Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – December 24, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Christmas time is that most wonderful time of the year when family and friends rally. I am indeed lucky to have a loving family. I returned from Brisbane, Australia, with my wife, Ginette, only on Thursday after spending quality time with my eldest daughter, Christine, and Steve, her fiancée. Tomorrow for Christmas Day, we shall be joined by our second daughter, Michelle, and her husband, Ameer.
Christmas is all about family, and we are lucky to have close family and many good and sincere friends. This year, both the St.Ange and Michel families are here in force, and this strengthens even more the joyful spirit of Christmas.
As we celebrate Christmas we must also reflect on our country to ensure we remain united as one. Each and every citizen owes it to their fellow man, woman and child to treat others with utmost respect, to entertain differing religious beliefs or political ideals with tolerance, and to do their part to make our island home safer, more sustainable, and more prosperous for future generations to come.
This takes us to the quote for this week which is by President John F. Kennedy of the USA.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”- John F. Kennedy.
Kaisar Hamid took that quote and expanded on it by saying, “You are blessed with everything. You have a brain, you are fit, you have support, you have guts. So what are you waiting for? The world needs you badly. The nation needs you badly. Your family needs your support. Your society needs your contribution. People expect your company. If it is not us then who would take the responsibility to make a change in society? If it is not us then who would contribute for the nation? If it is not us then who would make this world a better place for living? When you are ready to go, go with all your heart. When you are set to go, go with full swing. It is high time, you should show your class. Starts from today, even now. Every single moment matters.”
Seychelles’ beaches of Praslin and La Digue, the Anse Lazio and Anse Source D’argent beaches, are again listed in the World’s Top 50 Best Beaches. This is another great accolade for Seychelles, today a leader in the work for the Blue Economy & Sustainable Development concept, where many talented professionals dedicate time and effort in the James Michel Foundation of Seychelles. The good news this week that Nirmal Shah has been named Global Goodwill Ambassador, recognising his work as a respected conservationist and for his fight against plastic pollution in marine ecosystem, is also confirming the hard work by Seychellois who strive for a sustainable future. Congratulations to Dr Nirmal Shah. You make Seychelles proud.
On its part Air Seychelles, the National Airline of our mid-ocean islands, has announced the appointment of Remco Althuis as its Interim Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Roy Kinnear. Mr Althuis joins the carrier from Etihad Airways, where he held the position of Regional General Manager Europe, with responsibility for the airline’s commercial activities in 17 European markets. The Saint Ange Tourism Report says welcome to Mr Althuis and takes this opportunity to wish him success as the head of Air Seychelles at that crucial time of streamlining, coupled with the announced staff redundancies which came at the most difficult time for the dedicated and committed staff flying the Seychelles Creole Spirit for the country`s National Airline.
AIDA Cruise Ship entered Port Victoria for the first time this week. No one should forget the work done by the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, our Regional Body that worked tirelessly for the last couple of years on the consolidation of Cruise Tourism. Marketing Funds were dedicated by the organisation to Cruise Tourism and today the Region as a whole is seeing new Cruise Ships and the extension of time in Ports by the visiting ships. They worked side by side with the Regional Ports Organisation (APIOI), the Indian Ocean Commission (COI), the Ports Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) and the Indian Ocean Rim (IORA), and we are now reaping the benefit of all the hard work.
The WEI Hospitality Group were in Seychelles this week looking at an upmarket hotel complex in the islands. Ms Meijuan Chen & Dr Ziyad Zaidan were in Seychelles and toured both Praslin and Mahe looking at possibilities for a straight out purchase, a management contract or even a partnership.
Seychelles has been after tapping into the Chinese Tourism Market, and the interest now by the WEI Hospitality Group is indeed good news for the tourism industry and for airlines connecting us to China.
Seychelles has announced that it is relaunching the Regatta where known international sailors will be in Seychelles for the yacht race between our islands that were conceived with sailors in mind, as Glynn Burridge of the Tourism Board would fondly say. Events that attract World Press to our shores is a good thing for the tourism industry of Seychelles as it increases the visibility of the destination. James Mancham used a festival in 1972 when he was responsible for tourism and needed to create a buzz for the islands and its new International Airport. Over the years, it is the World of Events that has helped propel Seychelles into the International Arena as a relevant Tourism Destination.
Finally, I will not stop to throw stones at every barking dog because this will just delay me getting to my destination, and as was said in a previous editorial:- “When people throw you stones it’s because you are a good tree full of fruits. they see a lot of harvest in you. Don’t go down to their level by throwing them back the stones, but throw them your FRUITS so the seeds of yourself may inspire them to change their ways.” It is important to again today acknowledge all who are diligently re-posting the Saint Ange Tourism Report weekly. Our Report ranges far and wide, from Australia to the Americas, from the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands to Africa & Asian and Greater Europe, with your continued support, which is greatly appreciated. You are helping us to grow from strength to strength with each new Edition.