Mr. Barry Faure, Secretary of State in the President’s Office, led the delegation to La Digue to meet the island’s hoteliers. His delegation was comprised of Mr. Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board; Senior Police Officers Mr. Ted Barbe and Mr. Jean Paul Quatre; Ms. Jenifer Sinon, the CEO of the SHTA; and Ms. Selma Magnan from the Tourism Board’s Trade&Visitor Services Department and the Officer in Charge of the La Digue Police Station.
The La Digue meeting, which was held at Chez Marston Hotel&Restaurant, was opened by Mrs. Monica Figaro, the Chairman of the La Digue Development Board who welcomed the official delegation to La Digue and said that this meeting was timely as the La Digue business community wanted to seek the government’s commitment with matters they felt could hurt their island’s tourism industry if not attended to.
“Let us deal with the ongoing problems of petty theft, the spread of drugs and its related problems, and the efficiency of the island’s police,” the La Digue island’s hoteliers, who spoke at the meeting said.
Mr. Barry Faure thanked the La Digue hoteliers for their initiative to call the meeting. “We have come today and we listened to you. All the points raised have been heard, and we promise to be back in the next six to eight weeks for a follow-up meeting where we hope to be able to update La Digue on what has been done since this meeting to solve the problems they have raised,” Mr. Faure said.
Mr. Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Tourism Board who coordinated the meeting, thanked on his part Mr. Robert Pool and Mr. Gerald Lablache who had been behind the initiative to organize the meeting. “We responded to your call, and today we are here. We congratulate you on this great initiative. La Digue has shown that its hoteliers are all committed to work as a group to protect and to consolidate your island’s tourism industry. We shall stand with you and work with you to solve the challenges you are today facing,” said Mr. Alain St.Ange.
Mr. Ted Barbe, who represented the Commissioner of Police, said that he had noted the concerns of the La Digue hoteliers and that all the points raised on expectations from La Digue would be relayed to the Police Commissioner.
Many speakers at the La Digue meeting also spoke of the need for togetherness and for the need to protect the island’s homely feeling and unique “charm.”