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Second tourism festival promises to be a blast! | 19 September 2019

Second tourism festival promises to be a blast!

A scene from the waiters’ race during the Tourism Festival last year on Praslin. The activity will again be on the programme this year (photo credit: Romano Laurence)

The second Tourism Festival, being celebrated under the theme ‘We are Tourism: our pathway to Prosperity’, is set to kick off this weekend, with an array of activities organised over the week until September 27, when World Tourism Day is celebrated the world over.

Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Didier Dogley and principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune officially unveiled the programme of events on Tuessday, emphasising the importance of the tourism industry to the local economy.

“During this period, we use it as an opportunity to give youngsters an opportunity to discover what the industry is and then they can decide to join the industry. The government has always pushed for the industry to be one which is inclusive, with the participation of more Seychellois, as employees in the industry or as small business owners. In order to benefit, you need to be active and participate and to participate, you need to know what it is and the opportunities available,” said Minister Dogley.

He added that “the festival aims to celebrate what tourism means to us. As the theme says, we are tourism”.

The second week-long festival will officially be launched this upcoming Saturday during the Seychelles Tourism Ball to be held at Constance Ephelia Resort as from 7pm.

As usual, the Tourism Ball is a paid event with tickets priced at R1,500 for the evening which presents a good opportunity for partners from the private sector of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine to network in a relaxed atmosphere. Tickets are available for sale.

STB is also using the opportunity to showcase new and emerging businesses at the ball including a new drinks supplier who will be dazzling guests with a selection of cocktails through the soirée as well as ‘Selfie Mirror’, a business which fits with the ministry’s aim to move towards digitisation.

The activities will continue through Sunday with food fiestas both on Mahé and Praslin. On Mahé, the grand food celebration will be held at the Golden Mile, Beau Vallon, as last year, between 12 noon and 8pm. For those who want to hit the beach earlier, the waiters’ race will take place at 10am and will see waiters and waitresses from different tourism establishments compete against each other and showing off their waiting skills.

The same activity will take place at Côte d’Or, Praslin between 12 noon and 10pm. As with the food fiesta at Beau Vallon, the event is open to the public and aims to provide Seychellois and locals an opportunity to savour dishes and delicacies from esteemed high-end hotel establishments.

Last year’s food fiesta at Beau Vallon was a success with stalls selling out of dishes fairly quickly.

To add some extra excitement to the event, there will be live entertainment at both locations and the best stalls, and the stalls selling the most savoured dishes of the day will be selected and rewarded in a prize-giving ceremony to be held at Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa at a future date.

Monday September 23 will consist of two activities including the Tourism Pioneers Park at the Seychelles Tourism Academy. The event is by invitation only and will serve as homage to seven pioneers of the local tourism industry.

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) Customer Service Awards, also an invitation only event, will officially be launched in a brief ceremony at 2pm. The ceremony will also launch an art exhibition at the Seychelles International Airport.

Tuesday’s activities are geared mainly towards youth. As stated by Minister Dogley, the festival aims to educate the youth about the importance of the tourism industry to Seychelles and to encourage and inspire them to join and take part in the industry. The ‘Adopt a Student’ forum will see representatives from primary and secondary schools in Seychelles sharing their stories and perspectives of the industry. The forum marks the culmination of a programme held during the August school holidays in which students visited tourism establishments and learned about different jobs and departments within such establishments. Also present will be the human resource officers from the respective establishments.

The Plaisance church will on Wednesday host the tourism mass, which is open to the public at 9am. Considering that the tourism festival coincides with the Clean Up the World campaign, employees of the department of tourism, SCAA and STB will take to cleaning a beach on Wednesday afternoon. This activity follows on from the ‘Pristine Seychelles’ campaign launched during last year’s tourism festival.

A second activity involving youths is scheduled for Thursday September 26. A public speaking competition under the theme ‘Tourism and jobs; a better future for all’ will be held at Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa from 8.30am. As last year, those taking part will be required to present in French, and there will be different categories. The competition is open to all schools including primary, secondary and professional centres.

Visitors to Seychelles will receive a welcome warmer than usual with special meet and greets at different ports of entry and the Botanical Garden. From 8am on Friday 27, visitors at the Seychelles International Airport, the Praslin Domestic Terminal and the La Digue jetty will receive a special welcome. There will also be a meet and greet with visitors calling through the exquisitely lush Botanical Gardens as from 10am.

In line with the theme for the year, a panel discussion under the theme ‘We are Tourism: Our pathway to Prosperity’ will be held at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa at 2pm. The prizes for the food fiesta stall competition will also be presented during the ceremony which will serve to officially close the curtains on this year’s tourism festival.

 

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