Tourism festival 2020 to be a low-key affair | 09 September 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on this year’s Seychelles Tourism Festival to be held from September 27 to 29.
In a press conference at the Botanical House on Monday afternoon, the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, presented the programme for this year’s watered down festival.
He was joined by the principal secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, and the deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Jenifer Sinon, and other members of the Tourism Festival Committee.
“This Tourism Festival could not have come at a more opportune time for our industry. As we continue to consolidate our efforts to relaunch our tourism industry and build on the progress we have made since we re-opened our international airport to commercial flights and foreign visitors, we need to continue remind ourselves of the importance of welcoming and providing our visitors with our unique creole hospitality, while respecting the sanitary guidelines and procedures,” Minister Dogley stated.
“Every year we observe the World Tourism Day and we organise a slew of activities to commemorate it, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic the festival will not be organised on such a big scale as the previous years,” said the minister.
He remarked that the ministry is working alongside other partners in the tourism industry to make the festival a possibility.
The activities will begin on September 27 with an invitation-only ‘Praise and Worship’ to be held at the ICCS where the festival will officially be launched.
The following day seven pioneers who have contributed to the tourism industry will be honoured and a Data Warehouse will be launched. A brainchild of STB, the Data Warehouse platform will serve as a promotional tool for touristic activities in Seychelles, as well as a way to market touristic establishments.
On Tuesday September 29 a panel discussion will be organised at the Eden Bleu Hotel under the theme ‘Tourism back with confidence’.
“One of the biggest problems created by Covid-19 for the tourism industry is that people are now afraid to travel so we have invited people from the private and public sector to discuss this theme as well as giving their own opinion on the matter,” said the minister.
The last activity for the festival will be a virtual cocktail and mocktail making competition. The activity is being coordinated by Hilton and will see bartenders competing with each other.
Only certified establishments will be able to take part in the competition. Participants will make a video of them preparing the cocktail and showing their techniques as well as a photo of the finished products. Afterwards they will be judged on several criteria such as creativity, use of local products, and hygiene.
Only five participants will go through to the final round when the competition will take place live.
“With the health regulations in place many activities have been cancelled such as the food fiesta which draws in large crowds every year. But instead of mourning about what we cannot do, we need to focus on our culture and the activities that we are able to organise,” Minister Dogley said.
Due to its size this year, the festival has been organised on a smaller budget and is being financed by the ministry and its various partners.