Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde meets SHTA team |27 November 2020
‘Promote our environment through our tourism marketing abroad’
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde has said he will push further for the promotion of our environment through our tourism marketing abroad so that the majority of the people in the communities benefit from the tourists coming to our shores.
Mr Radegonde made the remark in the monthly meeting between the department of tourism and the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) which he attended for the first time. The meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the tourism department’s headquarters, Botanical House, Mont Fleuri.
“All of our efforts to protect and preserve our environment must be more prominent in our tourism marketing as tourists nowadays are looking to spend their holidays in clean places,” said Minister Radegonde.
“I would also like to see that all Seychellois benefit from tourism and for them to benefit, we have to get the tourists to go into the communities. So we have to revamp or create new activities that will get the tourists, apart from staying at their hotels, on the beach or in the sea, to visit our communities and enjoy our way of life through our cultural activities,” Minister Radegonde said, noting that these activities will surely bring cash benefits in the communities, especially in Victoria if the town gets to be livelier after working hours and over the weekends.
With regard to the Seychelles marketing arm, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Minister Radegonde said we have to make sure that our products and services, given to it to market, are of good and high standard.
“It’s pointless spending the millions that we are currently if ultimately the tourists who come here are disappointed. We need to re-look at our dream products that we are selling,” he said, expressing his appreciation to tourism establishments that are offering good and high quality products and services to clients.
He also said that in view of our country’s economic difficulties, STB has to adjust and adapt to new marketing strategies. He stated that his ministry is looking into the possibility of moving some of its foreign based offices in the Seychelles embassies abroad while it would also look into the possibility to close down offices that are not bringing benefits to our country.
He noted that the STB Paris office is now operating in the Seychelles’ Paris-based embassy and is operating well.
With regard to the type of people being attracted to work in the tourism industry, Minister Radegonde said he will look at the sort of training being given at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) when he visits the institution, and also look at the standard and quality of students wishing to join the academy for training to work in the industry.
On a final note, Minister Radegonde offered the nine of 12 SHTA members present his full support. He said his office is open to listening to them and to take their comments and suggestions.
He said that where there is a possibility to change things or the possibility to get government to re-look at certain policies, he will push it forward.
SHTA chairperson Sybil Cardon, who made a summary of SHTA’s work done so far in partnership with government and other stakeholders in light of the current state of the pandemic and financial crisis, later said the association appreciates the minister’s reiteration on promoting our environment in tourism marketing and also on the move to get STB to re-look at its marketing strategy, in terms of its foreign-based offices, in line with the country’s current economic crisis.
Also present to discuss various topics on the agenda was the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune.