Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome to the 1st Edition of our Tourism News for 2013.

We must all rejoice at the visitor arrival figures for the year 2012. Yes we all rallied as an industry, as a people and as a country and we can say that we have delivered for Seychelles. The success in visitor arrival numbers has reopened the debate about the yield from tourism. This has been an ongoing point of concern and we have heard the forceful explanations by Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture making clear that the hotel rates are pitched by the private sector and that this remains a matter of competition, not amongst hotels in Seychelles, but with hotels of the region.

This is a fact and we accept that we pitch our rates based on market forces and on what the immediate competition is doing. When Mauritius practices price dumping because of their current over supply of beds vis a vis airlines serving Mauritius, we feel the pressure and have all had to readjust our own rates because of the pressure exerted by the Tour Operators programming Seychelles. Supply and demand remains key to yield, and Seychelles is still walking at the slowest pace in helping increase the arrival numbers to help hotels increase their rates and in so doing earn a better yield for themselves and for the country. 

Marketing and strategizing about new drives is one thing, but are we not too slow moving to provide what the market is saying they want? A direct nonstop flight to Europe is needed, and the authorities all know this, but are still not jumping with joy when a savior comes our way. Where are we with the Turkish Airline interest to nonstop fly from Europe to Seychelles? Discussions at the Seychelles Economic Forum Turkey had indicated that this excellent airline wanted seven flights a week to Seychelles. We need to know what has happened to their request and interest. 

Too often we hear of bilateral signed with countries where we cannot see any direct benefits, but with Turkey we are close to a year and we still have not heard a declaration.

We are soon to see Air Seychelles start their operation to Hong Kong. A good decision for the airline, but is it what the Seychelles Tourism Industry needs at this point in time? Air Mauritius is doing direct Shanghai and also a second direct Beijing Mauritius flight. They are going for the Chinese market, when we go for the Hong Kong market, and ours via Abu Dhabi. Who will bear the cost of marketing the Air Seychelles flights to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi?
My personal comment for the Ministers of Air Transport and of Tourism is that Air Seychelles is only 60% Seychellois, our country's economy is 100% Seychellois. We can only hope that this will guide decisions.

The annual Marketing Meeting was another success with a joint approach between the private sector and the Tourism Board. The absence of the Top Heads of the Air Seychelles Team was noticeable by all.

The time has arrived for us as an Association to be represented on the Planning Authority. We are making that request to save our industry and Seychelles. We have lost all planning foresight and today our continued development is hurting the look of our country and the environment we are saying we are protecting. A few weeks ago big equipment was excavating in the channel between Cerf Island and Ile Cachee. This is a Marine Park we are told, but after jetties we now see digging with heavy earth moving equipment. A proliferation of containers, visible for all to see, is getting more evident day by day. Implementation of regulations by Planning Authority gives them a zero score…

The setting up of a more buoyant Marketing Fund for the tourism industry is welcomed. It is a new tax, but one where we are all paying to market our country. We hope more businesses will be drafted to pay into that important fund. We need to see more activities in Europe with that fund as that traditional market is the market we know, and the market that knows us. 

The annual carnival is upon us! We wish for another successful edition. We appeal for us to also have the chance to meet the large number of press landing here for the carnival. 

Louis D'Offay
Chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality &Tourism Association


Anonymous said...

Well said D'offay if i were you i would go a little further as to challenge some issues in court and press it on the global media.

The policy of telling the truth and taking pictures with these guy should end, such as your fishing competition which gives the impression that all is going well for tourism in seychelles.

If i were you i would start leading by example such as holding back from sponsors unnecessary expenses like fishing competitions, natural disaster funding and many more.

To hear ones voice you do not have to climb mount senaii, all you need to do is take steps to protect you and the industry and the government will have no chance but to come along for the ride.

Anonymous said...

I agree Mr. D'offay has been a gentleman to point the issues out in a polite manner. But the issues are a rude awakening to us all.

It may be time for us to line up behind Mr. D'offay and toughen the stance against government bad policy and Air Seychelles self interest.

Anonymous said...

Mr D'Offay is right,he knows the torusim industry.

What Pp should do instead is develop Night attraction for tourists.E.g On Praslin toursists go to bed at seven in the evning no because they are tired,sleepy or do not have money to spend but because we donot offer them Night attactions which is abig lost of revenues which could create new samll ,medium businesses ,job.

Morever,Waht the ogvernemnt should do instead of building new hotels ,is think of ways to develop an OFF_ SEASON toursm which will provide a longer season for the indsutry thna only four months a year which will be beneficil for both th industry and economy.For the long 6 8 months of low season is hard for the indsutry that opperate at about one quater occupancy.

Where to get the tourists during low-season-WEll from Australia/Neuseeland who at the same time have their holiday and winter.tHEY TRAVEL A L.OT (6.8 MUILLION ANNUALLY)--TO bALI,mALDIVES,s;AFRICA BUT NOT TO OUR SHORES BECUASE WE HAVE NOT EXPLOIT THIS POTENTIAL mARKET.

The arrival percentage wonot be that of the high season but that is good so, for it would allow both environemnt and host communities to recover from the high peak.

Jeanne D'Arc

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