Saturday, 20 September 2014

US Dollars 40,000 Trip for James Michel But No Forex In Seychelles Banks


Seychelles President James Michel heads to New York this weekend to attend the United Nations Climate Change Summit, at the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The Seychelles President will be accompanied at summit by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, the Secretary General in the Office of the President, Lise Bastienne, the Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the UN, Marie-Louise Potter and the Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States Issues, Ronny Jumeau.
President Michel made strong statements on the issue of climate change recently in Samoa at the UN conference on Small Island Developing States:
"It is time that we recognise climate change for what it is: a collective crime against humanity. Climate change will be the single largest reason for displacement of peoples in the next 50 years. Climate change is already robbing a generation of its livelihoods. Climate change is robbing island nations of their right to exist. We must save our future together." The full text of the address is here.
To note, Mr. Michel met with the UN Secretary General in the margins of the Samoa conference, and commended the UNSG for his efforts to put climate change on the international agenda. During the meeting Mr Ban Ki-moon said that climate change should be a number one priority for the world community, particularly the rising sea levels, and that he would be mobilizing various governments to materialize their pledges for funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
According to the United Nations, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit to engage leaders and advance climate action and ambition.
The Summit will serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level – all UN Member States, as well as finance, business, civil society and local leaders from public and private sectors – to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.
The UN has said that: "Climate Summit will be about action and solutions that are focused on accelerating progress in areas that can significantly contribute to reducing emissions and strengthening resilience – such as agriculture, cities, energy, financing, forests, pollutants, resilience and transportation."

http://www.eturbonews.com/50508/president-michel-heads-new-york-un-climate-summit

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Etihad Turning Seychelles Into A Big Spoke When it Should Be A Hub

Did everyone hear about the great news of Air Seychelles acquiring under lease, a Airbus 320 to fly regionally 115 passengers at a time to Madagscar, Dar E Salaam? This recent announcement adds Jo’burg  South Africa to a regional spoke controlled by Etihad using Air Seychelles name and position in Africa for front door entrance into the market.

Feed The Hub-Feed The Hub
The business model proposed by Etihad and Minister Joel Morgan, Chairman of Air Seychelles, [seems to be playing along], is to use secondary regional feeder routes via Seychelles to increase traffic into the Abu Dhabi, UAE hub, by- passing the Dubai hub or La Reunion hub, or South Africa for Eastern Africa.
All this is just wonderful news for Seychelles, according to Etihad/Air Seychelles Monoj Papa.

Tourism Not A Priority To Etihad- Air Seychelles
The message of this new regional routes declaration is clear and no one should be fooled by the declaration: “Tourism is not a priority For Etihad-Air Seychelles”. They just implement strategies to feed the hub of Abu Dhabi which is lagging behind Dubai, nothing else.
No one in the Tourism Industry should be fooled.
No one in PL government should be fooled.

What Next?
It is now clear that Etihad is using Seychelles and Air Seychelles beyond a doubt and our Tourism Industry is paying the price like an old used rag and the Consolidated Fund and Seychelles economy is suffering badly, bordering on collapse because the Hub and Spoke business model has not work.
What next?
My advise. They used us, now we must use them, simple. There is no time to cry over spilled milk and play the blame game. Let us all get to work to free us from the Etihad stronghold over Seychelles destiny. Once everyone adopts this state of mind, let us all focus and take the next step.

Seventy Five Bilateral Agreements Signed
There are Seventy –Five plus Bilateral Agreements signed with other airlines. Immediately as in overtime, yesterday, a joint government and private secotr delegation needs to be formed to open negotiations, re-engagement with key potential airlines that can fly directly into Seychelles.

Welcome Condor Twice A Week
Priority should be given to Condor that is flying once a week into Seychelles and can set running a second flight. No effort should be spared to insure that Condor commits to the second flight. Beg and borrow if we have too. We must get Condor on line to solidify our German market growth rates. Up to now, there is high demand for Seychelles, but not enough direct flights.

