that there are more questions than answers on the Assumption Island
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNtsBX9gQtU&app=desktop

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W-nuGXE2Uys

Assumption Island right on the door step of Aldabra
may now have a super power military base on it
Maldives

The State of Emergency is Maldives is also making news. Political instability and tourism do not go hand in hand, but the Maldives Ministry of Tourism issued a statement, which highlights that all tourism related businesses will be operating as usual. It also states that the State of Emergency does not force any restrictions on traveling to the Maldives and airports and all resorts in the country shall remain open and in full operation. More from Maldives, the Chief Justice and another Judge therefrom were arrested mere hours after the Government declared a State of Emergency, prompting many a raised eyebrow. The Judiciary is a needed watchdog and political interference will always shock the free world and the fragile tourism industry.

Tourism remains a volatile industry, and both Seychelles and Maldives are in the news for the wrong reasons; both Islands can be negatively impacted by all the negative publicity they are accruing.
Africa remains undecided about the Single Air Transport Market initiative. There is little to no tourism without adequate air-access and Africa is a Continent that suffers from this shortfall. Seychelles was so far not listed as a country that had embraced this call for Africa by Africa, even though it showed last year in the UNWTO saga that it abides to decisions by the African Union, regardless of whether its sovereignty is consequently threatened.
The Tourism Industry of Seychelles continues to seek clarity in the increased operating costs it is facing. Today, more than ever before, the hoteliers are imploring the authorities to appreciate that they are competing not with the hotel next door, but with the different regions that continue to attract holiday makers in search of a tropical vacation. Operating costs remain a key determining factor in what can be offered and also how destinations are featured in Tour Operator programs, which is where some are seen to be pricing themselves out of the market. The call today is for a two-tier VAT where a lower fee is applicable for the room component of the package.
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 grow from strength to strength with each new Edition.

Enjoy the read,
Alain St.Ange 

Saint Ange Consultancy  

Raffles Seychelles appoints
Edouard Grosmangin
as General Manager

Edouard Grosmangin, General Manager Raffles Seychelles
Raffles Seychelles’ New General Manager is Edouard Grosmangin, who graduated from Vatel Institute (School of Business and Hotel Management) in Paris in 1996. He will lead the Raffles Seychelles team in Anse Takamaka, Praslin, Seychelles.
Prior to his assignment, Edouard was the General Manager of Six Senses Zil Pasyon in Felicite Island, Seychelles, since 2014. Between 2012 and 2014, he served as the General Manager of Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam and as Resort Manager for Maia Luxury Resort & Spa in Mahe, Seychelles, between 2010 and 2012. Edouard served different roles in the Middle East with The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain and The Palace The Old Town in Dubai. Prior to this experience, he held several roles in France, the Principality of Monaco and the UK.
“So happy to be back ‘HOME’ in Seychelles for the third time after Maia and Six Senses. Raffles Seychelles encompasses a huge potential and great assets along with an outstandingly genuine team,” said Edouard Grosmangin
Editor’s Note:- Edouard Grosmangin is well known in Seychelles and is well appreciated as a Hotelier. The Saint Ange Tourism Report welcomes him back to Seychelles and wishes him success in this latest appointment. Raffles Seychelles has some of the best panoramic views from its villas. Edouard’s hands-on management style is being welcomed by staff, guests and Tour Operator partners.
Panoramic views from the Villas of Raffles Seychelles

Double Tree by Hilton arrives in Kenya

East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city, Nairobi, welcomes one of Hilton’s 14 brands, DoubleTree by Hilton. Conveniently located along Ngong Road, DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham opens as the first DoubleTree branded property in Kenya – joining five other DoubleTree by Hilton properties now open across Africa. The Hotel was previously operated directly by the owners and known as the Amber Hotel.

“With the number of travellers visiting Kenya growing year-on-year we are delighted to be opening the first DoubleTree by Hilton property in Nairobi in such a prime location with easy access to corporate offices and tourist attractions in Nairobi,” said Nitin Gupta, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham. “We look forward to opening our doors and providing our warm welcome to leisure and business guests alike, as they explore everything the capital has to offer.”

