Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – August 21, 2018 (travelindex.com) – Operating Cost continues to hit Seychelles and its tourism industry. Last week the Government announced new increases for electricity, water and sewage on the public at large but spared the businesses from the new increases. This comes over and above increase only months ago which touched everyone including the Business Community. Seychelles is know to be expensive as it is and these new increases will only compound the problems as the ordinary Seychellois will be rallying to call for increases in salary to offset their inflated utility bills.
Holiday survey leaves Seychelles out of the list
A latest survey, this time by Virtuoso has again left Seychelles out of the list of five Top worldwide destinations for October half-term. Included in the top five are Mauritius of the Vanilla Islands group together with Maldives, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. In Top Worldwide destinations for the festive season we see Maldives and Sri Lanka makes that list of top five. This was for travellers looking to combat the cold December weather by heading to sunnier destinations. Tropical locations like the Maldives and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean have been selected as popular for their stunning beaches saying they will be fantastic settings for an unusual Christmas dinner. The survey also finds that the high-end British market are programming to also venture to a variety of lesser-visited destinations, particularly in Africa and Asia, including Rwanda, Uganda, Bhutan and Vietnam. This survey for best destinations on Global News was published on 15th August 2018 on Insights eHotelier for luxury travellers are on trends compiled by Virtuoso for Top travel trends for Beach destinations, Family trips, Multigenerational travel, Wellness & spas and Celebration travel / Ultra-luxury and exclusive-use travel.
As expected holiday travel, beach destinations and family trips were the most popular, but why did a destination like Seychelles miss that list, that is entirely based on the core of its tourism market? We see in that survey that travelling with immediate family and multiple generations made the top five, showing the desire to be with family at this time of year, whereas, wellness and spa trips have become more popular as stress levels increase, and they provide a fantastic way to focus on oneself in preparation for the year ahead.
This feedback should worry the Seychelles private sector trade and the Government, that remains the biggest shareholder of that industry through the taxes it collects. Seychelles must never forget that it is proven over and over again that media coverage is a predictor of tourism movements.
More worries for countries depending on tourism
The British holiday makers are flocking to Turkey as the collapse of the Turkish lira means UK tourists can buy a beer for just £1.37 and families can dine out for £35. The currency crisis in Turkey has seen the lira collapse sending prices plummeting. This moved British holidaymakers looking for a bargain break and have been flocking to Turkey where exchange rates mean that for just £500, British tourists can get over 4,000 Turkish lira. Turkey is not a new holiday destination, but the recent developments have brought about a new surge of interest in the destination. The same tourists from the same source markets have a ‘bonanza’, and are rescheduling their dream holidays or their planned holiday of a life time for an opportunity that is today on offer through every tour operator and travel agent.
Coco de Mer medicine hits the market but not by Seychelles
Is it a by-product of the Coco de Mer kernel exported by Seychelles, or is it just a name picked because of its appeal? The Coco de Mer kernel being exported today is resold rightly or wrongly for a number of exceptional medicinal values and can be purchased in powder form, in flakes or in essence and the profit from value added works is being earned by someone else from somewhere else.
A unique product of the Seychelles that should have numbered products accompanied by a “Made in Seychelles” label because of its limited quantity, is sadly today the property of everyone. Yet is has been shown that much can be done using that dried kernel of the Coco de Mer and the Island of Praslin and the Praslinois should be the custodians of many an authentic product of their island by their island. Seychelles is a tourism dependent country and missing out on the opportunity of having its Brand Name “Seychelles” on a product that would be sought after in main tourism source markets right around the world.
Aphrodisiac is today the main source of use for the Coco de Mer, now we see a cough mixture. But at the Praslin Culinary & Arts Fiesta Ice Cream, mousse, flan, parfait and bread were also made and it was appreciated by everyone. It is also known that a unique biscuit could be manufactured from the powder made from the kernel.
In 2014 the Seychelles News Agency reported that finally “A taste of the forbidden fruit – Seychelles coco de mer at the centre of Praslin’s first culinary and arts fiesta” saying that for the first time in Seychelles, the kernel of the coco de mer, the largest nut in the world was the one of the main highlight of a ‘culinary and arts fiesta’ on the archipelago’s second most populated island of Praslin. The event which took place during the weekend from September 5 to 7, is an initiative of the archipelago’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture in collaboration with other partners including the island’s district authorities. Endemic to the Indian Ocean archipelago, apart from Praslin the only other Seychelles island where the coco de mer grows naturally is neighbouring Curieuse, off Praslin’s north western coast.
A unique product of Seychelles
Richard Mathiot, the Principal Lecturer at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) who has also been helping the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to spearhead the event, along with other colleagues from the STA explained that they have worked to process the kernel several times using different techniques and have it transformed into an ingredient that can be used in recipes.
Ice Cream, mousse, flan, parfait and bread are some of the delicacies prepared using the coco de mer as one of the main ingredients that were on sale for as low as $0.40 to $0.80. The event held at the Berjaya Praslin Beach Hotel at Cote D’Or, Praslin attracted Seychellois residents and visitors alike who were eager to savour the taste of the forbidden nut”.
Preserve, Protect and Cherish Assumption Island sees first “Eco & Preserve Seychelles walk”
“Preserve, Protect & Cherish Assomption” was the call for a peaceful walk in Seychelles on the 17 August called the “Eco & Preserve Seychelles walk” organised by the same leaders of the successful “Save Grand Police demonstrations”.
The organisers have said that this was “The journey of a thousand miles and it begins with one step” and “Today was that first step…Eco Citizens & Preserve Seychelles”
Mr Patrick Pillay, former Speaker of the Seychelles National Assembly and Leader of the LS Opposition Political Party was also present at this latest peaceful demonstration that was calling on the Government of Seychelles to abandon their proposed Assumption Island Military Base project with India.