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Alain St Ange PEOPLE


PEOPLE Three questions for... 1 Alain St Ange, head of Saint Ange Tourism Report/consultant, Seychelles


What are your core objectives for 2019?


Seychelles is a group


of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean and it remains totally dependent on its tourism industry. To ensure tourism is a pillar of the economy both today and tomorrow, we are continuing to operate a well-planned and fully coordinated PPP (public-private sector partnership) approach. The core objective of this approach


is to encourage islanders to continue claiming back ownership of the tourism industry and ensure they are the main beneficiaries of the good it brings. This means everyone will benefit


from the marketing efforts of the Seychelles tourism board, which promotes the island in every source market to ensure visitors spread out across all the different islands that make up the archipelago. This is a key priority for me in 2019. Diversification is another core aim


for this year, as we seek to attract increasingly different niche markets to the destination. We will always be keen to welcome


our traditional holidaymakers who typically come for the sunshine, sea and the beaches, but there are a number of other markets to target to drive growth. They include culture travellers, scuba diving and snorkelling fanatics, big game fishing fans, bird watchers, bush walkers, sailors and island hoppers – all of whom are discovering the attractions of the Seychelles. Of course, in order to guarantee these objectives are met, we need to continue working to ensure our accommodation network stands out with a mix of international resort brands and locally run hotels offering the bare-foot luxury we have become known for.


2


How does your tourism knowledge help drive route development?


Seychelles has, over the


years, gone the extra mile to make sure each and every Seychellois not only understands tourism and its importance, but also to defend and protect the natural beauty of the 115 islands in the archipelago to ensure the tourists keep coming. In order to ensure the whole world knows about the quality of the Seychelles tourism offering, we have to raise the visibility of the islands and make them a household name for anyone thinking of going abroad. In doing this, we can ensure airlines flying to the region start considering the Seychelles in their future network development plans. We can further strengthen the role we play in driving route development by continuing to promote our open skies approach to working with airlines while being ready to approve fifth freedom rights to operators who want to grow business by twinning two destinations in the one route. This is becoming increasingly


important, as the African Union continues advocating for its own open skies arrangement, although there are a number of changes that still need to be met if we are to drive the continent’s tourism industry to greater heights.


3


What are the best and worst parts of your job?


Tourism is a great industry


to be involved in, but everyone thinks it is a flamboyant job to have and filled with glamour. However, this industry is the one that drives the local economy and that puts a heavy burden on the shoulders of every player involved directly or indirectly in the tourism industry of Seychelles. The job certainly entails long hours and we must constantly put the traveller first in order to give them the best experience possible on arrival. Having said that, tourism is one of those industries that is best delivered with passion, and this not only benefits the travellers but the locals in resort too. If properly managed, tourism changes from being just a job to a proper long-term career for those involved, and the benefits are felt across the islands. To be able to say you are involved in that makes all the difficulties encountered in the job more than worthwhile, but it is quite a responsibility to shoulder.


The Seychelles has an abundance of wildlife including sea turtles


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2019 ISSUE 2 105


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