Welcome China Airlines Direct
China Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the World. They have one of the largest orders of 787-800 Dreamliners that consume  32% less fuel on a long haul then a traditional aluminum plane. Seychelles must send a delegation to China to fast forward direct flights from Beijing, where most Seychelles bound Tourist come from. No time should be wasted, because Tour Operators in China are being courted by Mauritius and Maldives everyday and they are experiencing a boom in tourism from this direct flight market.
China will continue to experience 8% plus growth rates and they holiday when Europe works, hence fitting well into our off season market. Direct flights from China can mean that Seychelles goes from a 3 month holiday season to a 12 month year round boom cycle. Do not waste time. The time to act is now. It can only benefit Seychelles Tourism and even self oriented Etihad can dip into the activity with outbound traffic to the regional hubs it will now serve.
In effect, we can do what I always said we should: work to make Seychelles a regional airline hub in its own right. It will break the Hub and Spoke enslavement of Etihad conspired to manipulate Seychelles in her hour of need when Air Seychelles was cash strapped.

Welcome Union Jack British Airways Back
The UK is experience a boom in manufacturing , real estate, and finance. Why? Simple. When they went through a economic crisis with Continental Europe, they were not tied to the Euro currency policies and could adjust quickly to a redress shortfalls in exports by dropping the value of the Pound and delivering excellence in product manufacturing. They sold British excellence and they are back in a feel good mode.
This is the time to negotiate direct flights beg for them if you have to, bring back the UK market. They are travelling long haul, but not to Seychelles. There is no reason why they should not come to the most beautiful islands in the World, unless of course we make it difficult and tricky to get here.

Hub and Spoke Fiasco
James Michel staked his political prowess on the Hub and Spoke distribution system for Seychelles inbound Tourist.
It works in a haphazard manner.
If Michel’s mean cannot secure direct flights to cover up his fiasco, I believe its time for Mr. Michel to retire, call it a day, resign to a life of writing books with ghost writers, given that Seychelles today is suffering so much from non performance of his grand idea Khalifa gave him, which he swallowed hook line and sinker.

Sesel Sa……does not have to be this way!

Seselwa Unite!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Top French tour operators in Seychelles to chart an effective course to check recent slump in arrivals on French Market

As part of its policy of targeted marketing and In response to the worrying 13% decrease (2014 vs 2013) in visitor arrivals from its much valued French market, the Seychelles Tourism Board has taken the initiative to invite a group of top French tour operators currently selling the destination to attend a strategy meeting in Seychelles in mid-September 2014.
The aim of this meeting is to deliberate on the way forward, listen to the challenges currently faced by French tour operators and agree upon and implement an immediate plan of action for increasing market share from this important market.
“France is a country with which we have enjoyed significant ties for more than 250 years and has been a leading market for inbound tourism since the beginnings of our tourism industry in the early 1970s,”affirmed Alain St. Ange, Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism & Culture, “and we will leave no stone unturned in our attempts to ensure that whatever challenges we are currently facing in this area of our tourism are addressed timeously and comprehensively.”

Relevant, senior members of the Seychelles government will be invited to be present at the scheduled meeting of leading French tour operators to listen to their concerns as well as key stake holders of the local tourism industry with years of experience in marketing the destination to ensure that a high level of professionalism in discussions is achieved.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for all parties concerned with inbound tourism to put our heads together in a brainstorming session and tackle problems from every perspective. We’re hopeful the findings will enable us to chart an effective course to check the recent slump in arrivals,” stated Sherin Naiken, Chief Executive of Seychelles’ Tourism Board.
Bernadette Willemin Seychelles Tourism Board Director for Europe said she is happy with rapid response of top French tour operators to attend the strategic meeting.
Mrs Willemin added the rapidity of their response send out a clear message, top French tour operators are still interested to sell Seychelles as an island destination.
’’ We’ve always promoted Seychelles on French market in close collaborations with our top key tour operators. Today, it is in the same spirit that we met to mapped out new strategies and put the market back on the right track’’
The meeting will be held Monday 15th at Contance Ephelia Resort

http://www.maurice-info.mu/top-french-tour-operators-seychelles-chart-effective-course-check-recent-slump-arrivals-french-market.html

Friday, 12 September 2014

Seychelles Being Over-Run By Internet Age

Welcome Baby Pure FM
The PURE FM RADIO station will turn One (1) year old this week. It should have been 40 years old by now. This is an indication of how far behind the times Seychelles is. Ironically, internet radio is the trend today. Pure FM may be around for another year.

Cable At The Table
Cable and Wireless, a company that was running a monopoly for years and generations in communication, took on Airtel in 1998 but then Airtel was a non starter. The little competition Airtel provided, allowed Cable and Wireless to wake up, and they invested heavily in fibre optic infrastructure in Seychelles, to connect us with AFRICA ONE via the Tanzania feeder. It is an investment that exceeds 35 Million USD.
The problem for Seychelles is that the Government of Seychelles has allowed Cable and Wireless to fix internet connection rates at excessive rates, to allow it to recover its investment in a short term spread. Internet infrastructure return on investment is never short term.

Airtel Too Little Too Late
Pathetic Airtel who is always behind the times is now placing hotspots around town. Desperate opportunism at its best Airtel. What we need is cheap internet rates everywhere in Seychelles, not just at selected sites. As usually, Airtel misses the point and charges a card Scr. 350.00. Airtel that is over $30.00. Who in the World pays that rate for internet usage these days? Pathetic. Airtel may consider going into the fish packing business and fish fingers manufacturing at its ocean front location.

End Effect Rip Off Internet Prices
With Cable and Wireless along with Airtel believe it has an inherent God given right to massive profits in Seychelles, with their Fibre optic investment, they are surcharging customers excessive fees for internet connectivity in an age wherein it is suppose to be as cheap as banana chips.
The impact of high rates on hotels is passed on to Visitors that give us a bad rap for providing a rip off service.
If Cable and Wireless wants to continue to generate revenue from the Tourism market, it needs to play a long, extend its projected return on investment period of recovery and drop prices of services. A market needs to be nurtured to grow, not scalped to produce.
If Cable and Wireless drops internet rates, Tourism establishments, will pass the benefit to visitors.
Airtel forget about it. Just help them with permits to accelerate in fish fingers.

Seychelles Wins With Excellence
If this is done fast, Seychelles will be able to take advantage of the 3-G travelers that are inbound more than ever. They will take photos of fantastic views, beaches, vistas, hotels, food, and send them all around the World, instantly, constantly. They will be converted into Seychelles Marketing agents in an ad hoc and real way. This potentially can drive down our demand for huge marketing budgets and we can shift focus from marketing country to marketing airlines seats and hotel rooms where the effort is much needed, but there is no money to do what is necessary.
High internet rates will continue to dog Seychelles image if we do not say: enough is enough, Cable and Wireless!
Now is your chance to move forward with business, so do not take it for granted.
In the old days, one had to line up his/her ducks they say.
In the internet age, that has not changed.

Sesel Sa……it does not have to be that way!

Seselwa Unite!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Freedom of the Press

Seychelles

Freedom of the Press 2014


The media environment in Seychelles over the past decade has been characterized by government monopolization of radio and television, liberal use of draconian libel laws against opposition newspapers, occasional attacks against and harassment of media workers, and extensive self-censorship. However, conditions improved somewhat in 2013 due to a recent reduction in the cost of broadcast licenses, the issuing of new licenses, and the launching of the first private radio station as well as a new print outlet.
The constitution protects freedom of speech, but it also limits this guarantee with provisions protecting the reputation, rights, and privacy of citizens and the “interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health.” It grants the minister of information the power to prohibit the broadcast of any material deemed contradictory to the “national interest.” Since the court of appeals in 2007 overturned a libel conviction against the opposition weekly Regar, which had forced it to close temporarily, both the filing of libel charges and libel convictions have diminished. Nevertheless, civil libel suits can still be used against journalists. In 2012, the editor of the newspaper Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly, Ralph Volcere, who was also an opposition party leader, was found guilty of contempt of court under section 114 (1) of the penal code for an article challenging the neutrality of a sitting judge. Volcere was required to either publish an apology or pay a fine of 10,000 rupees ($730). Seychelles has no freedom of information legislation in place.
The state has a de facto monopoly on television broadcasting, and until 2013 it controlled the only radio outlets as well. Private broadcasters have been slow to develop because of prohibitively large annual licensing fees, though these were reduced in 2012 from 800,000 rupees ($67,000) to 100,000 rupees for radio and 250,000 rupees for television. Following one opposition party’s efforts to raise enough money for a radio license, the National Assembly in 2006 passed an amendment to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act prohibiting politically affiliated groups from obtaining a license.
In late 2009, the Seychelles Media Association, a grouping of media professionals, was reconstituted after a 10-year hiatus. The 2010 Seychelles Media Commission Act set up an independent media arbitration body, but questions have been raised about its neutrality. In May 2013, the commission published codes of conduct and ethics for journalists in the country.