The Hotel is ideally located just a few miles away from the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and the David Shedrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, the Nairobi National Park, several golf courses and the Ngong Race Course, the only horse racing course in Eastern Africa. Travellers also have easy access to Nairobi’s central and financial districts, including Nairobi Business Park, corporate houses and NGO centres.

Guests can start their day with a sumptuous breakfast in the exquisite Atrium Brasserie. For lunch and dinner, the hotel offers an a la carte menu and an extensive buffet, including Indian, Italian and pan-Asian cuisines. After a day exploring the city guests can unwind in the Piano Lounge with a selection of wines or contemporary cocktails, whilst enjoying sweet symphonies from live piano and saxophone players*.

Guests can rejuvenate with access to a 24-hour gymnasium, as well as a swimming pool open from 6am – 7pm. Moreover, DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham boasts five meeting rooms with natural daylight, capable of hosting up to 250 delegates. The hotel provides great space for corporate events and social gatherings with additional outdoor break out space on the terrace, which is perfect to enjoy Nairobi’s lovely weather.

DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham is the first hotel to open under Hilton’s Africa Growth Initiative. Hilton has committed a total of $50 million over the next five years towards the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to support the continued expansion of its Sub-Saharan African portfolio. These funds are intended to support the conversion of around 100 hotels in multiple African markets into Hilton branded properties, providing instant benefits such access to over 69-million Hilton Honors members and leading innovative technology, including digital-check in.

Source:- Aviation, Travel and Conservation News – DAILY from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands
DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham
Editors Note:- This latest move by Hilton Double Tree opens up twin centre options for Seychelles, where Hilton Double Tree has its Alamanda Hotel right on the beach at Anse Forbans. Seychelles has always promoted the Safari & Beach Holiday option with Kenya, and with Hilton Double Tree now in both countries this package can be further developed by Tour Operators featuring Kenya and Seychelles.

Laurier Eco-Hotel & Restaurant, growing
from strength to strength

Edwin Rose and Sybille Cardon, the proud owners
Laurier, an authentic Praslinois Establishment
The rooms nestled in a well manicured garden
Edwin and Sybille need to be congratulated for their tenacity and perseverance, which have given birth to an authentically Creole touristic establishment on the island of Praslin. It all started 18 years ago when they purchased the Laurier Small Hotel from the Esselmonts.
Their Hotel offers heavenly Creole dishes, as well as exciting fishing and diving opportunities for adventurous guests. Edwin personally takes his clients on traditional fishing trips at 5.30 / 6am, where guests can enjoy bottom fishing as the sun rises over the horizon before coming back to the hotel for a hot breakfast. Guests may sample locally made jams as they overlook the charming and well manicured garden.
A taste of paradise; Homemade star fruit and mango jams

Edwin and Sybille have now confirmed that they will be constructing six new bungalows which will make the Laurier Eco-Hotel & Restaurant a 20-room establishment.

Congratulations to Edwin Rose and to Sybille Cardon! The Saint Ange Tourism Report wishes you and your family continued success.

Cote D’Or beach across the road from the
Laurier Eco-Hotel and Restaurant

New Members Only Club
in Seychelles –
Exclusive TGA Music Lounge

Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa officially launched a new members-only Club called the “Exclusive TGA Music Lounge” on the 9th February 2017 in the presence of invited guests.
Stephane Vilar, the General Manager of the Resort, and his Management Team were all present, personally welcoming guests and showing off the latest addition to the Resort. Mr. Vilar expressed his determination to see Avani Seychelles referred to as the entertainment venue of Seychelles, having recently introduced themed evenings at the Hotel, including a live band and a Creole Buffet on Saturdays.

