Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DEFENDING THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
THE MAIN PILLAR OF OUR ECONOMY

Discrimination against tourists
This week we take up the point made by so many tourists (and empathized by many a Seychellois) on the two tier rates for transfers to Praslin by Air Seychelles and by Cat Cocos.

Air Seychelles is charging our visitors more for a fifteen minute flight between Mahe and Praslin than for flights between European cities. We do appreciate the fact that the European airlines do not have a Mauritian CEO on a fat package running their airlines, but they are running it themselves and as such their overhead charges are much less that what Air Seychelles is faced with.

It seems that discrimination is being allowed to flourish in Seychelles. How can a tourism destination allow itself to discriminate against its tourists by charging three or four times the price applicable for us Seychellois? How would we feel if when we landed in Mauritius we were told that a rent a car would cost us four times more or our hotel bill will be multiplied by four because we are not Mauritians? Let us get real here! Killing the goose that lays the golden egg will cost us dearly. The numerous comments received concerning this practice should have alerted the authorities and should have made them realize that something needed to be done.

If that practice is to continue, every Seychellois should then jump on board this gravy train and restaurants should multiply their bills by four for all foreigners, hotels should do the same, taxies should follow suit and then we will all be back to ground zero very fast. We cannot tolerate such a practice by a couple of businesses (Air Seychelles Domestic and Cat Cocos) and punish others. Just imagine how Captain David Savy would react if everyone followed his mercenary practice of bleeding the tourists. If Savy or Joe Albert (Cat Cocos owner) cannot be fair to all their clients, they need to get out of that business as they are tarnishing the Seychelles name overseas!

The question raised by many clients is - What is the FAIR TRADING Body of Seychelles doing about such a rip off practice?
What is President James Michel saying about such a practice? Judge me you say...

Unlicensed Accommodation
Another point that we have been asked to take up is the question on illegal accommodation operating in our country. The Government is fast to clamp down on a small Seychellois renting a room to a foreigner. Many examples have been dealt with extra force and even with vindictive measures, but today classic open cases are being tolerated by the Government. Here one can ask - What has Maurice Lalanne and his bunch of merry men of tourism licensing department been doing when their inefficiency and incompetence has resulted in the recent death of the Mauritian ‘tourist’ Mr. Maurel?

Such a tragedy would never have happened in a licensed tourist establishment because the security norms are in place to guarantee guests’ safety and security. Today the world has heard of this tragic case where the Seychelles Government (through their IDC) has taken money for a hotel stay for an illegal accommodation establishment. Can anyone believe that the Government is itself involved in unlicensed accommodation networks? No money can exchange hands for rental of a room for use by a foreigner unless the establishment is a licensed hotel and has complied with the rules of the country. No insurance company can entertain claims for loss or stolen property from an unlicensed establishment. The same applies for loss of life. Is the case of the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Maurel on Farquhar (ironically a prominent figure in the insurance world in Mauritius with an office in Seychelles) giving enough ground to terminate the employment of Glenny Savy & his island manager as the operator of the illegal establishment? Should Maurice Lalanne, for having turned a blind eye and allowed this practice to exist; Mr. Nalletamby of Licensing for not having acted to have the establishment closed and Peter Moncherry and his whole team of inspectors for having remained silent on the matter be fired? Incongruously, this same bunch happily appeared in court to assist in the forced closure of a licensed hotel- Plantation Club - which resulted it its closure and conspicuous sale without tender to Arab sheiks. Judge me by my action President Michel said. Judge me you say...

Next week we shall be looking at the Duty Free Cars and boats given as concessions to some ‘new investors’ in the hotel sector in a deliberate attempt to taking food out of the mouths of the Seychellois.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need radical change at the helm of our ministry of tourism let alone other minitries.

Belmont has no foggies of ideas of how to manage a simple take-away how can your expect him to manage such an important field of our economy? You don't give a task to someone of which he or she is ignorant of.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Well, as Fisheries and copra have now been discarded as 'useless' financial inlets of the past, apparently now that we are the proud 'owners' of massive oil deposits then we can destroy our tourism industry too. In all the countries i have visited, i have barely felt like a 'tourist'.

Am i not travelled enough maybe?

Maybe.


Zaklen Zoulou
not ZULU Tikor- as that would force me to write Zaklen(creolised name) as Jaquelin. Stupid Tiklor.

Anonymous said...

The Czech applying for Citizenship is running an unlicensed accomodation.

Say something.

Anonymous said...

Czech unlicensed accomodation might compete with Ramkalawan apartments.

No?

Anonymous said...

We oppose the illegal distribution of our passports to foreigners PP,you don^t get it,donkey!

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

TIKOLOR the cantankerous old guy is a fully-fledge PP propagandist,that makes him nothing than a loud-mouthed bully.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Discriminatory pricing for visitors to Seychelles has always been the wrong thing to do. Service providers should instead seek to offer different rates for various commercially viable reasons, such as "peak" and "off-peak" days or hours; public holidays; a festival/event; "last minute purchase" or "standby tickets". Valid point made above about if all tourism service providers decided to price discriminately like Air Seychelles and Cat Cocos. What would that do to our tourism industry and to our reputation as a favourite destination? I would imagine that discriminatory pricing of this nature must be unlawful under the new Fair Trading legislation...???

