Can Seychelles Show Africa and the World How Revival of Tourism is Done?

A question asked by Alain St.Ange.

Seychelles is the home of the respected and popular former tourism minister. Seychelles that sits in the Indian Ocean was propelled to success by their former Minister St.Ange when things got tough in 2009.

Tourism Ministers and Governments in many countries see the Seychelles as a destination which in a massive marketing juggernaut over the past decade began to punch way above her prior status. Many of the sitting tourism ministers in Africa and beyond in fact look at the Seychelles for inspiration and guidance, as they are working on their own recovery strategies. 

Seychelles tourism started in earnest in 1972 with the opening of the island’s International Airport by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as the Seychelles remained a British Colony up to 1976. James Mancham, the founding father of the Seychelles is remembered as the charismatic personality who pushed the tourism agenda and was a passenger on the first BOAC Super VC10 flight on the 4th July 1971 that opened the Seychelles International Airport for commercial flights.

The tourism industry of Seychelles then recorded sustained growth up to the global financial crisis in 2008, when a drop in arrivals of nearly a quarter was anticipated before active countermeasures were devised as the archipelago’s private sector took over the lead role at the tourism board with Alain St.Ange in the driving seat.

That year ended with the loss of just a few hundred arrivals compared to the previous year, albeit at the expense of tariffs being discounted.

During the period between 2009 and 2019 did the Seychelles set new arrival records year after year, to a large extend triggered by a publicity coup through the launch of the Seychelles International Carnival in 2011 which over the following couple of years then brought the global media spotlights on the islands and making it into one of the world’s most desired island tourism destinations.

Keeping close to the tourism industry’s key stakeholders but also the workers in the sector – many of whom have been laid off or sent on leave – gives St. Ange the insight needed to understand their concerns and needs of both staff and owners / operators, many of whom have been left bewildered by initial government announcement of a support package, only to be confused by different statements of line ministries tasked with the implementation. St. Ange is seen to have the proven competence to bring tourism out of the doldrums and revive the industry and set it on a recovery course which will return the island’s global status while being recognized as a safe destination as he demonstrate to greater Africa and the world of tourism as a whole the art of being able to think outside the box and to lead when the going gets tough.