The “Exclusive TGA Music Lounge” caters for all tastes and desires, including an outdoor hookah lounge with coloured bean bags, and a stylish indoor area with dimmed lighting and plush furnishing for those after a more intimate and elegant experience.

It will be open from Wednesdays to Saturday nights, but reserved for Members of the Club only. Interested persons may contact Avani Seychelles to sign up as a Member and to learn about all the extensive and additional benefits membership would offer.

Opening night featured the popular music band, Zenith, playing energetically for the riveted crowd, accompanied by some of the top DJs in Seychelles, and performing local artists such as Sandra, Telsy, and Antoinette, to name but a few. Invited guests and ecstatic new Members of the Club were heard complimenting the venue’s eclectic décor and finished the evening on the dance floor, writhing to the pulsing beat of the latest tunes, with glasses of champagne in their hands.

Congratulations to Avani Seychelles for being innovative and providing Seychelles with an exciting new upmarket entertainment venue for locals and tourists to enjoy!

Comoros welcomes the Clinton Foundation & the Mauritius Minister of Tourism

Vice President Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassni
welcomes members of the Clinton Foundation

Comoros Vice President Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassni, who also has the responsibility for tourism, has welcomed Members of the Clinton Foundation to his island Nation. The visit is in line with the sustainable development initiatives aimed at the protection of the environment and the promotion of renewable energy.

The Vice President of the Comoros has said he feels positive that he is remodelling the development strategies of the island.

In another high profile visit, Mr. Anil Gayan, the Minister of Tourism of Mauritius, one of the leading tourism Ministers of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Group, was also in Comoros to discuss tourism cooperation with the sister island.

Vice President Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassni of Comoros
welcomes Minister Anil Gayan of Mauritius
Vice President Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassni of Comoros
& Minister Anil Gayan of Mauritius

Tourism: Magazine
selects Top10 romantic destinations in Africa

(Seychelles not listed but Island’s idyllic photo used in article)
There’s no doubt that Africa is filled with some of the most beautiful travel spots in the world, perfect for a romantic getaway.

If you plan on proposing to your partner, Africa is the go-to destination for combining romance and travel.

Here are the top 10 spots across the continent to make your proposal extra special:

Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town

Known as one of Africa’s most beautiful gardens, the Kirstenbosch Garden, which has the Table Mountains overlooking it, is an ideal spot to declare your wish to spend the rest of your life with your loved one. The garden was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa and was the first botanical gardens in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora.

It has a variety of plant life, including fynbos and cycads. It lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Kirstenbosch is open to visitors every day from 08h00 to 19h00 in summer and from 08h00 to 18h00 in winter.

Pemba Island, Tanzania

Pemba Island, located 50 km from Zanzibar in Tanzania, is one of East Africa’s most idyllic and romantic gems. It remains largely untouched by mass tourism, which means that you’ll fully enjoy the warm crystal blues beaches, an abundance of mangroves and lagoons, great diving spots and the company of friendly locals.
You can propose to your loved while diving at calm and spacious diving sites and exploring untouched coral reefs and abundant marine life or while enjoying a delicious dinner at sunset of coconut curry with prawns at Pemba Misali Sunset Beach in Wesha.

A Desert Tour in Morocco

Enjoy the beautiful sand dunes of the Sahara Desert while on camel back on a desert tour in Morocco. You and your partner will get to explore Berber nomadic life while experiencing the beauty of the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic.
A customized desert tour will be ideal for proposing to your loved as you explore the valleys of the Sahara desert, namely Draa Valley, Ziz Valley and Dades Valley, or travel from Marrakech to Fes or to the Zagora dunes, Merzouga & Erg Chebbi. Trips vary from 2 to 4 days, depending on the trip you select.

Mount Kenya

If you and your partner are adventure lovers, then a romantic proposal on Mount Kenya is a must.

The awe-inspiring mountain is Africa’s second highest peak and is believed to be the home of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. Its peaks are crowned with snow and its slopes are thick with forest, making it the ideal romantic destination. The mountain is best seen at dawn when the early morning light creates a beautiful silhouette high over the surrounding plains. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and if you’re in the mood for a challenge, mountain climbing is available.

