The Chairman and Board Members of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) met with Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture on Thursday for what they call their monthly meeting in the public / private sector partnership. Mr Freddy Karkaria, the Chairman of the Tourism Industry’s Association with virtually a full house of the SHTA Board raised three key points at this latest meeting which they qualified as serious concerns.
These three key topics that remain of serious concern were raised and discussed extensively;
- Employment constraints regarding G.O.P (Gainful Occupation Permits) and the efficient application of the agreed quota system for hotels
- Safety and security concerns that continue to impact negatively on the perception of Seychelles as a highly desirable holiday destination
- High operational costs plus the weakened Euro. While operational cost issues have been high on the SHTA agenda since the first cross-sectorial tourism task force meeting, these issues are now further worsened by the depreciation of the euro against the Seychelles rupee by almost 20%.
The discussions reflected everyone’s commitment towards a healthy, sustainable and vibrant tourism industry for a prosperous Seychelles.
Minister St.Ange said at the end of the meeting that he had heard the points raised by the Industry and assured them that the points raised would be channeled to the respective Minister of Agency. On the question of G.O.P. where discussions centered on the need for Government to appreciate the burden placed on hotel establishments when vacancies were not being filed resulting with extra work load on the Seychellois Staff, Minister St.Ange said that he understands the concerns raised and assured the Industry’s Association that Government had approved a Quota System for Foreign Workforce only to simplify the procedure and make for better running of the island’s tourism industry.
“Today we had a good and frank meeting in the most cordial of climate. As Government we heard the private sector and we shall be following up on the points they raised” said Minister St.Ange as he announced that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was soon to appoint an Advisory Committee for the Tourism Industry to help ensure Policy Making becomes an inclusive thing.