Thursday, May 20, 2010


Open letter from the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association
Here we share a letter that was sent to the members of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association by its chairman, Mr. Louis D’Offay:

This issue of our industry's e-News is the final one before the annual general meeting of our association. I start by taking this opportunity to thank everyone for their support for our industry's board during their year of office. Our united effort has paid dividends and today we are, not only the respected body representing the industry, but we are becoming the government's partner in the continued consolidation of our industry.

It is that new-found cooperation and understanding between the government as the facilitator, and the private sector as the economy's motor, that will make the real difference for our industry and in so doing for Seychelles.

Together we must now rally our individual efforts for our common good. We have, as an industry, managed to hold our visitor arrival numbers, but we now need to be united in our drive to better our yield. Many ideas are being floated, but this will need to be a united drive. Our "one island, one hotel partners" serviced by Air Seychelles are complaining about the recent increases in the airline's charter rates to connect these islands to Mahe. These islands are an integral part of our country's tourism infrastructure and as your association's representatives, we have taken the matter up with the minister of finance. Air Seychelles and its board of directors are looking at themselves as a commercial entity, and they decide their own path for the future, but Seychelles also needs to protect its main industry and enable that industry to develop and prosper. Today, it has become evident that the survival of the national airline and the consolidation of different other commercial entities will need to be looked at together. If the time has arrived for opening the airspace for the connecting of our islands, then so be it, and we need to be brave enough to do so. This will encourage local businesses to get together to open a second domestic airline, and as a result, both the Seychellois and our tourism industry will benefit.

The drive for us to open new tourism markets was seen as necessary when the "European ash crisis" closed all the European airports. La Reunion, India, China, South Korea, East & South Africa are all markets we have, as an industry, been working hard to open and to develop further, and this with the support of the government. The week-on-week statistical figures have shown that our country's arrival numbers have held during the week's disruption caused by the "Ash Crisis," because we had arrivals from other countries outside of Europe. Our strategy as an industry is working, and it is such a broad view of our industry that will make the real difference for our country. This is why we also need to open up to the world with more air access from or to areas that Air Seychelles is not flying.

The Seychelles Tourism Industry is disappointed that the SCAA have decided to block Emirates Airlines from introducing their 7th flight to Seychelles, because that latest flight would clash with the arrival time of an Air Seychelles flight from Mauritius. Can our country really afford to miss the opportunity of being advertised with daily landings by Emirates at 7:00 am, and this flying in from anywhere in the world? Yes, Air Seychelles was using that slot before, but what is in the interest of the country as a whole, what is in the interest of the tourism industry as a whole, and what will bring in more benefits to the Seychellois as a whole?

Seychelles may now not have the daily Emirates Airline landing in Seychelles, because we want them to land in the afternoon on that one day, and in so doing force our visitors (tourists coming to holiday in Seychelles) to sit in Dubai airport for some five hours while in transit. We appeal to Mr. Gilbert Faure of the SCAA, and to Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the chairman of both the SCAA and of the STB to look beyond the file on our desk and to look at the economy of the country. Let us urgently review that decision that will seriously hamper our country's new-found tourism drive. The decision is yours and the effects will also be from your hands... because we will not be able to ask why other destinations are zooming ahead while we are stuck with our 150,000 arrival numbers!!!

I am ending this message by encouraging every tourism and hospitality industry member to make a special effort to be present at our AGM in May. Come and listen to where we are and what is still outstanding from our "to do list."

Much has been achieved over the past year, however, there is still more to be done; our demand for the industry to be represented on key board, i.e., Planning Authority, Praslin & La Digue Development Boards, the Management Boards of our USPs - SIF for Vallee de Mai & Aldabra, Botanical Gardens, and Marine National Parks is still outstanding. Our country is too small to have such key bodies operate with no input from the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy. It is our hope that we will succeed this year in convincing government such requests are for the good of Seychelles.

Thank you to President James Michel and to his government for their trust in our industry and in our association, thank you to all our industry's members for their continued support and friendship, thank you to all the SHTA board members for your loyalty and support, thank you to the tourism industry at large for the spirit of togetherness that is so apparent and which is so encouraging.


Anonymous said...

I'm almost totally agreed with Mr D'offay but differ on one point .

Michel doesn't deserved to be praised,since he has been at the head of this country, his laisser faire style of govern has result into the shit we are today.

He might have supported you orally for the hard work you have been doing so far but in practice it is all the contary .PP has destroyed our Tourism industry by their hit and miss policy ,they don't have the solution to our problems.
We need actions not words from PP.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

I’ve been absent for a while on the blog, but rest assured I have read all the previous articles and comments, and will soon be making my own on a few.

An interesting letter, that although says there is some progress in tourism, there is still much more that needs to be done.

My comments:

We cannot just simply rely on weekly stats or the end of year figures saying we received approx 130K visitors. This type of information is misleading and very easy to manipulate (inclusion of cruise ship, transit pax, businessmen etc..). We need a better management information system in place.