Mauritius

The East African island nation of Mauritius is an ideal romantic getaway for proposals and honeymoons.
One of many beautiful destinations to choose from includes Cap Malheureux, which is located on the island’s northernmost tip. It’s most famous for the picturesque little church, the red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice. There’s a fishing village just north of Grand Baie which is the perfect place for a secluded stroll or a picnic for two. It has magnificent views over the offshore islands of Coin de Mire, Ile Plate, and Ile Ronde.
Riambel Beach is a must visit, where you and your partner can enjoy horse-riding at sunset and experience the stunning location while the sun goes down.

Manda Island in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya
What better way to enjoy a romantic getaway than on a secluded island paradise. Manda Island, located in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya is just that. You and your loved one will enjoy beautiful architecture, white sands, and crystal blue beaches as well as great food and friendly locals.
What makes this a great getaway is the island’s picturesque scenery, as is expected with East Africa’s islands.

Kakum National Park in Ghana

If you and your partner are nature lovers, then a romantic tour through Kakum National Park in Ghana is an ideal proposal location. The national park is a dense tropical rain forest in southern Ghana which is home to over 40 species of larger mammals including forest elephants, forest buffalo, Mona-meerkats, and civets. It’s also a bird watcher’s paradise as it is home to over 250 species.
The highlight of the park is a stroll on the Canopy Walkway that is built 30 meters above ground, crosses several bridges and is over 1000 feet (350 m) in length. You get a unique view of the forest on the walk with the assistance of trained guides. The park also has a basic campsite should you want to stay overnight.

La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in Lagos, Nigeria

La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, located in Lekki in the city of Lagos is a beautiful beach resort situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by the freshwaters of Ikegun Lake. It is regarded as one of Nigeria’s best beach resorts, where couples can enjoy strolls on the beach, fishing or simply taking in nature. Couples also get to enjoy the best in Nigerian cuisine at the resort’s restaurant while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Ibo Island in Mozambique

Ibo Island is a beautiful piece of paradise in Mozambique. It is only accessible by boat or plane and is known as the central island of Mozambique’s Quirimba islands. The island is home to peaceful fishing villages and a wide variety of indigenous bird species. It is also home to one of the largest mangrove forests in Africa. It is the perfect remedy for wanderlust where couples can enjoy the warm Indian Ocean, great Mozambican cuisine and the beauty of nature.

Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho and South Africa

If you and your partner enjoy the beauty of mountains, the Big 5 and the warm Southern African weather, then a visit to the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Park, which straddles the border between South Africa and Lesotho, is a must.
Attractions at the park include the majestic Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains and animal populations including blesbok, oribi, duiker and leopard. You can go hiking while exploring important palaeontological sites as well as sites of late Iron Age settlements that define Basotho origins.

Source: Africa.com (ATQ News)

Editor’s Note:- Congratulations to all the destinations featured in this exclusive listing of Top 10 Romantic destinations. Visibility keeps destinations relevant and there is absolutely no magic formula to this but to plough on and ensure you are seen, heard, and that you have a message to disseminate to the world. Sadly, Seychelles did not make the list even though it clearly should be featured as one of the top romantic destinations. Let us work to ensure we do not become yet again the “Best Kept Secret of the Seven Seas”.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon
adds Residences to Inventory

Three-and four-bedroom units at Six Senses Residences Zil Pasyon
& Beautifully-appointed units  

Six Senses Zil Pasyon, located on the private island of Félicité in Seychelles, has added two elegant three- and four-bedroom residences to meet the growing demand of groups looking for a holiday escape.

The new residences, located above the resort on elevated terrain, take full advantage of the breathtaking views across the Indian Ocean and are a welcome addition to the existing 30 one- and two-bedroom villas at Six Senses Zil Payson.