Seselwa4ever said...

Another mess by SPPF. 3 months ago my good friend who is an EU citizen went to Seychelles for long awaited holiday. She tried to buy a ticket for Catcocos to Praslin and was told it will be 600Euros....yes 600 Euros!!! and they also told her that she has to pay the ticket onboard the ferry. she phoned me and asked me whether this is right. daylight robbery of an innocent tourist. SPPF policies are ALWAYS failures. Discrimination against foreign tourists is totally unacceptable!!! no where in this world except Seychelles this can happen. SPPF OUT!!!

Anonymous said...

it seems KATcoco is more expensive than a flight Kenya-seychelles

Anonymous said...

These are the rates as of today (note that prices are still being quoted in Euros):

4 coco:
One way: Rs 160 - Resident
Rs 690 - Non resident

4 Rose to La Digue:
One way: Rs 50 - Resident
Rs 192 - Non-resident,
Return ticket: Rs 100 - Resident
Rs 320 - Non-Resident

Air Sey: (Mahe-Praslin)
One way: Rs 245 - Resident
$ 116- Non-resident,
Return ticket: Rs 495 - Resident
$ 232 - Non-Resident

Zil Air:
Phoenix flight (Mahe): 15 mins: Euro 330
La digue to Mahe transfer: Euro 961

Anonymous said...

Surely this cannot be lawful under the Fair Trading Act now in force? Any legal person on the blog for an opinion on this???

Anonymous said...

So a return ticket to Praslin a 15 minute ride is almost Rs 2,800 (the same price as a returnt ticket to Mauritius a 2 1/2 hour ride)! Can some one explain why? I was a tourist i would feel riped off!

To Anonymous who refers to Fair Trading Act, as long as Opposition still hide behind laws leksetera lakelera they will stay as they are, don t you know in Seychelles some are more equal than others, and some are above the laws and commisions!

Anonymous said...

Why Ticket to Praslin 15 minutes cost as mcuh as going to Mauritius:

BECAUSE DAVID SAVY IS THE NEPHEW OF GUY ADAM AND PARTNER IN LEMURIA AND EPHELIA. WHEN THEY RAISE THE PRICE OF THE PRASLIN TICKET, THEY CAUSE FRUFAL DOWNTURN VISITORS TO OPT TO STAY AT EPHELIA HOTEL AND NOT GO TO PRASLIN. PRASLIN HOTEL, LA DIGUR HOTELS ARE ALL HURTING FROM THE EXHORBITANT UNFAIR PRICING SCHEME ON AIR SEYCHELLES.

THEY ARE DESTROYING THE INDUSTRY BECAUSE THE PIE HAS NOT GROWN WITH ENTRY OF EPHELIA, IT HAS GOTTEN SMALLER, BUT EPHELIA WITH OVER 330 ROOMS NEEDS A BIGGER PART OF THE PIE TO STAY VIABLE. MICHEL KNOWS THAT. HE ALLOWS THE OTHER PART OF THE INDUSTRY TO DIE OFF BECAUSE HE IS SCARED OF DAVID SAVY AND GUY ADAM. ADAM AND SAVY FAMILY RUN AND OWN SEYCHELLES. MICHEL WORKS FOR THEM.

ONLY SOLUTION IS DAVIS SAVY TO BE FIRED. THEN RATES WILL STABILIZE.

Anonymous said...

I would rather say the only solution is to get PP out of power once we've achieved that,then all its cronies would fall one by one.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Michel screws up Tourism by being a weak leader,

Then he congratulates Mr. Dóffay for his hard work undoing the mess he creates.

Now, Mr. Dóffay has the respect of many Seychellois for his hard work.
This is not an issue.

However, it is important to note, hard work and holding the government accountable for bad work, are not the same thing.

Hard work keeping a ship sinking is indeed hard. Especially when the bilge does not work, and the Captain does not believe the ship is sinking.

I am afraid PP is just working Mr Dóffay and Mr. St.Ange, to death....and congratulating them for the hard work along the way.

Where is the full 100% cooperation?

Where is the frank and earnest talks and openness about our challenges ahead?

If the Trade had full 100% cooperation, from Government, it would not be in the mess it is in today.

INstead, PP protects ICONS like Daivd Savy, Lousteau LLanne, indefinately, though their contributions and relevance is highly questionable to the success of the Trade.

Naill Scully, Deputy Commissioner of Police, blockades the SHTA in protecting its premises. Has retarded the Public Safety program on North Mahe and South Mahe, while in Praslin and La Digue, he has not even turned up for one meeting since becoming Deputy Commissioner.

Crime is down in Praslin, Cote Dór, not because of Naill Scully, but because of the SHTA.

Scully is a waste of money.

The Politeness reminds me of the gentlemen on the Titanic who opted to wear tuxedos, smoke cigars, and drink cognac and continue the small talk, as the great ship went to the deep depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Christopher Gill

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