A Spanish organisation is calling upon the local fishing authority to make electronic monitoring compulsory on all purse seiners fishing in Seychelles’ waters.  

The Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers(OPAGAC) made this request after receiving results from a pilot project that started in 2016. The organisation said that electronic monitoring is “an efficient way of improving tropical tuna fishery management in the Indian Ocean.”

The Seychelles Fishing Authority indicated it would not make such monitoring compulsory at this time.

Last year, the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) in partnership with the Common Oceans ‘Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction’ (ABJN) Tuna Project, OPAGAC and Satlink, a Spanish engineering firm, installed electronic surveillance cameras on two tuna purse seiners.

The main objective was to test the ability of e-monitoring to produce reasonably precise and accurate estimates of retained catch and bycatch on trips by the two Seychelles-flagged vessels.

“This initiative has proved that electronic monitoring systems are able to guarantee high standards of tracking, control and surveillance on the part of coastal states and regional fisheries management organisations,” OPAGAC said in a press statement.

The data collected showed that electronic monitoring systems can provide very high-quality monitoring of the main activities involved in tuna fishing. This includes position tracking, vessel speed recording and identification of vessels’ activities.

The project “is a fundamental initiative for increasing cooperation and joint work by governments, the fishing industry, regional fisheries management organisations and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) with the joint goal of guaranteeing sustainable, ecosystem-friendly fisheries,” said Julio Morón, the general manager of OPAGAC.

He added that such initiatives “are fundamental for continuing to strengthen and harmonise the tracking, control and surveillance systems vital for ensuring true ocean governance.”

 An officer from the local Fishing Authority, Vincent Lucas, told SNA that the electronic monitoring will not be compulsory.

“SFA is in favour of human observer and as far as the purse seiners are concerned EMS (electronic monitoring systems) will complement human observers’ work,” said Lucas. He added that this system could, on the other hand, be used for longliners, as logistically it is complicated for them to deploy human observers.

The 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean has been implementing an observer programme onboard its tuna purse seiners fishing since 2012. Following capacity building, the first at sea deployment was initiated in September 2014. Today, Seychelles is assessing the possibility of extending the programme on its industrial longline fishing including the use of Electronic Monitoring System.

The local fishing authority said the pilot project “needs further adjustment in the configuration of the system in order to yield more precise and accurate catch figures.”

Fisheries is the second contributor to the island nation’s economy. Seychelles has a total land area of 455 square kilometres spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.37 million square kilometres.  

A campaign encouraging residents of Seychelles to drink tap water instead of bottled water has been met with questions about municipal water quality in the island nation. 

The campaign, which has been on Nature Seychelles Facebook page since August, had an environmental aim - to reduce the number of plastic bottles being disposed of in nature.

“In Seychelles, despite the bottles being made of PET and potentially recyclable, a lot is simply thrown away,” said Nirmal Jivan Shah, the chief executive of Nature Seychelles.

He added that “bottled water is not cheap and with the high cost of living in Seychelles, buying bottled water adds a huge amount to an individual’s or household’s budget.”

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of plastic bottles being disposed of in the environment. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

The Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the sole provider of treated water in the country, charges $0.57 (7.80SCR) per unit whereas a litre of bottled water sells at a minimum price of $0.7 (SCR10).

Shah feels that Public Utilities Corporation and the Ministry of Environment have a huge amount of awareness-raising and advocacy work to do to persuade people of the quality of the treated water.

“I think we are proud to say that much of the population of Seychelles has access to potable water, a constitutional right and a sustainable development goal, yet if people are suspicious of the integrity of this water and  believe it is not “potable”, there is something grossly wrong somewhere,” said Shah.

Tap water in the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean is being described as unsafe for direct consumption by those who commented on the Facebook post.

“There are times the colour of the water is yellow or orange, and in cases of heavy rains, it is translucent in colour. PUC water is also ‘hard water’ with high levels of Ca2+ (Calcium ions) which eventually results in kidney stones,” one person said. 