The four-bedroom residence can host up to eight adults and four children, while the three-bedroom villa can accommodate six adults. The residences are available for guests starting February 1, 2018.

Each of the elegant new residences is built over two levels and has private pools. There are communal living and dining areas, kitchens for in-residence dining preparation, and sizeable outdoor space for guests to enjoy the year-round agreeable climate of Seychelles.

The upper level of each residence has the master bedroom, en-suite bathroom and plunge pool, while the lower level accommodates the communal area, kitchen, additional bedrooms and the main pool. One of the greatest design features in the villas is the upper level glass-bottomed pool positioned above the communal area, where guests can watch friends and family swim and frolic above them while simultaneously taking in the natural light that streams through the glass pool floor.

All Six Senses Zil Pasyon services are available at the two new residences, including in-villa dining, the attention of specialized Guest Experience Makers (GEMs) and buggy service. Guests can also opt for a dedicated GEM for the duration of the stay or a personal chef to prepare meals in-residence.

Designed with a modern flair by award winning architect Richard Hywel Evans of Studio RHE in London, the sleek architectural design of the new residences is in complete harmony with the island, embracing all the comforts and sustainable touches that define the Six Senses group’s eco-aware values.

For example, temperature controlled rooms respond to open doors in order to save power when guests desire to enjoy the soothing tropical air. Landscaping is designed in total harmony with nature, rare local plants have been cultivated to support a greater reforestation effort led by a registered non-profit that is restoring habitat and endangered plant species throughout the island.

With 12-foot (3.67-meter) high ceilings and vast floor-to-ceiling windows in the communal area, the residences feature breathtaking panoramas of the granitic island and stunning ocean views while providing a sense of openness to the interior space. Light oak wooden floors and soft gray marble complement the Six Senses interior furnishings, which provides an interesting contrast to the sleek steel exterior. All bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms with stand-alone bathtubs, rain showers and double-sink consoles.

The residences do not lack on tech, with an integrated music system throughout encouraging guests to entertain and enjoy as they please, the ability to sync music in individual rooms or control each area individually is available with the touch of a finger. In addition to the sound system, curtains, air conditioning and lighting are all coordinated on a central iPad, allowing for seamless control of the entire unit.

Hilton Hastings, general manager of Six Senses Zil Pasyon said, “The addition of these two fabulous residences allows us to better cater to families and groups of friends wishing to stay in one accommodation. Since we opened a year ago, we received numerous requests for larger villas and are delighted to add these gorgeous accommodations to our inventory.”

Aviation: Africans still Divided
on Single Air Transport Market

The African Union on Monday launched the much-anticipated Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) amid strong criticism from member states and some African airlines.

The confederation officially launched SAATM at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa on January 28 and 29. The new Chairman of the AU and President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, declared the establishment of SAATM at the Heads of State summit held on Monday. President Kagame said the launch of SAATM marks a big step forward for the development of the African air transport industry.

Kagame, AU chairperson Mossa Faki Mohamat, and Togo president Faure Gnassingbé, champion of the single market, cut a ceremonial ribbon at the plaque placed at AU headquarters to commemorate the launch of SAATM.

However, not all Africans are celebrating the launch of SAATM. Some African countries have put up stiff resistance to its implementation while several African airlines continue to criticize the initiative.

Ugandan president Yoweri Musevini expressed fear that SAATM will lead to the supremacy of African skies by a few, already dominant African airlines. “Few airlines are going to dominate and that is not good,” Museveni said. He said he would prefer that African countries form regional airlines first before liberalizing their skies.

Nigerian private airline association Airline Operators of Nigeria has also denounced the policy and noted that ministers did not include the group in the discussions leading to the endorsement of its implementation. The Nigerian airlines argued for a “level playing field” where Nigeria can compete with other African carriers, which still enjoy some protectionism, lower interest rates on loans, and waivers on import duty for aircraft and spares.

