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22 February

Mentors committee for Shannon College graduates holds second general meeting to review progress and chart way forward

The Seychelles Tourism Academy’s mentors’ committee for Shannon College graduates organised its second general meeting on Friday December 15, 2017.

The mentors committee chaired by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, ensures the wellbeing of the graduates upon completion of their studies at the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.

The committee, which is also made up of general managers and human resource managers of the hotels where the graduates are employed, also ensures that there is a good mentoring programme in place, to encourage them to continue working in the tourism industry.

The meeting held at the Seychelles Tourism Academy at La Misère, was also attended by the Minister for Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, Myriam Télémaque, Principal Secretary for Employment Jules Baker, Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert, as well as the Principal Scholarship Officer at the Agency for National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) Amanda Denis, and the graduates.

The Chairperson of the mentors committee, PS Anne Lafortune, highlighted work done so far in 2017. This includes the updating of the graduates’ list and close monitoring of their progress.

Mrs Lafortune announced that a new progress report format will be used as of next year, to better record information about the graduates. Constant follow-ups with the hotels to obtain details of their training and succession plans is also envisioned to improve the mentoring process. PS Lafortune also appealed to the graduates to work in close collaboration with the committee, providing relevant information as and when needed.

The Seychellois graduates were also given the opportunity to voice out their concerns, and give their views on pertinent issues.

One of the main issues raised was the fact that they are limited to working in the operations department and not so much involved in the administration aspect of the hotels, but it was clarified that this was clearly explained in their bonding agreement. The ANHRD announced that it is working closely with the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management department at the STA, to ensure that students are informed on the conditions of the bonding agreements while they are still studying.

Whether or not the graduates can benefit from international work experience within their four-year bonding timeframe, lack of feedback from their managers, was among other concerns raised. The mentors’ committee welcomed the idea that graduates can be given international exposure working in an international branch of their respective hotels, but that this should be communicated to the ANHRD if the placement happens during the four-year duration of their bonding.

The meeting ended with a buffet dinner prepared and served by Year 1 and Year 3 students enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management course, who are also aspiring to pursue their studies in Ireland and come back to join the Seychelles’ tourism industry.

The hospitality management courses offered by Seychelles Tourism Academy, was launched in 2008, and the first cohort of students was enrolled the next year. The course entails three years of study at the STA for an advanced diploma in hospitality management, after which the students move to Ireland for one year to obtain their bachelor's degree.

 

Seychelles Tourism Board presents 2018 strategies at its annual end of year marketing meeting

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s end of year marketing meeting for 2017 was held on Monday December 18, 2017, at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, the Deputy Chief Executive, Jenifer Sinon, managers of the various tourism offices abroad, staff of the STB, as well as tourism trade partners.

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Seychelles Tourism Board partners with South African Tourism and Giltedge Ocean Islands in hosting FAM trip for luxury USA travel agents

In the last week of November 2017, the Seychelles Tourism Board in collaboration with South African Tourism and Giltedge Ocean Islands, co-hosted a familiarisation trip for 30 high-end North American travel agents to Seychelles, as part of a strategy to boost travel to the islands from the North American market.

Giltedge Ocean Islands forms part of the award-winning Giltedge Group focusing on luxury island holidays to the Indian Ocean.

Organisers of the trip, the first of its kind from North America, partnered with Mahé Island’s Maia Luxury Resort, Constance Ephelia, Hilton Northolme and Silhouette Island’s Hilton Labriz to give the visiting agents a varied taste of what their clients can expect from a luxury Seychelles holiday. Ground handling of the group was by courtesy of Mason’s Travel.

Those agents participating in the trip who came from all over the USA and had never visited Seychelles before, were selected on the basis of an intense vetting process. Their itinerary featured a one-night stay at each resort inclusive of a site inspection of the resort as well as a chance to enjoy the facilities of each hotel such as yoga sessions or spa treatments.

Each night, the group attended a hosted dinner, before which they listened to a presentation by the Seychelles’ Tourism Board’s senior consultant, Glynn Burridge, on the history of the Seychelles islands and an overview of their chief attributes. This was followed by a profile of Giltedge Ocean Islands by Lylie Moolman, general manager of the company.

Giltedge Ocean Islands is a travel business focused on offering clients luxury travel and the opportunity to experience the world’s most pristine island destinations. It is made up of a team of passionate travel experts who pride themselves on their outstanding destination knowledge and high levels of personalised service.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, who was present at the airport for the group’s departure, said: “The Tourism Board, in conjunction with our partners is very pleased to have this wonderful opportunity to welcome this group of travel agents from North America to our shores to show them the wonders of our islands: the world-famous natural beauty, grand diversity and exceptional tourism offerings.”

“I am convinced that, today, with our great airlift to all four corners of the planet, that the discerning North American traveller will find our islands very appealing for the tranquillity, diversity and security they offer,” Mrs Francis added.

The agents themselves were well pleased with their trip, passing such comments as: “The best FAM trip I have ever experienced having been being in travel since 1981”; “really well-organized and beautiful hotels” and “best partner trip we have done.”

AIR SEYCHELLES ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF REMCO ALTHUIS AS INTERIM CEO

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today 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.

 He has also held senior management positions at Air France-KLM and KLM during an aviation career spanning more than 20 years.

 Board members of both stakeholders, the Government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways, have welcomed Mr Althuis’ appointment.

 Jean Weeling-Lee, Chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “Remco is a highly talented executive with a wealth of experience in aviation and a proven track record in leadership roles. His extensive skillset will be crucial to ensuring that Air Seychelles continues to develop in ways that achieve our commercial objective of sustainable profitability.

 “I would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Roy Kinnear, who has made an enormous contribution in developing the business. We wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”

Mr Althuis said: “I am honoured and delighted to join Air Seychelles, and with the support of the shareholders, look forward to driving the strategic development of the business. Like all airlines in the commercial aviation industry, we continue to face significant challenges. However, I am confident that together with the Air Seychelles workforce, we’ll continue to enhance the business and spread the Creole spirit.”

 Mr Althuis started his career at KLM where he worked across various functions including sales and distribution, revenue management, marketing and e-commerce.

 He joined Etihad Airways in 2012 as General Manager for China, overseeing the expansion of the airline’s route network in the region and driving revenue growth in Greater China, before moving up to the Regional General Manager Europe position.

 Mr Althuis holds an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

Tourism Minister visits AIDA Aura belonging to the latest cruise brand to include Seychelles on its itinerary

The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, visited AIDA Aura, one of two cruise ships docked in Port Victoria on Tuesday December 19, 2017.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, and the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Colonel André Ciseau.

AIDA Cruises is one of eleven brands operated by the Carnival Group – one of the world’s largest cruise lines.

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World Spa Awards 2017 winners revealed: 'Kempinski The Spa' named Seychelles’ Best Resort Spa

Kempinski The Spa of Kempinski Seychelles Resort has been named Seychelles’ Best Resort Spa at the 3rd annual World Spa Awards.

The World Spa Awards 2017 Gala Ceremony was held on December 10, 2017, at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam.

The event was attended by hundreds of spa, hospitality and tourism leaders from around the globe.

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