Although the population of Seychelles has access to potable water, tap water is seen as unsafe for direct consumption according to the posts on Facebook. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Other comments expressed concerns with the level of chlorine used in water treatment and the desalinated water being supplied to consumers.

Another suggested that “PUC should publish results of water testing per district on a weekly basis” which will facilitate the purchase of water filters that can be used at home.

SNA sent questions relating to the post to the chief executive of PUC, Philippe Morin whose only comment was “our water is better than any water.”

Many contributors to the post said that they prefer drinking bottled water as they feel that the quality of the water is safer. However, not everyone agreed to this, saying bottled water is exposed to the sun for hours before being delivered to retail outlets. This causes the water to react to the plastic, becoming a health hazard to the public.

Speaking to SNA Serge Durup, owner of Eau Val Riche- a mineral water bottling company, said, “it is the distributor who exposes the water to the sun if the extent exposure is taking place. Companies that produce bottled water must make sure that their distributors are covering the products when they are delivering them to shops.”

Durup said he works with only one distributor and made sure from the very beginning that he had the necessary equipment including a covered pickup truck. “He is not allowed to leave my factory without covering the water bottles,” he added.

Durup said he does not think that that bottles exposed to the sun are a major issue in Seychelles and that “for the sun to have an effect on the water, the bottles have to be extensively exposed for about four or five hours of direct exposure.”

Eight out of 18 tourism projects excluded from a moratorium on large hotels in Seychelles could be reallocated if the project backers don't begin construction within a year, said a top official of the ministry of tourism. 

Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine, said the decision was taken because promoters of the eight projects have taken too long to develop them.

“We are targeting those investors who have obtained approval more than five years ago and still have not done anything. Some have even had up to 10 years,” the minister said.

Loustau-Lalanne said that the tourism department is going to write to the respective investors and give them one year to decide if they want to go ahead with their project.

“We think that they will not be able to do anything within the course of one year. Therefore, we will be able to take back 1,300 rooms for redistribution,” 
Loustau-Lalanne said.

The moratorium on large hotel projects except those already approved by the government was announced by the Seychelles’ former president, James Michel, during the Independence Day celebrations on June 29, 2015.

The moratorium was prolonged to the end of 2020 by the Seychelles’ President Danny Faure in his State of the Nation address in February.

Large hotels are defined as those having 25 rooms or more. The moratorium does not include small establishments of 15 rooms or less which are reserved for Seychellois.

Old and abandoned hotels are also to be reallocated and they account for more than 700 which are counted as part of the approximate 5300 existing hotel room quota. These include Reef Hotel and Equator Hotel.

According to statistics from the Tourism Ministry, there are 541 tourism establishments in operation that have 5,849 rooms.

The tourism minister said that when the department did its research, the feedback from tour operators was that there is not enough room to accommodate visitors.

“As Seychelles is experiencing an economic growth in the tourism sector, it is unacceptable to note that there are not enough rooms. This why we also need to redistribute these projects to investors that are ready to develop,” said Loustau-Lalanne.

Grand Police has been declared a protected area as it is considered as an international key biodiversity area.(Stan Adam) Photo License: CC-BY

The Criteria for reallocation will be drawn up on a case-by-case basis and once approved these projects will be subjected to environmental impact assessments and the requirements of regulatory bodies such as the Seychelles Planning Authority.

With the addition of the new hotels excluded from the moratorium, an additional 4,000 rooms will be available in the island nation to accommodate visitors.

Commenting on the Grand Police Bay hotel, which has now been declared a protected area by the Cabinet of Ministers, in June, Loustau-Lalanne, said that their number of rooms have been taken back as well and discussion is ongoing with the developers. 

Tourism remains the top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. In the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January, over 304,000 visitors came to Seychelles last year, compared with 275,000 in 2015.

A Seychellois craftsman is making art out of invasive creepers that the authorities are trying to control so they don't disrupt the island’s natural ecosystem. 

Eve Breithaupt of Port Glaud, a district on the western side Mahe, the main island, said instead of just destroying the creepers, she collects and moulds them into valuable objects like baskets, mirror frames and lampshades.

