Tourism industry elects new board


The newly elected SHTA board members. Chairman D’Offay is third from left

The election took place at the association’s first executive board meeting following the industry’s annual general meeting at the International Conference Centre on May 30.

Other board members elected for 2009/10 are: vice-chairman Alain St Ange, secretary Daniella Payet-Alis, treasurer Alan Mason and members Freddy Karkaria, Bart Labuschagne, Salvatore Puma, Herve Duboscq, Rick Dooley and Christopher Gill.
The SHTA said in a statement that the tourism industry has made a point of repeating its determination to pursue the working partnership it has with the government.

This partnership has resulted in industry members leading the country’s tourism marketing department and Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA), as well as having a majority representation on the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), it added.
The SHTA said its annual general meeting showed confidence in its board’s performance during 2008/09 by voting in most of the outgoing board members.

Four sub-committees – human resources, marketing, finance and one to look at eco-tourism, environment and public safety matters – have also been set up.

Addressing the audience during the AGM, Mr D’Offay said the board had to deal with a number of issues having a direct impact on the association and the tourism industry.

These included security, the world economic downturn and the private sector’s involvement in national affairs.

He said the future and success of the industry depend heavily on the security of tourists and the general public.
Several measures have been taken to tackle the fall in tourist arrivals, he added.

Mr D’Offay said an important step by the board was to carry out the decision for the industry to take a lead in the tourism field.

He thanked the government for its continuing support and called on members and the business community at large to make an effort to help market Seychelles as a destination.

Also addressing the audience was Roman Kopachek, vice-chairman of the STA board, who talked about the private sector’s role in the academy.

Mr St Ange spoke about new steps taken in the tourism industry, such as setting up the news bureau at the STB and the launch of the Affordable Seychelles campaign.

He also talked about the new port bazaar that will be held when cruise ships are in Port Victoria and another one every Friday from the end of this month to help liven up the town centre.

Mr D’Offay also mentioned the impact of the goods and services tax on tourism, which has resulted in a big increase in the prices of hotel services and products.

He said the association needs to be represented on other boards, sectors and committees linked with tourism so key decisions can be made regarding the industry.

It is important for people working in hotels to learn and to upgrade their standards so as to provide the quality of service that visitors expect, he added, since there is fierce competition between hotels in the region.

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