As part of his ongoing drive to get acquainted with key stakeholders in the tourism industry, the new Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley met with board members of the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA).
The meeting was held last Wednesday at the ministry’s headquarters at Botanical house, Mont Fleuri. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, was also present.
In his welcoming address, Minister Dogley said although he has been working in the field of environment for many years, tourism is not entirely new to him.
He noted that he has kept abreast of developments in the tourism industry and made his own contribution as a former board member of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and is equally well informed of the challenges, due to his active participation in the recent multisectoral meetings.
On behalf of the SHTA board, Sybille Cardon, welcomed the minister. She explained that the present board, which was recently elected will soon be electing the office bearers of the SHTA including its chairperson.
She also took the opportunity to share some existing challenges being faced by the industry. Rising operating costs, availability of manpower and GOP issues were but some of the concerns raised.
Mrs Cardon also updated the minister on SHTA’s recently launched campaign dubbed ‘We are Tourism’ explaining how important it is to ensure that the stakeholders and population understand the importance of tourism and the fact that tourism is everybody’s business.
The board members have put forward various ideas, such as boosting training for the young people willing to join the industry, as well as those already working in the tourism field, with the aim of further improving the level of service.
Those present at the meeting will be consulting other members to highlight five major pressing issues they would recommend to the tourism ministry’s attention to tackle over the next three months.
Minister Dogley has reassured the SHTA board that he is determined to work with all stakeholders to ensure the continued success, sustainability and profitability of the industry that remains the pillar of the economy.
“I strongly believe in partnership and I trust that we will work together. I have always been a team player, working in collaboration with all stakeholders, be it government, private sector or civil society, even in my former ministerial position,” he said.