Breithaupt uses all kind of creepers that grow in lowland areas close to her house, and she said that she has to uproot the whole plant to be able to use it in her craft.

“After that, I put the plant in a barrel of water for a day to remove its rigidity. I then remove it, put it in the shade to dry for some time, but not too long, as it can become too thick again, making it difficult to weave it into an artifact,” she said.  

The local craftsman said she likes to accentuate mirrors with the creepers as the brownish colours, give them a special effect, especially when placed in homes or offices. 

Eve Breithaupt through one of the mirrors framed by the moulded creepers. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

“The right placement of mirrors can bring beneficial energy to specific areas of your home or office. Mirrors are the perfect representation of the water and always bring the energy of refreshment and calm into any space. Therefore, having it blended with creepers, found in the environment, gives it a more aesthetic appeal,” said Breithaupt.

Alien invasive creepers have been identified as a threat to the ecosystems and natural areas of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean. They are common in all habitats of the island nation and the highland forests. Recently they have expanded in lowland areas, and some of these species have started to invade the natural areas.

As a result, the Ministry of Environment, Energy, Climate Change in collaboration with the Seychelles National Parks Authority have embarked on a five-year campaign to control the creepers especially the three more aggressive one -- the trumpet, devil’s ivy and merremia.

“Today the government is throwing a lot of money just to destroy alien invasive creepers in certain areas when they can encourage people to use it in craftsmanship,” said Breithaupt.

She said that: "If we teach people how to use it to make a craft, it could be another way to control its propagation.”

The chief executive of the Ministry of Environment, Flavien Joubert, said that it is quite encouraging to note that some people are creating art and finding an economic value with the creepers.

“There are combined ways in which we can eliminate creepers, using it as a form of art and adding economic value to it, can become another form of intervention as it will encourage more people to remove it from the environment voluntarily,” said Joubert.

There are other alien plants such as cinnamon and bamboo, which have economic value, and Joubert said that many artists are using them as a means of getting an income --  the same could apply to creepers.

Breithaupt said that other than mirrors, she can make other items such as baskets and lampshades, which are commonly seen in hotels.

“The texture of dry creepers is the same as rattan and bamboo, which is used to create raffia window. It is very flexible and malleable,” said the local craftsman. 

Everything with the creepers can be used in the creation of art, Breithaupt said, “ including its roots and leaves.”

The products have different prizes and are on sale at the Camion Hall in the capital city of Victoria.

Looking towards the future, Breithaupt said that more attention should be given to artists and people with the right know-how should be appointed to key positions to give the industry a new breath of life.

“Our resource is our culture; we should stop importing raw materials that we have naturally in the environment,” she said.  

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 00:00

Seychelles Tourism unveils new website

The Seychelles Tourism Department has launched its official website allowing the general public and trade partners to have easier access to information on the department’s role, as well as the different services it offers.

The Tourism Department falls within the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine. It’s new website provides details of the different sections within the department, statistics, products maintained by the tourism department, news, among other information.

The new website was officially unveiled at the Ministry’s Headquarters at Botanical House, Mont-Fleuri, on Friday September 29, as part of activities to mark this year’s Tourism Week.

This was in the presence of the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert as well as staff of the Tourism Department.

The Tourism Department’s IT Manager, Paul Gertrude said: “The aim having the new website is to ensure that our stakeholders are well informed about the department’s role, promote engagement between the department and their publics, as well as ensure accessibility to their services and products.”

It has taken the department about two years to design and develop the new website with the help of Cyber-Wave Computing 2000, whose director, Mario Rotolo, was also present at Friday’s launching ceremony.

The event also provided the perfect opportunity for the Tourism Department to recognize tourism establishments that have adopted sustainable practices, deserving of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) certificate.

Coral Strand Hotel has become the newest member of the SSTL family and it was the General Manager of the hotel, Sujith Surendran who accepted the certificate on behalf of the hotel.