A new Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation Act was passed in 2011, replacing legislation from 1992. The act was intended to increase the autonomy of the state-owned Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), which runs the only television station and two radio stations. However, the period surrounding the 2011 presidential election highlighted the continued bias of the SBC in favor of the ruling Parti Lepep and its candidate, President James Michel, who won reelection. SBC media coverage is still dominated by the government, giving opposition parties only limited access.
There have been reports of the government monitoring e-mail, chat rooms, and blogs, and opposition activists have accused authorities of blocking their party websites. Individuals are commonly arrested, detained, and eventually released for posting critical comments about government officials on social-networking websites.
Incidents involving attacks on or harassment of journalists are uncommon. However, in October 2013, Volcere reported via Facebook that Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly’s delivery vehicle had been severely vandalized.
The state-owned daily Seychelles Nation rarely publishes stories that are critical of the government, and paid advertising accounts for 60 percent of the content. Pressure from advertisers has led to management restructuring and the departure of seven journalists since 2010. The independent daily Today in Seychelles has grown to become one of the leading newspapers since launching in 2011. The weekly Le Seychellois Hebdo, which also began publishing in 2011, takes a more critical stance toward the government. Three other weekly newspapers—Regar, the People, and Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly—are affiliated with political parties. In February 2013, the newspaper Rising Sun Daily News abruptly ceased publication. However, a new triweekly paper, the Victoria Times, was launched in April. The SBC operates government-owned television and radio stations and relays foreign broadcasts. The government subsidizes 85 percent of the SBC budget, with the remaining 15 percent coming from private advertising. Since the 2012 reduction in broadcast licensing fees, authorities have granted two licenses to independent radio stations. In August 2013, one of those stations, Pure FM, went on the air, becoming the country’s first private commercial radio outlet.
In 2012, Seychelles was connected to the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, which provided the country with greater telecommunications bandwidth. About 50 percent of the population accessed the internet in 2013. Telecommunications companies must submit subscriber information to the government, though the requirement was not enforced in 2013.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2014/seychelles#.VBFPdWOa9Go

Monday, 8 September 2014

Access To Anse Georgette via Traditional Footpath


Dear Minister
Firstly, I must salute you, your team, for an excellent effort on promoting Praslin. Your efforts will pay off over the coming years. Thank you.
A reoccurring problem we are facing on Praslin, is the lack of access by traditional foot path through Lemuria, protected under law but in practice the Management of Lemuria is taking Praslin and visitors for fools.
Lemuria suggest that we take a new path to access Anse Georgette. Numerous guests have said this path is too long , dangerous, lacks guides lacks signage.
The path Lemuria unilaterally proposes is not a Traditional Foot path.
Under the law, every citizen is entitle to access to traditional foot path. No hotel can dent any one access by traditional foot path.
I ask that you address this with Lemuria for a position of finality signed by memorandum with your self Shta, SCCI.
Failing this I will create a class action, seek Judicial Review, and compound damages claims on this issue, as per court ruling s from Court of Appeal have insisted we start claiming.
Kind regards,
Christopher Gill

Emirates Hirers Seychelloise to Run Airline, Air Seychelles Does Not!

After rising through the ranks since 2004, Denise Rassool was recently appointed the head of Emirates Airlines to Seychelles with a score of people under her responsibility.
 
Oomar Ramtoola, the head of Emirates to the Indian Ocean, thus welcomed dedication without flaws in the company's new Director.
 
For his part, the Minister of tourism of the Seychelles, Alain Saint-Ange, congratulated warmly Denise Rassool for his exemplary career within Emirates Airlines.
 
As a reminder, Emirates Airlines, renewed its support to the Seychelles in the context of the promotion of the destination last May and has decided to increase its weekly flights to the archipelago with two additional flights from October 28.
 
The airline company of Dubai dessert today Seychelles, with 12 flights scheduled each week with the Airbus A340-500.
 
Emirates Airlines is an airline company in full expansion, with more than 180 aircraft that make up its fleet. With more than 120 destinations in 74 countries, Emirates Airlines displays a solid health, in a sector of the air yet in the crisis.
 
The airline company of Dubai, Emirates Airlines, issued last Thursday a net profit up 43% for the year 2013 to 887 million dollars against 622 million dollars registered in 2012.

n.indian-ocean-times.com/Seychelles-A-Seychellois-named-at-the-head-of-Emirates-Airlines-in-the-archipelago_a4386.html