Meanwhile, African aviation authorities reject assertions by modestly sized carriers that the initiative would benefit only big airlines such as South African Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines. Sossina Iyabo, the secretary general of the African Civil Aviation Commission, told AIN that SAATM would benefit every African country and airline regardless of size by improving air connectivity, boosting passenger traffic, and spurring economic development.

“When you live in fear you do not make progress,” she said. “But you can overcome your fear by coming out and looking at what is in it for you and taking your share from the market…Even if you do not have an airline every state will benefit from SAATM. Because you benefit from increased passenger movement, your airport would benefit, air navigation services will benefit, your downstream sectors… the aviation value chain will benefit. Every entity that works in the airport environment will benefit.”

Nigeria stands as one of the 11 champion states that first expressed its commitment to African open skies in an agreement called the Yamoussoukro Decision, which provides for full liberalization in terms of market access between African states; the free exercise of traffic rights; the elimination of restrictions on ownership; and the full liberalization of frequencies, fares, and capacities.

“The Nigerian airlines are not yet able to see the benefits of SAATM as their government [does],” said Iyabo. “They are not as visionary as they should be.”

African Airlines Association secretary general Abderahmane Berthe told AIN that the small airlines should cooperate with the big airlines, rather than fight them. “The train of liberalization is there. You cannot stop it,” Abderahmane said, who stressed that SAATM incorporates a regulatory framework and dispute settlement mechanism that protects small airlines from unfair competition.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam opined that little distinction between large and small airlines exist in Africa. “We all are small airlines,” he told AIN. “It is like two bald men fighting for a comb.”

SAATM is one of the goals of the AU’s Agenda 2063, which aims to connect Africa through air transport and other transport infrastructure to achieve economic integration and boost intra-African trade. Of 54 African member states, 23 have subscribed to SAATM and four have begun the process of joining the initiative.

Source: ainonline.com / ATQ News

Seychelles showcased at the
2018 edition of the New York Times Travel Show

David Germain at the New York Travel Times Show

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) was once again present at the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, in New York, USA. The 2018 edition of the event, which was celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, was held from January 26 to 28, 2018.

STB is actively working to position Seychelles as a destination of choice among North American travellers seeking an exotic island holiday location, especially those travelling to the Middle East and Africa.

The New York Times Travel Show was, therefore, the perfect opportunity for the Seychelles Tourism Board Director for Africa & the Americas, David Germain, to engage with the media, travel trade and consumers.

The New York Times Travel Show, presented by American Express, is geared towards travel trade professionals and travel enthusiasts. The annual exhibition features over 200 exhibitors from over 130 countries from across the globe, attracting over 25,000 participants.

During his participation at this year’s trade show, Mr. Germain attended several events including the ‘Focus on Africa’ conference, as well as presentations by various experts and speakers providing an update on the latest travel trend to Africa and the Indian Ocean.

The Seychelles Tourism Board is a member of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), and also a member the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA).

Mr Germain therefore also attended an APTA conference where Key travel professionals discussed outbound travel from North America in 2018, particularly noting the predicted growth in outbound travel from North America to Africa & the Middle East.

He described STB’s participation at the 2018 edition of the New York Times Travel Show as another successful one, where he also had the opportunity to meet with different media organisations, airline representatives and other trade partners present at the exhibition.

Mr Germain said: “This is the 5th time that Seychelles has participated in the New York Times Travel Show, an exhibition which brings together important African Travel specialists, in search of product and destination information about Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, as it is important for us to be present, to consistently promote our islands in North America.”

The Seychelles Tourism Board is very much encouraged by the steady increase in visitor arrivals from North America recorded in 2017, and in view of this, will be increasing its promotional efforts in North America in 2018.

The STB will participate in both consumer & trade exhibitions and workshops in Canada and in different cities in the United States during 2018. Familiarization visits for North American agents and press trips are also planned, while a Canadian TV Crew will also be visiting Seychelles.

Flights between North America and Africa are available via South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, and soon Kenya Airways will also start flying to the USA further increasing air access from Africa to North America, with easy connections to Seychelles. Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways also fly from North America with easy connections to Seychelles, via their main hub in the Middle East.