Applicable to hotels of all sizes, the SSTL is a voluntary sustainable tourism management and certification program, designed to encourage more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business. It works on a point-based system and all hotels have to satisfy 24 “must” criteria, and depending on their size, the hotels have to score additional points in each of eight theme areas – Management, Waste, Water, Energy, Staff, Conservation, Community and Guests.

Scoring an additional six points in any area, is the third criteria that has to be fulfilled to obtain certification. The criteria are specifically designed to ensure that minimum standards are met by each establishment.

Three other hotels – Heliconia Grove, Banyan Tree Seychelles and Kempinski Seychelles Resort – were also presented with SSTL certificates after they were re-certified. So far, a total of 15 hotels hold the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label certificate.

Speaking at Friday’s ceremony, Minister Loustau-Lalanne said: “I am indeed very happy that the SSTL is a program, which is getting more recognition and it is very encouraging to see more hotels getting certified and others who are getting their label renewed, congratulations to you all.”

The launching of the website and presentation of SSTL certificates were the last activities coordinated by the Tourism Department for Tourism Week, although the Seychelles Tourism Board had other activities planned.

PS Lafortune noted that the department will be keeping some of the activities featured this year on the calendar for the next tourism week in 2018, while new initiatives will be brought on board to create more awareness of the tourism industry.

“I think it [Tourism Week] brings awareness to the public. This year we spoke about sustainable tourism and I think it was important for us to explain what it means and how we can go about to ensure the tourism industry, which is the pillar of our economy, continues to be there for us today and also for the generation to come,” Mrs. Lafortune added.

Washing the sand off the face of a nesting turtle in order to get a clear, identifiable photo to be used by computer software is one of the ways a teacher-turned-conservationist is living her passion for marine conservation.

"Every time I see a nesting sea turtle, I have to have a bottle of water to wash the sand off its face. Then, I have to take pictures of its left and right side for identification purposes,” said Vanessa Didon, the project coordinator of the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles.

Didon said that through photo identification software, she will know if it is a turtle she has seen before.

With the nesting season approaching, the Marine Conservation Society, a not-for-profit organisation, is setting up protected areas for hawksbill turtles on the main island of Mahe.

“This will be set up in the six main nesting beaches situated in the south of Mahe, starting from Grand Police, all the way to Intendance,” said Didon.

She added that: “If a nest is found, its precise location is recorded using GPS, to monitor its status until the hatchlings appear after a two-month incubation period.”

The hatchlings will emerge after 8 weeks of incubation. (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

According to Didon, since 2011 the Conservation Society records show that approximately 200 female hawksbills sea turtles had come to nest.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is home to one of the world's largest populations of the hawksbill, which is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Sea turtles in the island nation are protected under the Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act and the penalty is up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $37,000.

Didon says that despite the strict laws, poaching is still a major concern because of the country's traditional appetite for turtle meat.

"In fact, with the nesting season approaching, we have recorded one turtle, which has been killed in the south region. Before, I knew they killed for their shell, but now they are being killed by people for consumption,” Didon said.

The project coordinator of the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles added that females are more vulnerable and it is heart-sickening for her whenever she sees a carcass of the species lying on the sand. 

Didon hopes that the practice of killing this animal stop so that future generations can enjoy and embrace it.

Apart from human-related threats, other reasons nesting success are affected are eggs washed away by waves and steep crests and obstacles inhibiting the female’s progress across the beaches to lay eggs. Once hatched, babies are favourite food for ghost crabs, birds and fish.

Didon said that another emerging threat is dogs frequenting beaches and digging up eggs from the nesting holes. 

The hawksbill breeds throughout Seychelles, mostly between mid-October and mid- January and Didon said that during monitoring, together with her colleagues they patrol the beaches where they know turtles might come to nest.

One of the turtles making its way up the beach. (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

"Sometimes it's very apparent that the turtle has nested," she said. "You can see sand thrown around, but sometimes if you are not too sure, it's quite good to just feel the sand and if you feel loose sand, this gives you an indication that there is a nest there."

Sea turtles lay around 150-200 eggs depending on species and it takes around 2 to 3 hours. The hatchlings will emerge after 8 weeks of incubation.

