Recently, the new Minister of Finance, Mr. Pierre Laporte, used his opportunity and open unfettered access to SBC (which films him when he opens a door, and walks up stairs, and even shakes hands of civil servants) ,to tell the country that Tourism Industry does not bank money in Seychelles, hence the downturn in hard currency receivables. Consequently, the Seychelles Rupee is devaluing at a significant noticeable pace, even for SBC journalists.
It is important that we brief Mr. laporte on a little history to perhaps, jog his selective memory of convenience.
Prior to Mr. Laporte becoming a Minister in the SPPF/PL government, his government licensed over 1,200 barefoot charters in Seychelles. Most of these sailboats are owned by foreigners, who said they were coming to Seychelles to live, but never did. Most of these sailboats have 6-8 double beds on board that can sleep 6-8 couples at a time when they share charters, as a means of cutting holiday costs, which they do. Sailboat operators as sister companies in Seychelles, and they usually have a parent company handle their payments and bookings. Usually these companies Mr. Laporte, have agreements with the owners on how to portion out payments received for each berth booking. Since these owners do not live in Seychelles , they need their money overseas. You got their boat in Seychelles. The management company send minimal commission and operational payments to Seychelles, which Mr. laporte, an ex Central Banker can attest, it is a pittance of revenue.
Do The Numbers Mr. Laporte
1,200 barefoot charters x Six (6) berths @ euro 250.00 per day
= Euro 1,800,000.00 per day gross revenue
Euro 1,800,000.00 per day x Scr 19.0 –euro 1.0= Scr 34,200,000.00 per day.
On 70% occupancy or 21 days operation per month this tidy sum amounts to
Euro 37,800,000.00 per month or Scr. 718,200,000.00 per month.
Ironically, if Mr. Laporte is still the Minister of Finance on December 14th , 2012, when Budget is presented, this tidy sum amounts to half of the national budget in revenue potential banked overseas, by operators, less the 15% commission Seychelles may receive in transfers.
If the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Finance still believe that 1,200 bareboat licenses is good government policy, then I have nothing else to say on the subject. The SPPF/PL have literally shot themselves in the foot with open license season on charters.
The PL always add insult to injury. These boats anchor off inner islands indiscriminately, and they crush, kill destroy our coral. Consequently, they have an adverse impact on the Dive industry, and a worse impact on our environment and an even worse impact on our local coastal fishermen, who now must go out further than ever, to catch less and less fish than ever.
Wharf Hotel Marina Seychelles
Too Many Berths Compete With Hotel Rooms and Air Seychelles
Naturally, too many berths compete with themselves driving prices down, and they also compete with hotels, that are grounded and in the case of local operators are continuously reinvesting in Seychelles, even during difficult periods.
Air Seychelles suffers as well. If you can take a yacht to Praslin and share the berths with 6 couples per day, less than an Air Seychelles ticket, you can avoid an Air Seychelles ticket price. Reduced load factor means Air Seychelles has to sell less seats at a higher price. Consequently this means higher prices for domestic tickets, even if the price of fuel has dropped internationally by 40% in the past Sixty (60) Days.
Yatch marina In Greece
Give Priority To Local Operators
With immediate effect, PL must take bold action. Curtail and reduce the existing 1,200 licenses to 300 and suspend all pending licenses that are not bona fide Seychellois operators. Level the playing field for Seychellois operators that are bonafide. Allow them to operate and they are the best caretakers of our environment. Additionally, when they make money, they pump it back into our economy and do not bank it in Cape Town, South Africa for pleasure and leisure.
Next week, I will continue this expose’ on the blunder policies of PL, that have led us into a situation wherein, not enough revenue is being generated by the country, and of course, Mr. Laporte, is griping over, is a result of only bad and mad policies applied to a micro state copied an pasted from Greece.
We do not have to accept failure as a status quo!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!