Seychelles boat charter owners and skippers were received by Alain St.Ange, the island’s Minister for Tourism and Culture, to discuss what they considered as challenges in their ability to provide a good service to their clients.
In the presence of Dr. R.V. Ramadoss, the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce&Industries, the boat owners and their skippers presented a list of different points they were appealing the Minister to intervene on their behalf to see resolved. They wanted to see access on some islands for fly-fishing excursions and for the negotiations to take place for them to land on private and government-owned islands.
A spokesperson for the group said that “Seychelles depends on tourism, and all players concerned should find a ground of consensus to accommodate their needs and to work together.”
Minister Alain St.Ange said that he had taken note of their challenges and that he would discuss them with the authorities concerned on the points raised.
“It was important for me as the Minister responsible for Tourism to meet with the boat owners and their skippers so as to better understand what they see as challenges they are today faced with. The reason I had accepted to meet with them is because boat charters and cruise ships remain an important component of our tourism industry. The issues raised during the meeting do not directly touch the tourism portfolio but more that of the Ministries of Environment and Transport, but it is one government, and we all need to be supportive and to know how to update each other on matters that could help our country to continue to move forward. I will personally table their concerns to the relevant ministers and to the owners and managers of the islands mentioned,” Minister St.Ange said.
The association also addressed the need for the School of Maritime studies to work closely with the Seychelles Tourism Academy for service delivery training. Members of the Association said that boat charters and cruise liners are profitable business with clients asking value for money. According to the association, students from the School of Maritime studies should be trained in service delivery and translated these skills in their field of work.
Minister Alain St.Ange has undertaken to hold a follow-up meeting as soon as he has had the opportunity of discussing the challenges raised at the meeting.