It is now 8 months of extensive construction work of the first phase of the new purpose-built Seychelles Tourism Academy at La Misère on the island of Mahe. The works is going on as scheduled by Yangtze Construction Company, which was awarded the contract to undertake the two-phase development for a new Tourism Academy.
As work progresses, the Seychelles Tourism Academy invited media representatives to witness first-hand the groundbreaking work being done. The site tour was conducted by Mr. Peter Moncherry, General Manager at the Seychelles Tourism Academy, and by Mr. Frankie Petrousse, from Intrepid Consultancy, who is overseeing the smooth running of the project.
Ola Akainlabi, the Yangze Contract Manager who was also present at the site visit, noted that work done so far is satisfactory. “Work on the construction site is going smoothly even though at the beginning there was some unforeseen ground work, which required us to work overtime to remove heavy boulders on site,” he said. “However, we are still on schedule, and hopefully this will be completed as stipulated in the contract,” he added.
The first phase – a double-storey building – will consist of 15 classrooms on each floor, and each class with a capacity for 30 students. It will also have a library and a language laboratory, which will teach students various languages. Students following the three-year hotel management course will also have their own facilities.
The second phase, which will be in a triple-storey structure, will consist of the administrative offices, a meeting room capable of hosting private functions, a spa, a demonstrative kitchen, and 30-room hotel and villa. The second phase will also consist of a dormitory to accommodate overseas tourism students.
“Once the works are completed, we shall have a state-of-the-art tourism academy that will be able to take up about 1,000 students, equipped with modern facilities that will enable them to better practice and study in a conducive environment,” Mr. Moncherry said when interviewed by the media.
“The new Seychelles Tourism Academy will also attract overseas students, which will definitely be an extra means of income for the academy,” Mr. Moncherry explained, when asked about the repayment of the loan.
The Seychelles Tourism Academy is financed by a loan from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) as well as by the government of Seychelles.
The Tourism Academy is the responsibility of the Seychelles Tourism Board, which is part of the portfolio of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. “We are proud to be constructing a purpose-built Tourism Academy. We believe in the industry that remains the pillar of our country’s economy, and it is important for us to continue to provide for it to ensure we consolidate that industry for the long term, training of our school leavers so that they can embark properly in the country’s main industry. This is important, because it is our responsibility to open the doors for more and more Seychellois to join the tourism industry; this is a sure way for Seychellois to defend their industry for the longer term,” Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture said.