The names of the five tourism pioneers have been engraved on ceramic tiles which will be displayed on concrete pillars erected at what has been named the Tourism Pioneer Park at the entrance of the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA), La Misère.
The five pioneers are Robert Michaud of Northolme Hotel, Gerard Legrand of Hotel Des Seychelles, Raymonde Delorie of Beau Vallon Bay Hotel, Marcel Le Marchand of Hotel Des Palmes and Henry Savy of Raffles Hotel.
The remaining names of over 100 other pioneers are expected to be added in an event to be organised during the forthcoming Ocean Festival in December.
President James Michel unveiled the plaque to officially open the Seychelles Tourism Pioneer Park and planted a coco de mer nut there in a symbolic gesture emulated by five other key figures in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Six canon ball trees were also planted in the compound of the academy by different other stakeholders in the industry.
This was during a ceremony held on Saturday morning which was attended by key actors, stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as tourism trade partners, other distinguished guests, staff and students of the STA.
The event forms part of this year’s activities to mark Tourism Week.
Tourism and Culture minister Alain St Ange, who has been very instrumental in recognizing and celebrating the contributions of these pioneers to the industry that is now the pillar of our economy, said these people should be seen as role models by students and others aspiring to join the tourism and hospitality industry.
‘’Recognising those who have been there in the past will help us to know where we are going in the future,” Minister St Ange said.
“It is with great pride that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and the STA have rallied together to open this park where each and every Seychellois who makes his mark in the tourism and hospitality field will be seen and remembered,” Minister St Ange pointed out.
He added that the names of STA students who excel in their studies will also be displayed on the walls of the park.
The principal of the STA, Flavien Joubert, described the occasion as very auspicious in the history of the academy.
“We are very proud that the site to honour all our pioneers and all the professionals who have contributed for us to be where we are today is here,” Mr Joubert said.
Mr Joubert availed of the occasion to appeal to the young people; former and current students of the STA, to remain in the hotel and tourism industry which he said is at present crying out for help as the need for manpower increases.
“Once you have been trained stay with us, help us, we need you. It is a wonderful life even though it is hard,” Mr Joubert said.
He went on to highlight the many opportunities available to young people in the sector and not forgetting to touch on the most recent agreement the STA has signed with Air Seychelles/Etihad as widening the scope of opportunities in the industry.
“You now have the wings to fly,” Mr Joubert told the young people.
Both the public and private sector welcomed the initiative.
Kathleen Mason, the owner of Mason’s Travel who has been in the industry for several decades, has called on all actors in the industry to unite and work together if we want Seychelles to remain the dream destination that tourists enjoy.
“This is not an easy task if it is not done collectively by everyone in the industry,” Mrs Mason stressed.
She went on to emphasise the importance of keeping the trust of our international partners.
“We must deliver what we promise and ensure guests coming to our shores get value for money,” Mrs Mason pointed out.
Source : Seychelles NATION