The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley and his Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Anne Lafortune conducted a hotel visit in the south of Mahé on Friday, June 28, 2019.
The visit was directed in the south; around the region of Baie Lazare, Takamaka and Anse Forbans. The visit featured six hotel establishments, classified as small and medium hotels (containing between four to 32 rooms).
It started at the 32- roomed Val Mer Resort Hotel, followed by the Green Blue Beach House and Li-Al-Do Maison in Baie Lazare.
In the region of Takamaka, the delegation visited Villa Baptista Beach Bungalows, alongside Anse Takamaka View and the official call ended in Anse Forban at Chalets D’Anse Forbans.
During his interaction with the hoteliers, Minister Dogley reiterated his satisfaction to have an opportunity to meet the private sector on a regular basis. He mentioned that these occasions allow him to interact with hotel owners and directors, to discuss a broad range of issues. He also said it encourages them to work harder at making Seychelles the number one holiday destination in the region, with regards to services offered.
Minister Dogley further mentioned his interest to see small hotel establishments continue to grow and prosper as he continues to explain that they are key contributors to the local economy.
“It is heart-warming to learn that most of the hotel establishments have done well during the first half of 2019. However, there is a clear need for the relevant agencies to redouble their efforts and tackle the issues that are impacting negatively not only on our tourism industry, but on our society. We within the Ministry responsible for tourism will play our part further by ensuring that real tangible progress is made in the right direction,” said Minister Dogley.
Throughout all the meetings, recurring themes have been features such as the access to labour, the social skills affecting the country as a whole and the need to reduce the amount of VAT, which small establishments have to pay.
For their part, the hoteliers highlighted their satisfaction about their occupancy rate and challenges faced by the industry. They mentioned the quality of services operating cost in Seychelles, hiring, and maintaining local labour.
At the different establishments, Minister Dogley and Mrs. Lafortune also seized the moment to promote the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) and inspire the hoteliers to join the ecological movement. They did this by making their respective brand one that is associated with sustainable tourism, as well as empowering their staff.