The opening of a second domestic fleet would greatly improve service, competition and revenue for the country- not to mention aid with employment shortfall we are experiencing. The question that needs to be asked though is, who will provide this service? I for one, would not like more of our hard earned money that has been stolen from us, to be used to start another business, to get the magnificent 15 (as you guys have said that there is a top 15 list of cronies) even richer. There needs to be a proper and transparent process.

The Ash Crisis has opened the eyes of everyone. Our tourism industry and our tourism board needs to ensure that we do not have all our eggs in one basket. I have notice efforts to try and tap into other market segments which is good. The importance now is to maintain this effort. We must become competitive and also realize that we are not the only islands in the world with beautiful beaches. What can we do to make us different?

I am not too convinced that the blocking of EK was because of time slots, as HM with a limited number of destinations and planes, could have made slight adjustments to their local slot on that day by maybe 10-30mins and then make up for it later during their schedule. I would be more inclined to believe that the SCAA is protecting the local carrier. If they provide an additional flight to EK, the Qatar Airways would ask for more and so would Etihad. At the same time, one has to remember that EK has a large stock pile of new planes which they are trying to deploy, in the aftermath of the world recession. So it does not necessarily mean that they are making money on the route. Basically, the solution is not so clear-cut.

I also do not believe that a 5 hour delay in one of the nicest airports in the world would “seriously hamper our country’s new found tourism drive”. If that is the case, then we are seriously lacking real concrete plans and ideas on how to move tourism ahead. There needs to be more meat to the bone!

I agree that the SHTA needs to be on these boards 100%. Where is the mechanism to ensure synergy and the overall tourism strategy/policy for the country? As a small country and exclusive destination, we need to work together. We need professionals and we need to have the right perspective.

I also agree with J D’Arc in that JAM has been around for ages and has contributed to the hole the tourism establishment is trying to climb out of today.

I acknowledge Mr. D’Offay’s professionalism, sincere efforts and respect him as a successful individual, and would still identify the government, that is essential to be partnered with in this case, as the root of the problem.

As humans we try to be professionals, mature and positive thinking, but let’s be honest. One in principle, should not align oneself with individuals who try to harm you with their right hand today, and then shake your hands with their left hand tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Dóffay is not aligning himself with a hand that is the cause of the problems.

He is facing the Government, trying to be as civila s possible in the interest of the Trade.

For that, everyone owes him due gratitude for all his hard work.

It has not been easy for Mr. Dóffay and his team, but they work for free, and volunteer their time. This volunteerism is what Seychelles needs today.

I salaute Mr. Dóffay, but I also use the same line, to ask Mr. Michel to do at least one thing: "take politics our of Tourism", let the trade make it a success.

Christopher Gill

Anonymous said...

Mr Gill,

in one of your posts You claim 5000 hits on your site in the last week. Your hitmeter link though shows otherwise. I Think you are claiming a few thousand more than actual. Who are you trying to fool

Anonymous said...

Even the past month does not add up to 5000

Anonymous said...

I reply-

The numbers are approaching 5000 per month. I believe the views are about 45,000 approaching 50,000. Sometimes up to 2,800 or 3,000 roughly per week.

But I am sure Regar prints 1,200 a week when not on holiday.

Christopher Gill

Anonymous said...

WWW sitemeter do you want to make a point or you're just having endless nightmares due to MRS success.You know what Sitemeter this is just a warning there is more to come,be psychologically prepared for it ,cause no one can stop MSR.

Jeanne D'Arc

Seselwa4Ever said...

Tourism has been dormant ever since SPPF took over this country. Its such a shame as we have some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, landscape and people. with a population of 85,000 and abundant sources of fish, beach, good weather I simply cannot understand why people beleive that under SPPF we have achieved many things. They have failed us. With such a small population and abundant natural resources...Seychelles should have been on another level of development. Corruption, uneducated individuals in high places, mismanagement is the cause of all our problem. Get SPPF out of power and we shall see a new begining and many great things happening here.

Anonymous said...

Picking up on B's point about 5 hours transit in Dubai. That is not the issue at all here. The question is what real reason has the "SCAA" got to refuse the slot time requested by Emirates for a 7th daily flight to Seychelles? Because there is an Air Seychelles flight arriving at roughly the same time on Thursday mornings carrying Mauritians on to London on the same aircraft that will be serviced and flown on to London a couple of hours later??? Then how come there is no slot problem on other days like Tuesdays and Sundays when there are several flights arriving one after another from points in Europe, Dubai, and Doha at roughly the same times in the early morning??? There is no slot time problem then? Come SCAA! You have become like the proverbial "dog" being wagged by the proverbial "tail"!!!! Come on Gilbert Faure: be a man. Stand up to Lalande and Savy and do the right thing. It's time you are remembered for doing something after 15 years. Otherwise you will be remembered as a follower and a front. The tourism industry and the Seychelles economy need a strong, capable and independent aviation authority not a rubber stamp agency.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gill

The point was not to compare your popularity with Regar. The point was to show how you lie about certain facts that you publish.. Besides comparing it to the number of copies Regar sells is like comparing apples and Oranges.

However If you still want to make a comparison to Regar here goes.

