Friday, 18 April 2014

The Suppression of Heresy

Knock...Knock...It's me Ste Ange!

Apr 17, 2014
The Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture has echoed for a multi-sectarian meeting with government authorities, destination management companies, tourism establishments, and airline companies to discuss pertinent issues raised in its series of door-to-door meetings with these respective trade partners in the tourism industry. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, believes that this cohesive approach is pivotal to get everyone in a roundtable discussion to look and assess issues raised by destination management companies, tourism establishments, and airlines touching different ministries such as finance, land use and habitat, environment, employment, transport, and others.
“For the tourism industry to continue to move forward, it is today more important than ever before to have a round-table discussion between the private sector and a cross-section of other ministries. Many issues raised in the door-to-door visits cannot be solved by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture alone. The private sector trade recognizes the need for this meeting, so that they can meet with the ministries concerned and together look at some issues which are persisting,” Minister St.Ange said.
On Friday, April 11, Minister Alain St.Ange; Anne Lafortune, the Principal Secretary for Tourism; Jennifer Sinon, the Director of Human Resource at the Seychelles Tourism Board; and Sinha Levkovic continued with the ministry's door-to-door visits at destination management companies and airlines after their initial series of meetings at tourism establishments at Praslin which was followed by one at Emirates Airlines. Mihin Lanka was the first airline company the Minister and his technicians visited last Friday. The ministerial delegation was welcomed by Sandy Kellar, General Manager of Mihin Lanka, and his team. Mihin Lanka started its operation in Seychelles in 2013 with an Airbus A320 and A340.
Sandy Kellar briefed the Minister and his team on the company’s plan to add a third frequency during the course of the year on the Seychelles-Colombo route. The General Manager of Mihin Lanka proudly announced a newly-introduced, twelve-seater business class on its flights from the month of June. Minister St.Ange said that he was happy to hear that Mihin Lanka was growing its passenger numbers and that it was tapping successfully into the Chinese market. Minister St.Ange encouraged the Seychelles Tourism Board to work more closely with Mihin Lanka to further develop the Chinese market for Seychelles. Challenges seen by Mihin Lanka were discussed with Minister St.Ange in the presence of the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka accredited to Seychelles.
The Minister’s next stop last Friday was at Pure Escapes, a travel agency specializing in the former East Bloc market. Besides Russia being Pure Escapes' core market, 40% of its clients are from the Ukraine. Pure Escapes is also venturing into new markets such as Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The Minister then visited Mason's Travel, Elite Travel, and Creole Travel Services.
Joseph Albert, Creole Travel Services Chairman, described Minister St.Ange’s visit to the DMCs and at Creole Travel Service as historical.
“You’ve made our day, Minister. It’s the first time a Minister of Tourism has set foot in Creole Travel Services to talk with our workers and our management team. We’ve heard a lot of tourism being the country’s prime income earner. Creole Travel Services financially contributes immensely to this economy,” said Joseph Albert, the Chairman of Creole Travel Services.
After this visit, Minister St.Ange visited Air Seychelles’ head office at the airport which was the last meeting of the first phase of visits to destination management companies and airlines. At Air Seychelles, Minister St.Ange was welcomed by Manoj Papa, the Chief Executive of Air Seychelles, and his corporate team. Minister St.Ange congratulated Air Seychelles on its brilliant success in recording a second consecutive year of net profitability.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Culture recognizes your company’s success and congratulates you for this brilliant performance. Today, the airline is on solid footing and growing year by year,” said Minister St.Ange. The Minister also thanked Air Seychelles with their partner Etihad for being the partner airline for the Carnaval International de Victoria.
The corporate team of the airline briefed the Minister on the upcoming projects, among which includes the company’s new approach to market the airline and destination in Mauritius and other target markets. The company also briefed the Minister of the program to introduce its new signature dish on its airline - a joint partnership with the island's hotels and restaurants. The airline desires for hotels to re-look into their packages in the traditional low period.
Pertinent issues that were raised during meetings with destination management companies included an appeal to re-look at the government’s decision to close down fast-track immigration counter services for destination management companies as of June 2014. Destination management companies said the service is vital for its discerning clients. Some destination management companies voiced concerns over their suppliers bypassing the government regulation for transactions in the country to be in local currency only. Minister St.Ange said that anyone transacting in foreign currency was acting “illegally” as it defeats the efforts of the Seychelles government to see transaction in local currency only. The Minister said he will address this concern with the Ministry of Finance.
Withholding tax on marketing, advertising, and promotion was another concern raised by some destination management companies. This was seen as punishing them for going out to market Seychelles as they argued that most of their promotions and marketing are done overseas and not in Seychelles. Destination management companies re-enforced the need for closer working partnerships with hotels, large and small.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture said at the end of the day's visit that it believes that the door-to-door visits at airlines and destination management companies was as important as the visit to hotel establishments are.
“It is more than ever important to have this open dialogue with the private sector. This keeps us abreast with how the private sectors work, and gets us to better understand their challenges. During today's visits, it was clear that everyone wants to work with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Tourism Board to consolidate the industry for the long term. Yes, we have challenges, but they can and they will be resolved only by everyone working together,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Minister St.Ange said that he will complete the visits with DMCs and airlines in the coming week as he also continues with the door-to-door visits on Praslin before moving on with that exercise on La Digue, Mahe, and the other islands. Following this series of meetings, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is hoping to organize group meetings with destination management companies, airlines, large hotels, small hotels, and stand-alone restaurants. The Minister said that after that he will look at dive centers, boat charter companies, car hires, and boat charter companies.