Despite no longer being in a classroom, Didon says a big part of her job is still educating others about the plight of sea turtles and other local marine wildlife. During the off-season, she visits schools and hotels to host awareness programs and presentations. 

In a bid to reduce glass bottle waste in the Seychelles' open environment, a new initiative will be launched soon in which a fee will be paid upon the return of used bottles, a top official said.

“We are having a meeting to discuss which type of bottles we will start with and how much the redeemed fee will be,” said Alain Decommarmond, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Environment.

Decommarmond said that the authorities took the decision after they noticed the large number of glass bottles people have dumped in the environment during the ‘clean up the world’ campaign.

“We organised a team to clean the road leading to Espace building, and the two main items we saw were old styrofoam takeaway boxes and glass waste bottles,” said the principal secretary. He added that most of the bottles were those of imported alcoholic beverages.

Decommarmond said the initiative will include putting a levy of $0.1 (SCR 2) which will be applicable on the importation of glass bottle items.

The initiative will encourage residents in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, to return their glass bottles at collection points called ‘redeem centres’ which will be announced soon. 

“This will be areas where people can come to redeem their glass waste. It could be shops or specific redeem centres,” said Decommarmond. 

A local company, Seychelles Breweries, has its own incentive whereby there is a deposit of $0.1 (SCR 2) on each bottle which is refunded when returned to any shop. Very few of those bottles are seen littering public areas.

Decomarmond said the initiative will increase the idea of glass recycling, thus, reducing the level of waste in the environment and those that are ending up in the landfill.

According to a 2016 provisional study of the landfill in Seychelles, 90 percent of the glass entering the country, mainly bottles, glassware and light bulbs, ends up in the landfill.

Another glass recycling initiative being done in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, is by a local company -- Rogan’s Construction -- in partnership with a local not-for-profit organisation, Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S), where glass waste is collected and crushed using a crusher plant.

Glass waste is collected and crushed by the Rogan's Construction company and used as aggregates.  (Rogan’s Construction Company) Photo License: CC-BY

The glass bottle is made from four main ingredients -- sand, soda ash, limestone and other additives for colour or special treatments.  Too much of these components in the environment can cause potential damage to plants and animals.

The principal secretary said that recycling glass bottles is another step to strengthen the country’s commitment to fighting against pollution.

A tax on property owned by foreigners is expected to take effect in July next year, a top official of the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday at a consultative meeting.

The principal secretary for finance, Patrick Payet, said that the ministry has taken this decision after discussions with the government. 

"What we have seen with the real estate market is that it is driven by foreigners. We see prices go up and while foreigners can purchase properties, Seychellois lose because they cannot afford to buy land or houses.” 

“With this, we are ensuring that there is enough supply of land for Seychellois as well as additional land for the business sector to invest in and develop for rent,” said Payet after a consultative meeting with businesses, companies owning properties and real estate agents.

The property tax will apply to foreigners, be it individual or companies, who already own residential and tourist establishments as well as businesses in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the west of the Indian Ocean. It will also apply to any future purchase of property by foreigners.  

The idea for a new property tax was made in the 2017 budget address by Peter Larose, the minister of finance, after concerns from members of the National Assembly.

Payet said that the policy framework for the implementation was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers two weeks ago. The framework will form the basis for implementation in 2018.

Property tax is a tax assessed on real estate and it is usually based on the value of the property.  The property can be classified as land, buildings or other immovable improvements to the land which increase the value of the real estate.

The tax rate will be 0.25 percent of the value of the property.

“We feel that the rate is ideal based on different assessments we have made using other countries which we feel may give us some competition in those markets,” said Payet.

Revenue collected from the tax will go towards building of houses among others. (Mervin Marie, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

He added that: "We have used a very conservative rate of 0.25 percent to ensure that people pay the tax instead of finding ways not to pay. It is also favourable compared to other countries where the tax is in existence.”