Regar publishes 1200 copies (According to your own assumption. Unfortunately I do not have that information) per issue. Let’s say they sell 1000 copies and each copy is read by an average of 3 people. That is 3000 hits per issue. As you accuse them of publishing when not on holiday lets assume they publish twice a month. That makes 6000 hits a month.

Regar charges for its paper (Yes it costs to publish) anybody can set up a blog free of charge. Charge SCR 5 per month to visit your blog and see how many hits you get then.

Every time someone logs on to Star it registers as a hit. How many of those hits are the same people time and time again.

As another scenario. Consider every article you publish as a publication. How many hits do you have per article. Lets see. Past month 31 articles. Divide 5000 hits you claim to have per article. Makes 161 hits per publication.

Even if Regar was read by only the people that paid for a copy it would be 800+ more people than read your blog

So Mr Gill. What is your point. If you want to compare yourself with Regar. Start a newspaper Sell it for Scr 10.00 and see how many copies you sell per week. That will then be comparing apples and apples.

Anonymous said...

last post 5000 hits per article was suposed to be 5000 hts per month.

i do apologise

Anonymous said...

James Michel, SPPF and SCCA are really a bunch of jokers. Having Emirates flying to Seychelles daily brings more tourists to our country! How can 2 fools like Maurice Lalanne and Gilbert Faure be allowed to make such a stupid mistake that will hurt our tourism industry? Who has given these 2 IDIOTS the mandate to suck up to David Savy and to supposedly protect Air Seychelles?

James Alix Michel, wake up you idiot and do something for your country. You have too many idiots in your Government and they are bringing our country down. Clashing with Air Seychelles time slot? What a joke? Are you telling me that we cannot have 2 or 3 planes arriving at the same time? My God, are we that ignorant? Can't we put politics aside fo one minute and put Seychelles first for a change?

Patrick X said...

How's thios for points?

Points for the black mark book that is. I can't wait for the clarification.

Patrick X

Anonymous said...

First you complain that the government supports foregn company instead of Seselwa owned business.

Then you complain SCAA support seselwa owned Air Seychelles instead of foreign airline.

I think you are already confused.

The Real Patrick X

Anonymous said...

Gilbert Faure, get off your knees.

Stand on your feet.

Seychelles is suffering today, because you stand on your knees in front of David Savy and Maurice llalane.

We will defend you, we will protect you, if you do the right thing.

If you do not, we will toss you in the same sack.

Open the lines for airlines to fly to Seychelles.

Christopher Gill

Anonymous said...

Savy and Gilbert action is just another shot in the dark that would probably grab our Airline in the same grave thatPP grabbed our country's economy.

We cannot allow two individuals alone to destroy one important branch of our tourism industry to favour foreign airlines.

We the Tax payers have for the last thirty-six years injected multi-million of dollars in the company to keep it afloat without gaining anything in return.

Savy and Gilbert have failed to deliver.

We are then calling on Savy and Gilbert to present the unconditional resignation now.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Oh my god.SCAA has a bunch of idiots that needs to be sacked.Faure is just a rubber stamp.marlon Orr needs to be sacked.Each time he needs to do his shopping he bak it up with an you"re telling me that Ek cannot have this slot because of air seychelle?what about one or two minutes of each other?this is what is happening all over the world.plane are landing and take off within minutes of each other.does that mean too much work for Air traffic control and even air seychelles ground.we cannot cope.when we will be able to cope?

Anonymous said...

EK can't have its slot because of Air Seychelles ,but Khalifa can have all the slot round the clock for his ANTONOVS.

Correction of my above statement;I meant "by blocking access to OTHER Airlines".

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

The government should give SHTC more power in managing and decission making of our tourism industry .
We must also pursue a multi-facet approach to tourism which incorporates priorities identified within our Tourism Management Policies and provides a disciplined strategy for managing the industry over the coming years.

Only this way we can start seeing improvement and have a healthy industry.
Likewise,it must also be managed by professional like Mr D'offay,St Ange and other persons with the know-how of how the industry functions.

Jeanne D'Arc

Patrick X said...

The problem here is that Michel and the PL once upon a time gave thei Arab friends slots so they could rule the sky over Seychelles.

This was done so because Air Seychelles' days are on a countdown as the airline will likely be dissolved after the 2011 election. This is all on the agenda and has been for a while now, all to the advantage of Emirates and its daughter companies and allies. After all, Emirates are building a not so little hotel at Port launay and who would bring all those tourists to Mahé? Surely not an Airline who has pictures of a nut resembling a female's pelvic region.

Why Air Seychelles will be dissolved after the election? I'd say about 800 votes + their families would be sufficient reasons to wait till then. Air Seychelles has become a guest in its own airspace and it will get worse. We already have a plane flying to Falklands remember?

James Michel has done the fatal error of a 'zom kouyon': He has given a business partner the key to his house and now the guest has taken over the house, the car and soon his wife.

Patrick X

Parag said...

The Ash crisis has been the biggest eye opener for everyone. The Seychelles tourism industry needs to ensure that they have a back up. The importance now is to maintain this effort.
Seychelles airport

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