Seychelles has shared its experiences in sustainable tourism with another African small island state – Cabo Verde.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, held discussions with a six-member delegation, led by the Cabo Verdean Minister Tourism and Transport, José Da Silva Gonçalves, last week.
Talks between the two ministers at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri, centered on commonalities between the two island states, similar challenges being faced, as well as existing cooperation.
The meeting was also attended by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Garry Albert, and Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis.
Seychelles and Cabo Verde enjoy collaboration in various fields, including tourism and civil aviation, as several agreements were signed during the state visit of the President of Cabo Verde, Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca to Seychelles, in June 2014.
The recent technical visit of the Cabo Verdean delegation was hence an opportunity for the two sides to explore further collaboration.
Minister Gonçalves noted that in spite of being located on different sides of the African continent, Seychelles and Cabo Verde share many things in common including values such as good governance, democracy and rule of law.
“Seychelles is recognised worldwide for the sustainable management of its tourism industry so we want to learn from you since our economy is based primarily on tourism as well…You have a tourism which is more upscale than ours. We want to know the secret that allows you to have a more value-added and more sustainable tourism model,” said Minister Gonçalves.
For his part, Minister Dogley said the exchange is indeed going to be beneficial to both countries.
“It is important that we establish good contacts for future information sharing, follow-up discussions exchanges and networking,” he added.
Minister Gonçalves and his team also paid a separate visit to the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Headquarters, where they held talks with the Chief Executive, Sherin Francis, Deputy Chief Executive, Jenifer Sinon, and Director of Human Resources, Shirley Low-Meng.
Discussions between the Cabo Verdean delegation and the STB management centered on the structure, operations, and roles of the organization.
Mrs. Francis provided a general overview of STB’s marketing strategies, the rationale behind the intensive promotion of the destination and the resulting benefits for Seychelles.
The country’s main markets, the importance of selective consumer promotion and other Public Relations activities that contribute to the success of Seychelles as a tourism destination, importance of close collaboration between the government and private sector in driving the tourism industry, innovation including venturing into digital marketing, were among many issues discussed.
During his stay in Seychelles, Minister Gonçalves also met with various other key stakeholders in the tourism industry, as well as other ministers. He also met with the Seychelles President, Danny Faure at State House.
The Cabo Verdean delegation also visited Praslin and La Digue, the Seychelles second and third most inhabited islands.
On Praslin, they visited the Vallee de Mai UNESCO World Heritage site where grows the coco-de-mer, the largest nut in the world, while on La Digue they visited L’Union Estate and Anse Source D’Argent beach, which are both well-frequented by tourists.