The revenue collected will be invested in different infrastructures and the principal secretary said that while the ministry responsible for housing is ensuring that there is enough land for Seychellois, the additional resources will go towards the building of houses.

The government expects to build 25 houses in 25 districts every year.

“There are other infrastructures in education, health, as well as for transport. At the end of the day, the money will go towards different infrastructures.”

The new law is expected to come into force in January and the Registration Division will be tasked with informing foreign owners of their tax obligations. By next October, the Seychelles Revenue Commission is expected to collect the tax.

The Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning has started a series of consultations for the implementation of the property tax. The meetings will continue on the second and third most populated islands- Praslin and La Digue - during the weekend. A separate one will be done with the tourism sector and the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Monday, 02 October 2017 00:00

German man drowns while on honeymoon

A 49-year old German national drowned at Petite Anse on La Digue, Seychelles’ third-most populated island, the police said on Thursday.

The police said that they were informed about the incident by a resident of La Digue who received a call from the German’s wife seeking help at around 2.05 p.m.

When officers of the Fire and Rescue Services agency and medical officers on the island arrived on the scene, the German national had been removed from the sea, the police said. In spite of attempts to revive the visitor, he was confirmed dead upon arrival at the island’s hospital.

The German had arrived in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, with his wife on Sunday, September 24 for their honeymoon and were staying at Maison Charme De l’Ile, a self-catering establishment. They were due to leave on October 8.

The Police have started an investigation and await autopsy results to establish the exact cause of the German man’s death. 

Secondary school students were given the opportunity to explore the topic of sustainable tourism in an inter-school public speaking competition that kicked off this year’s tourism week.

The activity was organised by the Tourism Department in collaboration with the Ministry for Education and Human Resource Development

Tourism week is celebrated annually in Seychelles as an extension of the World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27. The theme chosen by UNWTO for this year’s World Tourism Day is Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development.

The Inter-School Public Speaking competition was therefore an opportunity to raise awareness on sustainable tourism, particularly exploring the contributions of sustainable developments in the tourism sector, while underlining the present situation and what priorities and actions should be considered for further progress.

Groups of three participants from Secondary Schools on Mahé, namely the International School of Seychelles, Independent School, Anse-Boileau, Anse-Royale School, Belonie and Plaisance Schools took part in the competition. Their presentations centered on Travel, Enjoy, Respect, which is a new campaign launched by UNWTO to raise awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development.

When delivering their presentations, the students addressed the need to raise awareness on the value and contributions that can be made towards tourism development and how the three words — Travel, Enjoy, Respect — can be used to further engage tourists and locals in making the tourism sector a catalyst for positive change.

The content of their presentations and eloquent delivery was judged by a panel comprising of a freelance consultant on sustainable tourism, Ms Diana Korner, director for product development at the Tourism Department, Mrs Sinha Levkovic and Ms Elaine Lafortune, an assessment development officer at the Centre for Curriculum, Assessment and Teacher Support. The judges also asked questions to assess the students’ knowledge of their research subject.

The Anse-Boileau Secondary School emerged as the winner and the students have won a day trip to Fregate Island sponsored by Fregate Island Private. Alvania Lawen from the same school was awarded the title of Best Speaker. Independent school won a day trip to North Island after coming out second, while Plaisance School won a day trip to Silhouette as the third prize winner, both prizes being sponsored by the two islands’ resorts – North Island’s Luxury Private Island Resort and Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa on Silhouette, respectively.

The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Anne Lafortune, who was present at the event and presented prizes to the winning schools thanked all teams for participating and congratulated the speakers for their efforts.

“This was our first attempt at organizing such a public speaking competition and it will now be featured annually on our list of activities for tourism week. Hopefully we will get more school to participate. For those who were brave enough this year, we hope that it has been an enriching experience that has allowed you to learn more about the topic of sustainable tourism and from this, hopefully, you can all become tourism ambassadors,” Mrs Lafortune said in her closing remarks.

Activities for tourism week are ongoing and will end on Tuesday October 3. Activities are being coordinated by the Tourism Department, Seychelles Tourism Board and Seychelles Tourism Academy.

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