Seychelles Human Trafficking Bill Presented By Minister in Denial‏

Recently the Seychelles presented a Bill to the National Assembly which will make it a crime to traffic humans for sex, labor and slavery.
The Bill long over due, was presented by the Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Joel Morgan.

Minister Morgan Said False Not In Seychelles
Minister Morgan has traditionally been the Minister who has vehemently denied allegations by the US State Department and the United Nations Committee on Human Trafficking and Human Rights, that Seychelles is being used as a base for Human Trafficking. Mr. Morgan has called the allegations FALSE and based on RUMORS.
Tier III Sanctions Coming
In spite of Minister Morgan's denial, the US State Department has placed Seychelles under Tier II warning Tier to come into compliance and implement legislation and a program to combat human trafficking in Seychelles. The Tier II placement is running now for Two(2) years, and Tier III SANCTIONS are very likely to follow.
SBC Denial Again
As soon as Minister Morgan was finished at the National Assembly, he headed to SBC for a broadcast on Human Trafficking. The UN and US State Department needs to get a copy of this interview. Again, Mr. Minister Morgan denies that Seychelles has a problem.
If Minister Morgan keeps on denying this issue, while he uses Gurhkas as mercenaries in Seychelles, and while the Public Order Act which he defended has been put to shame by the US State Department, Mr. Morgan is taking Seychelles into a dangerous path: authoritarianism validated by the Minister of Internal Affairs. Consequently, Seychelles will be placed under Tier III and  SANCTIONS from USA and EU will follow, AID will be suspended.Michel regime. But unfortunately, Seychelles suffers for your faux pas. Next time, pick your consultants wisely.
Seselwa Unite For Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seyhcellois!
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chamber of Commerce launches Praslin Subcommittee

12 April 2014

The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has launched a subcommittee to represent the specific needs of the Praslin business community.
The five-member board, which is comprised of Christopher Gill, William Rose, Miette Godley, Adrian Uzice and Nigel Hoareau, aims to improve the business environment and lend assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating on the inner island.
“Despite Praslin being a key component of the national economy, businesses there tend to feel that their needs are either overlooked or come secondary to those on Mahé,” says Marco Francis, the Chairman of SCCI.

In order to overcome those challenges and encourage entrepreneurism on Praslin, the Chamber firmly believes that the nation needs more transparent and equitable policies across the islands.
Launching the subcommittee on Friday, Mr Francis urged Praslinois to consider applying for membership to the Chamber and supporting its drive to improve the ease of doing business in Seychelles.
“It is only by being united as a community that we can move the agenda of the business community forward and promote an equal playing field for the betterment of the economy,” says Mr Francis.
The main objective of the SCCI is to remove barriers affecting businesses in Seychelles, especially for smaller-sized enterprises whose needs are often not well communicated to higher levels.

Seychelles Value Added Tax Is Ripping Off Visitors and Residents Alike !