Source:- Seychelles Tourism Board

Mauritius – the Gateway to Global Tourism

Riaz Nassurally, proudly writes:- “Warm Greetings from the Island that has been conceived with love by lovers, it has been designed with great passion & devotion for travelers! Just type the word Mauritius on google, the 1st picture, the face of Mauritius will be appeared in front of you as you can perceive it”.

MAURITIUS – THE GATEWAY TO GLOBAL TOURISMAs one of the most attractive islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has become a popular destination for tourism and investment. Mauritius is an eastern African nation in the Indian Ocean, known for its unparalleled mix of beaches, coral reefs, mountains and warm hospitality – the perfect tourist destination.

It was rated as the best performing economy in Africa, ranked 46th out of 140 economies in the latest edition of the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report. These statistics uphold the performance of Mauritius as a fast-growing economy and the ideal location for investment.

Moreover, the government of Mauritius is focusing its efforts on creating the right environment to foster innovation, creating 8 Smart Cities and 5 techno-parks. These state-of-the-art infrastructures will further boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of Mauritius as an incomparable hub for investment and tourism.

Source:- Riaz Nassurally. E-Tourism Consultant Social Media Marketing Director

Ghana to scale up Tourism
revenues with the construction
of iconic tower in Tema

Madame Catherine Ablema Afeku
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Ghana will soon construct an iconic tower at the Centre of the World in Tema in the Greater Accra Region as a way of attracting tourists to the country and rake-in more revenue for the State. The iconic tower would uniquely identify Ghana, which would be similar to that of the Liberty Statue in New York, USA, the Eiffel Tower in France and the Guddingburg Tower in Germany.

Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, made the disclosure when she took her turn at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra.

She said the Ministry would collaborate with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Tema Gulf Club and the Tema Community Presbyterian Church under the auspices of the Ghana Development Tourism Company, to construct the tower as part of the Centre of the World Project.

She said Ghana was the centre of the World, which is the Greenwich Meridian. “It was determined by the powers and the authorities at a meeting which took place almost a century before Ghana became a nation,” she stated.

Madam Afeku said people often visited the Tema Presbyterian Church to pray at the Centre of the World, while Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah use to go there when he was alive once a year for spiritual retreats.

The Minister said the project would be marketed locally and globally to attract people to have their weddings and engagements there, advertise goods manufactured locally, as well as link the Centre to the rest of the world so as to rake-in more revenue for the State.

“For instance, the Tema Golf Course could be accredited to host golf tournaments at the Centre of the World through a Memorandum of Understanding and transform the Golf Club into a first-class golf resort, transform the Presbyterian Church at the Centre into a religious tourism site and develop passenger and cruise ship terminal and also construct an iconic tower there,” she stated.

The Minister said Ghana would host the West Africa Integrated Travel Forum between 17 and 19 of March, this year, in Accra.

She said the forum would provide a common platform for tourist administrators in the West African Sub-region to share ideas and find a common ground in tackling the challenges confronting the tourism industry.

She said the forum would help players in the tourism industry to have a common understanding in ensuring flow of tourists across countries in the West African Sub-region.

“When we plan together as a region, we improve our tourism revenue because our friends in East Africa are doing it and so we want to replicate that because they have multiple destinations, which enabled tourists to visit all tourist centres with seamless visa controls,” she said.

Madam Afeku said the Government’s vision was to make Ghana a tourism destination hub; therefore, all efforts were geared towards investing in projects that would help achieve that feat.

She stated that, the Accra Tourist Information Centre had been renovated and would soon be commissioned as a convention and business bureau with the aim of attracting major events to Ghana.

The Minister said the Centre had three major restaurants to promote Eat-Ghana initiative and a Customer-Call Centre where both domestic and foreign tourists could make enquires on various tourist destinations in the country.

Source: ghananewsagency.org / ATQ News

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