Seychelles Tourism Board unveils tourism pioneers, recognise remarkable contributors, at the annual Tourism Ball

The Seychelles Tourism Board hosted the annual Tourism Ball organised as part of Tourism Week, bringing together representatives from various sectors of the tourism industry.

The Tourism Ball provides an opportunity for stakeholders in the industry to network and socialize in a more relaxed atmosphere.

This year’s tropical themed ball was held at the Eden Bleu hotel on Saturday September 30.

In his address, the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said there is much to ponder upon as the country looks set to achieve a new record in terms of visitor arrivals and its corresponding expenditure. He noted that this is indeed testament of the hard work by all actors in the industry to ensure that the product and services are everything that they can be in this very competitive arena.

“I salute you because without your commitment we would not be talking about records and we at the Ministry and the Seychelles Tourism Board look forward to another year of working together and contributing towards the continued success of the industry,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.

“At the same time, we must not lose sight of the challenges we face in this industry and must do all in our power to maintain the high standards that today’s visitor expects and protect our USPs which are the reasons that people come to visit Seychelles and not another destination,” he added.

For her part, the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis emphasized on the need for more value added products to complement the visitor arrival numbers.

“We need to encourage more of our people to be innovative and to come up with products and services that will provide to our guests a unique experience and a reason for them to visit Seychelles again. This is very much needed if we are to remain relevant in today’s tourism world. You will all agree that today’s tourists want experience, experience and experience and I cannot over emphasise on that,” said Mrs Francis.

In line with Mrs Francis’ call for more innovative products, one small Seychellois entrepreneur who is helping to bring such added experience through her services offered to visitors to the Seychelles shores was presented with a certificate of recognition.

Mrs Geralda Payet was recognised for having created a business opportunity that is helping to showcase the Seychellois culture and heritage. Mrs Payet’s Heritage and Cultural Education Services (HCES) launched only one year ago has been getting good commendation.

A certificate of recognition was also presented to the General Manager of the Sainte Anne Resort & Spa, Mr. Youssef Sabri, on behalf of Becahcomber Resort & Hotels – a hotel brand that has been in Seychelles more than ten years. It was among the first 5 star properties established in the Seychelles, at a time when the country was welcoming investments from many international hotel brands, but with the closure of its signature resort this year, sadly Seychelles also witnessed the departure of this brand from its shores.

The former minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr Alain St Ange, also received a certificate of recognition for the contribution he has made while leading this primary sector of the economy and also for his continued contribution towards the betterment of this industry.

The certificates were presented by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, Mrs Francis and Minister Loustau-Lalanne, respectively.

Also at this year’s Tourism Ball, the names of eight tourism pioneers -- Sir James Mancham, Mr Louis D’Offay, Mrs Maryse Eichler, Mrs Zita Monthy, Mr Adrien Michel, Mr John de Matta Mascarenhas, Mr Richard Mancham and Mrs Raymonde Delorie -- were also unveiled in a video.

Family members of Sir James Mancham, Mr D’Offay, Mrs Eichler and Mrs Monthy were presented with a certificate recognising them as tourism pioneers and all of the eight names will now be featured at the Tourism Pioneers Park.

The park located next to the Seychelles Tourism Academy at La Misere has been designated to honour and recognise individuals who have served the tourism industry with passion and have played a pivotal role in strengthening this industry which is today the pillar of our economy. The park was opened on September 26, 2015, by the former president James Michel and the first eight pioneers were unveiled on September 27, 2016. The honouring of individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry will now feature as an annual activity as part of Tourism Week.

This year’s Tourism Ball proceeded with a buffet dinner, after which guests danced the night away. Exciting prizes were also up for grabs in a raffle draw.

Tourism Ball 2017