SHTA’s new board of directors meet tourism minister


Members of SHTA’s new board of directors with Minister St Ange

The tourism industry’s new board of directors requested the meeting just after their election to office a week ago and Minister St Ange said it was important that the meeting was held as the new board started their mandate.

The meeting, held on June 16 at the Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove Hotel, had a preset agenda by the SHTA, which included introduction of the new SHTA board members, the role and recognition of the association, the distinction between the Seychelles Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism, the allocation of the government budget for tourism, the tourism board’s director of marketing position and the impact of the GST/Vat on the tourism industry.

After the opening remarks by SHTA chairman Louis D’Offay, during which he welcomed Minister St Ange and thanked him for meeting the industry’s board of directors at such short notice, the different points of the sgenda were tabled and discussed.
Minister St Ange reaffirmed that the government remained committed to the tourism industry.

“We today have a fully fledged Ministry of Tourism because of the importance of the industry that remains the pillar of our country’s economy. I sat with you as a member of your association for many years and I remain as convinced as I was then to work with the association for the consolidation of the Seychelles tourism industry,” said Minister St Ange.

He also agreed that he will hold a monthly meeting with the chairman of the SHTA to discuss matters pertaining to the industry.

“This will give me and the chairman of the industry’s association a chance to look at challenges being faced by the association and the industry’s stakeholders. As our meeting will be monthly, we shall be able to jointly keep the industry in focus,” said Minister St Ange.

On the question of a marketing director for the tourism board it was resolved that the position is advertised by the association.

“The government has always maintained that this position is filled from recommendations made by the association. It is agreed that the recruitment needs to be done, and the sooner the position is advertised and interviews carried out, the faster we shall have the vacancy filled,” noted the minister.

Other points of the agenda were all tackled one by one. The association was informed on the budget of the ministry and of the tourism board, and Minister St Ange on his part heard the recommendations being made with regard to the existing structure of the Ministry of Tourism and of the tourism board.

The tourism industry’s association said that they wanted to remain consulted on matters concerning destination marketing and with the management of the tourism academy as they explained that streamlining of the existing structure of the Ministry of Tourism and its tourism board was today needed.

“We have a heavy structure and one that is causing confusion. We do not feel we need a Ministry of Tourism and a tourism board,” Mr D’Offay said.

This sentiment received unanimous support by all the board members as they decided to formalise their recommendations in writing to the minister.

Proposals were discussed as to what the Seychelles tourism trade wanted to see and they were reassured by Minister St Ange that their letter would be submitted to President James Michel for his consideration.