SHTA hopes for more talks with government


Mr D’Offay, re-elected chairman of the SHTAPraslin hotelier Louis D’Offay remains chairman, while Daniella Payet-Alis is vice-chairperson. Jean-Paul Barallon is the new treasurer and Mathieu De Tonne, secretary. Twelve other members representing various tourism sectors, such as small hotels, home grown establishments and foreign-owned five-star hotels, boating, car hire and other related activities will each be allocated their portfolio on the new board.

Mr D’Offay said the main objective of the SHTA is to seek more consultations with the ministries of Finance, Health and Industry.

He said that the SHTA was consulted in drawing up the tourism master plan, but was left in the dark in other instances, such as when Air Seychelles was halting all direct flights from Europe.
“Even our two members on the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) learned of what was happening from the press,” he said.

Mr D’Offay said because there are no more direct flights, Seychelles has lost 20% of the tourism market from France and 12% from Italy.

Responding to a question, Mr D’Offay admitted that some destinations, such as the Maldives, have been fairly successful with hardly any direct air services.  He however insisted that for Seychelles, direct flights from Europe was a “plus” and constituted an advantage in Seychelles’ tourism marketing strategy.

He said representations made so far to the Middle East airlines have shown they are not interested in establishing direct flights between Europe and Seychelles, while European carriers contacted are just not interested to make Seychelles more accessible.

Mr D’Offay said that faced with such situation, the SHTA is compelled to negotiate with existing airlines and indirect flights. 

He said the association is calling on them to give foreign tour operators selling Seychelles an allocation they can operate upon. 

“This is what the hotel members of the SHTA do to ease the marketing of Seychelles,” he said.

On the Seychelles brand, which is meant to be the marketing tool of the STB, Mr D’Offay said too many hotels are losing the Creole touch. He said many of them have a high ratio of expatriate workers which make it difficult to sell the Creole feel.

Mr D’Offay said that Creole cultural performances are too few and far between.

“True, we have the Creole Festival. But, beyond that, there is no continuity,” he said.