Anchored off the luxury Cheval Blanc luxury resort island of the Maldives this week was the spectacular Cruise Ship “The World”. Next stop for this cruise line is the Seychelles and it was Alain St.Ange, the island’s Minister of Tourism and Culture who was invited to delivered a lecture about the Seychelles islands. This is In advance of The World’s scheduled visit in Port Victoria in the Seychelles next week.
The Seychelles Minister responded to a request made by the island’s Destination Management Company (DMC) 7⁰South to present the destination to over 150 residents on board. 7⁰South has been selected as the handling agent for The World® when it stops in the Seychelles next Thursday, February 26. It was Mrs Anna Butler-Payette, the Managing Director of 7⁰South who personally approached the Seychelles Minister to request his support to address the residents of “The World”. “This approach was very much in line with the private/public sector partnership that is today so evident in Seychelles” said Minister St.Ange as he accepted to change his travelling plans to work on a request as a key private sector player of the islands.
The World’s Daily activity program for Friday the 20 February publicised that Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles would be on board the cruise ship to offer a ‘Port Talk’ on Victoria, Mahe, La Digue and Praslin. The Seychelles Minister who was on a working visit out of Seychelles diverted his voyage to the maldives where he boarded an amphibious twin otter plane to the Cheval Blanc Island to catch a tender to the Cruise Ship “The World” for a night’s stay and deliver an address to the residents. The World is scheduled to be stopping in the Seychelles from February 26-28 where it will dock first on Mahe. The residents will be invited to join in many activities on the island including excursions to various landmarks and 5-star hotels. They will proceed to La Digue island on the 27th, followed by a visit on Praslin island on the 28th where not only 7⁰South will benefit from this visit but also a diverse range of service providers in the tourism industry. The World® was launched in 2002, and it is the largest privately-owned residential yacht with 165 residences on board.
7⁰South has worked closely with the management of The World® in the last 4 months to coordinate a comprehensive program to meet the needs of their residents. Mrs. Anna Butler Payette, Managing Director of 7°, commented that “This is an excellent opportunity for 7⁰South to offer the best of Seychelles to ‘The World,’ and moreover this visit will not only benefit our company [but] as well as large and small businesses in our tourism industry in Seychelles.”
The Seychelles Minister St.Ange did what he does best when he took to the podium in the amphitheatre on ‘The World” and presented the Seychelles as he played the island’s promotional DVD in the background. In an ad-lib address the Minister for Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles presented the history of the islands before moving to the Unique Selling Points of the Seychelles and ending with a list of what to do list as tourists. The Minister, himself a La Digue Island personality, spoke about the Ship’s visit to La Digue and Praslin and what should be done. He encouraged residents of the ship to even go out on a big game fishing experience. A ship resident surprised everyone at the end of the session with the Seychelles Minister as he took the microphone and congratulated Minister St.Ange saying that this presentation was the best ‘Port Talk’ ever organised by the Cruise Ship. “You were thorough, clear and spoke from the heart’ the residents of the ship said.
“I used a day of my weekend to do this deviation to get to The World as I wanted to support the efforts undertaken by the private sector of the country. As Minister I work with an open door policy and go out of my way to work with the island’s private sector. Today I supported their effort but I also reinforced the work of our Tourism Board. I am happy I successfully portrayed our islands as the holiday destination of choice for anyone looking at a holiday of a lifetime. Residents on The World are themselves potential return visitors, but more importantly that have family and friends that they may well recommend Seychelles for their next holidays” said Minister St.Ange.