It is approaching Two (2) years now, that VAT (Value Added Tax) is in force in the tiny authoritarian republic in the Indian Ocean Seychelles. Each year, the government collects more and more revenue, bursting a budget ceiling last year of over Five (5) Billion Seychelles Rupees.
Late last year, the People’s Communist National Assembly (One party State apparatus still in place in practice) passed without opposition a budget and a huge salary emoluments bill that will double salaries of politicians-active and non active, in the month of June 2014 when the Seychelles Communist Party PL will celebrate 50 years of existence, though it has changed its name numerous times, to keep ahead of the murdered, the disappeared under the current logo at the time.

The VAT ATTACK On Business and Citizen Alike
Most Communist countries insure the workers own all systems of production through STATE OWNERSHIP of all the means, apparatus of economic production. During the One Party state this traditional style of Communism was implemented, and it lived a short life, as corruption crippled the ideology.
Today, under the PL, the Seychelles Communist Party has resorted to controlling and taking ownership of fruits of production through a excessive VAT system that breaks the norms of VAT and social decency, hence making Seychelles unattractive to shoppers, visitors, residents alike.
The VAT system in place places tax at a diabolical 15% on every single item purchased and every single service delivered. The Communist do not stop here, they tack on another 1.5% in CRT or Corporate Responsibility TAX on revenue, not profit of every single business.

What Effect on Business Visitors Residents?
Goods entering the country are taxed 15% on arrival. The value of the goods are calculated based on Cost Insurance Freight (CIF). Seychelles is 1,000 miles from anywhere. She is mostly 2,000 miles from anywhere. Just in this single administrative faux pas of dishonesty, the PL Communist raise the cost of all goods entering Seychelles by 30% across the board.
The just course of action that is intellectually honest is to apply VAT on a FOB basis : “Free on Board”, meaning, VAT will be applied only on the value of the goods, less the tax paid for it already in the originating country. VAT should not be applied in the case of island economies to shipping and air cargo freight. It is ridiculous and it is called: STEALING! PL Communist, you are stealing from us, and you are stealing from each and every single Visitor to Seychelles. It is your fault that Seychelles is expensive, no one else. It is a fault that can be easily be avoided.
When government taxes oppressively, they affect business cash flow, discourage investments, turn Seychelles into a red light “DO NOT INVEST IN ZONE”. This is what the PL Communist have done to Seychelles today with excessive, I would say oppressive taxing.

The Poor Visitors
Being in the Tourism Hotel Industry as a serious player, I cannot count the amount of times I have read emails from Visitors who say:
1.     we are a family of Four(4) we are travelling to Seychelles, but the tickets are expensive, the rooms are expensive, the food and drinks we understand, are expensive, we will look at another destination.
2.    Wow the islands are beautiful, but we looked around, everything is so expensive, the Air Seychelles ticket alone cost me euro 140.00. I could go on a 2,000 mile trip from Heathrow for that much. A Beer cost me 8.0 euro. A taxi cost me 40.00 euro for a 10 minute drive.
To the Poor Visitor, all I can say is blame PL Communist for these high costs for a holiday that force you either to cancel your trip, or in the alternative drink bottle water for 10 days.

The Poor Residents
While James Michel is writing book on book, as if he is some sort of Walt Whitman or David Longfellow or even Plato , the poor residents of Seychelles have to fork out 15% of all their salaries on every single item they purchase in a shop to feed their families. A person earning 5,600.00 will spend 840.00 on VAT.  An additional deduction of 3% on their salaries before they even touch it. All these deductions are fine in a rich country, where salaries afford luxuries. But in a country where salaries afford only Two weeks food supply, you are abusing your people, and beating them to a pulp. There is a big difference between touching Scr. 5,600.00 per month or Scr. 4,600.00 PL. What you are doing to Seychellois is a disgrace to the founding principle of SESEL POU SESELWA! You have turned it into “SESEL POU CRONY”.

SCCI and SHTA Need To Relook At VAT
The SCCI and SHTA need to make VAT a TOP PRIORITY on the agenda to deal with government and resolve this great abuse of a tax system.
Room taxes are not VAT. They cannot be 15%. They must be acceptable to the visitor and that usually means 4%-7%. Above all, room taxes cannot have the effect of pricing Seychelles out of the market with its regional and international competitors. Each year you lose a Visitor to another destination, you lose that Visitor’s revenue for that year forever, DUMBO.
VAT on goods in the store for consumption cannot be at 15% if you expect your population to act responsibly, respect the Police, respect the structures of State. They will not. What you take from them unfairly, they will retake from you by Ten (10) times.
 VAT on goods in Seychelles need not exceed 10% and it need not be applied to freight. That is called stealing.

