Work to restore tourism academy on course



Members of the press on a tour of the site yesterday to view progress on the construction work

The first phase consists of building the main block of classrooms, the management block and library, the language laboratory and the public restaurant and bar, where construction is at an advanced stage.

The second phase of the new STA project to be built next year also boasts an administration block, a demonstration kitchen and restaurant, a banqueting/meeting room with capacity for 150 persons, a wellness & spa and above all a three-star Hotel d’Application and a five-star villa.

The construction will cost around R59 million, but a total R90 million when equipped.

The Badea (Arab Bank for African Development) is assisting with a loan of $4.6 million, or 32% of the cost, while the Seychelles government will fund the remaining 68%.

Mr Peter Moncherry, the general manager of the Seychelles Hotel
d’Application, which comes under the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), said agreement for the Badea loan was signed in December 2011.

He said once operational, the 30-room hotel and villa will not only serve for practical training by STA students, but will also earn revenue to repay the loan.
The banquet/meeting room will also host receptions and weddings and will also earn revenue.

The new facilities will also have several units to house foreign students, mainly from other African countries, who will pay for their courses and accommodation.

The new classroom block will have 15 classrooms, each capable of taking some 30 students.
The students will be trained in reception, housekeeping, cookery and various aspects of hotel management.

The language laboratory will make it easier for STA students to learn such languages as Italian, Spanish, German and Russian that are useful in the tourism industry.

The contractor for the project is Yangtze Construction, whose contracts manager Ola Akinlabi said that foundation work was delayed because huge boulders were encountered and which had to be removed and broken down into smaller rocks.
He said the contractors have now caught up by putting more men on the project and working longer hours.

Until the first phase is completed, students are being schooled in buildings on the main car park and also in rooms which were once used as accommodation units when this was part of the USAF Satellite Tracking Station.