The umbrella group for the hospitality and tourism trade in the Seychelles has planned an important meeting for its members and invited guests, which will be held at the International Conference Centre on Friday, January 13, 2012, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Earlier in the day, the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) will convene its Executive Board to discuss not only general business of the association, but present clear objectives and plans for new year 2012 and 2013 as well. The board meeting is to be held in a special setting, with members of the press already alerted and invited to attend, “and will clearly set the tone and communicate a very clear and deliberate message for the nation, our partners overseas, and the industry right here in the Seychelles,” said Mr. Raymond St. Ange, the Executive Director of SHTA. It should be noted that the annual general meeting for the association will be held sometime in March 2012.
“2011 was a critical year for the trade,” said Mr. Raymond St. Ange, “and we acknowledge the hard work of all partners such as the Seychelles Tourism Board, supporting ministries, the tourism and hospitality sector, other private and public sector partners, and all who understood the intensity and fragility of the trade, and with that support enabling the Seychelles to harvest well over 190k visitors year-ending to our shores. President Michel’s vision for the industry was clear, however, on many fronts, [that] a lack of preparedness meant that at times our ‘engine’ was not operating at maximum efficiencies, causing certain frustrations and critical delays, thereby not fully grasping and carrying forward the objectives and visions that the President communicated.”
Mr. St.Ange added: “For 2012, more can and must be done, and our association is adamant in its determination to be fully engaged in the process and lending a critical ear and thought where needed and as is expected by not only our members and the trade in general ,but by government as well.”
Crime, safety, and environmental concerns are once again part of what the association will be actively engaged in on behalf of its members and industry as a whole. To that the end, the Executive Director, in consultation with the association’s board, has initiated a volunteer advisory group that will work closely with Mr. Raymond St. Ange. “We have four persons, one from the legal profession, one from law enforcement (police), the private security field, and hotel industry, that I will work with over the coming months, and which can be used as a resource for our various sub-committees within the association as well, and when we are invited to various meetings by the ministries or the STB to discuss with stakeholders on Praslin or wherever needed. Closure on many outstanding matters of concern will be a prime motivator for us, and when the association approaches a subject, our focus and support will be better directed,” said Mr. Raymond St. Ange. These “advisors” will be mentioned and presented to the membership at the upcoming meeting.
It is understood as well that the association will shortly be coordinating meetings and visits with various officials from supporting ministries, schools, district administrators, members of the National Assembly, and the Tourism Academy, to name but a few. “We need to be out there speaking with the students and our communities, stressing the importance of the industry to as many ears as possible from our view point, one which is fully supportive and engaged. Seychelles has a ‘wow’ factor, this I picked up from a key investor in the Seychelles. However, if we are to rely solely on the natural beauty and charm of our islands without paying attention to the other details, then the industry suffers.”
Mr. Raymond St.Ange was appointed last November 2011 as the SHTA’s Executive Director.