Government must learn to live within means that are reasonable. Cut the fat cat salaries, cut the fancy cars and flights to everywhere in the World but going no where, accomplishing nothing for Seychelles at the end of the day.  Get your feet on the ground PL, get off your false sense that you are the World. You are not. Your World is closing in on you fast.
The internet is catching up to you PL. Your scam on VAT which is an act of THEFT is exposed. By tomorrow morning, the World will know. By Saturday, do something about it. That is how the World works now a days, SFP will make sure of that.
Seselwa Unite For Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Air Seychelles Domestic Raping Paradise!

Recently, Minister Joel Morgan went on SBC to give accolades to the Air Seychelles- Etihad management, for registering a 117% increase in profits, jumping from $1 Million in 2012, to $3 Million plus in 2013. An incredible feat, and believable to me, given that Air Seychelles in that time, flew directly mostly to Abu Dhabi then hooked a Hong Kong leg Three (3) times a week to Abu Dhabi, mostly, for air access for Etihad.
The real story is on the ground right here in Seychelles.
While Air Seychelles did 117% overall in profit, the Domestic segment which plies Mahe –Praslin petered about with only a 9% increase in passenger load, from the past year, mostly Etihad inbound clients. This number is particularly alarming when you consider that Minister St. Ange is claiming a year on year increase in Arrivals by 12%.  What this means, is that Arrivals, are avoiding Air Seychelles Domestic. Why would they be doing that, Papa-Wappa?

Unpredictable Ticket Pricing
Most of the time, when you book a Air Seychelles Domestic ticket, they charge you between Scr. 1,000- 2200.00 round trip with odd hours of return. A Couple travelling on Air Seychelles Domestic Mahe- Praslin is likely to get stuck with a 4,000.00 rupee bill, for a 15 minute island hopper using kerosene fuel. The pricing scheme is simply mad. It has had the effect of allowing market space for Cat Cocos to increase its fairs for economy to near Scr. 300.00.
The impact on the economy has not gone un noticed. You do not need a scientist to figure it all out. 1. Less travelers on Air Seychelles means less activity for the airport staff on Praslin, a new airport, with staff getting bored to death and resigning to work in hotels;2. Taxi Drivers have been idle since the new fare increases took place, their business has been cut by at least 50%; hotels suffer;trade between Mahe and Praslin suffers. 
While Air Seychelles is celebrating 117% profit, Mr. Morgan, your strategy has turned Praslin into a back water, with lots of nature, but no economic activity. You need to fix this problem or President James Michel, needs to make you an Ambassador on Pirates Rights.
Here is a quoted round trip on Air Seychelles Domestic per person with 10 kg. A couple going to Mahe can buy a ticket to Mauritius at this price.

Baggage Allowance Skinning
On baggage allowance Etihad Air Seychelles has not been very kind. They increase Arrival excess to Euro 6.00 per kilo for a 15 minute hopper, charging mostl Emirates passengers with the excess. Allowable  kilos is 10 per passenger. But on an inbound international flight connecting to Air Seychelles Domestic, it is at the very least, 23 kilos. Air Seychelles Domestic was making Arrivals pay the difference on each flight, tacking an additional euro 60.00 to each passenger onward to Praslin.
Excess baggage for locals is not any prettier. It has gone from 10.0 rupees per kilo to 50.00 per kilo. Minister Morgan, why don’t you just drop an A- Bomb on Praslin, and finish her off?

Cancel Excursions For Day Trips
In the past Air Seychelles had a reasonable excursion for day trippers who need to  see a doctor on Mahe, or do business in a government office, or shop a bit fr things they cannot find on Praslin. They would come down for the day, do their meetings, conduct their business, and go back to Praslin. In that process, they use to rent a car, or hire a taxi to get about. For Scr. 525.00 you could take a 9.00 am flight and be back in Praslin 5.45 pm. Now this is impossible. It cost no less then Scr. 1600.00 for the same flight unless of course, you are politically connected and can get a cheaper flight.
No economy can work with such malfunctioning policies. How does Air Seychelles register 117% profit increase unless it is really just working for Etihad air access?
Seselwa Unite For Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

In comparison to a return flight to Alicante, Spain. A round trip of 2092 miles, duration of 5hrs flight time.