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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Seychelles Economy in Trouble!


I start this edition with a quote I really appreciate from Winston Churchill –

"You cannot reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks."

Whether the masses realize it yet or not, Seychelles is facing challenging economic times. The latest commentary from key individuals about the state of our country’s economy is that we are, "on the road to a recession". 

In a recent edition of the 'Today' Newspaper of Seychelles, the respected financial personality, Malika Jivan, took the trouble to address the situation on hand. She was quoted stating, "…our economy has been contracting. A slowdown in various sectors, no FDI, has had a domino effect on the economy. In text book terms, we are in a recession. Consumers cut spending, business cut payroll to cope with falling earnings."
No Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country is a serious problem. Construction companies have confirmed the lack of big projects at the moment in Seychelles. At the same time, our cost of living has not been adjusted to improve the lives of those in the lower wage bracket. On the contrary, the cost of living is increasing.
This year our Nation’s budget was approved by the National Assembly, after a series of drawn-out and exhaustive debates. For the first time in Seychelles’ political history, the majority of seats in the Assembly is held by members of the Opposition. The budget for 2017, therefore, has had the blessing of our elected representatives. We are now midyear and patiently waiting to see results.
Malika Jivan proposes a series of measures, including a commitment to business, to stimulate FDIs, and for Government to be a facilitator of business. She notes that FOREX earning businesses and exports should be encouraged. One such FOREX earning business in Seychelles is undoubtedly tourism. Are we ensuring they have their needed staffing contingent? Are we running to ensure the marketing of the islands is receiving all the budgetary assistance required? The goose that lays the golden egg needs to be nurtured with care and attention. Negative political agendas must be left out of tourism if we want this vital industry to succeed.  
Last week we saluted the youth of Seychelles for being committed to saving Seychelles from itself. The positive feedback we have since obtained from the youth has been overwhelming. You are a force to be reckoned with and must continue to make your voices heard. We also need to acknowledge the efforts of those who have launched campaigns to collect accumulated rubbish from Grand Police and the beaches. You are not just talking, which is easy to do, but you are actively striving to protect and preserve our environment, and to keep our beaches as pristine as the holiday brochures say they are.
The tourism trade fair season is just around the corner once again, and as visitor arrival figures show, Italy and France need special attention. The tourism industry’s survival in Seychelles largely depends on air connectivity, but it also depends on our efforts in tapping into key markets. We may find ourselves witnessing sporadic cancellations of flights or discontinuation of air services if our target markets start fading away. The French Tourism Trade Fair will need a special push with private sector participation now that French elections are over and done with. The ball is very much in our court.
Finally, we once again say thank you to all who are reposting the Saint Ange Tourism Report. Our humble Report has travelled Africa-wide, to the Americas, to Australasia and to the Middle East. It is very clear that our direct mail-out is being really strengthened by the reposting being done by all the online NewsWires. Together, we are doing a real service for the tourism industry.
This week Saint Ange Consultancy has been taken to new heights; this Issue is coming to you from beautiful Indonesia.

Saturday, July 22, 2017




Louis D'Offay
Louis D'Offay, the well-known and highly respected hotelier from Praslin, died on the 18th July 2017 on his island home, leaving the industry he led for many years in shock and dismay. Louis, the much loved tourism personality, was a father and grandfather, a partner and a brother to some, and a cherished friend to so many. 
For the last two or so months he fought bravely against the cancer he had been diagnosed with, with the support of his beloved children, family members and friends. Louis D'Offay was 73 years old. Today he leaves behind five children, namely Jean-Paul, Simon, Jean-Marc, Lucas and Caroline.

Who was Louis D'Offay?

The sea and everything related to the sea was very much his passion, and he derived great joy from studying and working on ships for many years. He was a keen and avid fisherman.
Louis D'Offay with a Red Snapper on one of his many fishing trips
Louis D'Offay from a painting by his friend and renowned artist, Raymond DuBuisson.

Silhouette Island

Louis D'Offay lived on Silhouette Island and managed it for many years. He established himself as a hard worker who showed that he had the tenacity required to make this big island work and to make it profitable.
It is during his time on Silhouette Island that he helped coin the song 'Grand Barb' together with the well known singer and compositor, Patrick Victor. This was the song Louis D'Offay would sing loudly and happily at social evenings and in the company of friends.

The Hotelier

He was a self-taught hotelier, as he loved to say, and after the many years he owned and managed hotels, the verdict is that he was a very successful one. He began his journey with the quaint and charming 'Village du Pecheur' situated right on the beach at Cote D'Or, Praslin. This little establishment made its mark with its good food and the homely atmosphere.
Painting of Louis D'Offay's Village du Pecheur of Praslin
The successful years at 'Village du Pecheur' gave Louis D'Offay the confidence to move into something bigger and better. He built, together with Cecile Hodoul, the famous L'Archipel Hotel of Praslin.
Photo of L'Archipel Hotel of Praslin
L'Archipel Hotel was a purpose built hotel which Louis D'Offay saw as his baby. He spent his life at this property which was renowned for its good food, the ambience and the Creole flair. Louis D'Offay never stopped investing in his property and the hotel welcomed faithful and repeat guests who saw Louis as their Seychellois friend.
His son, Lucas D'Offay, worked in the hotel with him and Eddie D'Offay, his brother, was responsible for all Sales and Marketing activities. 
L'Archipel Hotel is known as a "Home Grown" property and is regarded as a success story of the Seychelles Tourism Industry.
Opening night of Le Bamboo Guest House on La Digue
Louis D'Offay wanted to see the Seychelles tourism industry succeed. He also seized opportunities and was never known to shy away from a venture if he thought it would help the industry.
The business acumen of Louis D'Offay pushed him to take over a lease for the Bamboo Guest House of La Digue and, in partnership with Daniella Payet-Alis, the Cote D'Or Apartments.
Both small properties worked well and he personally visited them frequently to ensure his personal vision was guiding the show.
Cote D'Or Apartments

Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA)

The leadership qualities of Louis D'Offay were recognised when he was appointed as the Chairman of SHTA.
Louis D'Offay as Chairman of the SHTA
The Tourism Industry's Association became one of the most important groupings of professionals and it was very fast acknowledged by the Government as the spokesman for tourism. The SHTA was vocal on matters affecting the tourism industry. It had its own Newsletter that ensured the Private Sector Trade and the Government were always well informed on matters of importance.
It was under the Chairmanship of Louis D'Offay that Seychelles really opened the Tourism Public / Private Sector partnership. Discussions on budget with Government, as well as labour matters to ensure an adequate expatriate workforce, became possible for the tourism industry.
Louis D'Offay the Chairman of the SHTA
Louis D'Offay was one of the longest serving Chairmans of the SHTA and will be remembered for his dedication to the industry's association. He led by example and gave time and money to make the association work. 


Politics is in the blood of most Seychellois and Louis D'Offay was no exception. He was a notable candidate for the Baie Ste Anne Constituency for the 1979 general Elections. 
Louis D'Offay, Candidate for Baie Ste Anne, Praslin 1979 elections
Louis was not successful in this election but continued to play an important part as the Branch Chairman before running again in the 1987 elections and winning the seat by a large majority. 
Louis D'Offay elected as the member for Baie Ste Anne, Praslin 1987 elections
Louis D'Offay continued to be very involved in politics and was a serious member of Parliament. On the ruling party structure he was pushing for the return of multi-party politics before associating himself with Jacques Hodoul in the MSD Party (Mouvement Seychellois pour la Democratie) for the 1992 Constitutional Commission Elections.
Louis D'Offay at an MSD Political Rally
Louis D'Offay continued to give advice on the political affairs of the country, expecting nothing in return but a better Seychelles.
Thank you Louis
I was fortunate to have known Louis D'Offay for many, many years and consider him to have been a wonderful and very cherished friend of mine. My re-entry into Government was very much at the insistence of Louis D'Offay who wanted a representative of the private sector to lead the tourism industry.
At a private sector meeting at the Tourism Academy at La Misere, Louis D'Offay went as far as to iron out the salary I was to earn as a Consultant to market Seychelles.
Before taking up employment at the Tourism Board and later assuming a Ministerial Office, I spent time with Louis D'Offay at the L'Archipel Hotel and was privileged to oversee the property when he was absent from the country.
Louis D'Offay and Alain St.Ange at L'Archipel Hotel
Louis D'Offay was a friend anyone would want to have. During the final days of both my own father and mother, he travelled to La Digue to spend time with them. The final trip to the hospital on La Digue for my father was with Louis D'Offay and myself after we had lifted him into the ambulance in his wheel chair and maneuvered with difficulty to get him out at the hospital which prompted the old man to give both Louis and myself a few choice stern words. 
The time I spent with Louis at the hospital in Victoria and at his Anse Boudin property marked me deeply. He had wanted to see me alone and had said so to many who visited him. Yes we spoke alone at Praslin and his words were appreciated and well understood.
Knowing how difficult it was for him to lift his arm last Friday, I am deeply touched by his insistence on giving me a final hand shake as we said goodbye.
Goodbye Louis, my dear friend. I am honoured to have known you. Seychelles will miss you. I will miss you.

Alain St.Ange 
Saint Ange Consultancy  


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Seychelles Government Drops Fee Increase For Parks

Government of Seychelles, specifically the Ministry of Environment tasked with administering the national parks system around Mahe,Praslin, have back tracked on a horrendous proposal made by another expert recruited from newspaper adverts, and unfortunately, hired.

The Proposal
The proposal entailed charging all hotel establishments touching a national park a rate of € 21.00 per bed single occupancy, based on 60% annual average occupancy ( annual occupancy is really 48% large hotels, 38% small hotels, both mean all hotels are generally in financial dire straits.

The Impact
A hotel like Ephelia Hotel in Port Launay will pay nearly € 2million in additional expenditure to the Seychelles National Parks Authority. In case the Seychelles National Parks Authority did not add this up, it works out to SCR. 30 Million in payments from Ephelia Resort, per year.  The people from environment are trying to increase the lease payments for the land once owned by Bill Pomeroy. Not good! bad, bad, bad idea!

La Reserve

La Reserve Hotel on Praslin will be expected to fork out another SCR 250,000.00 per month for being in the national park. Nuts! Makes one wonder what these environment guys smoke or snort?

Land Fees Proposed To Go Up SCR. 100.00

To land on Curiesse island, these environment  technos  want to hike landing fees by SCR. 100.00. This will make a day on Curiesse Island cost SCR. 300.00 from the current SCR. 200.00. Currently, we do not see a line of Tourist rushing to pay SCR. 200.00 to land on Curiesse Island.

Cousin Fiasco Landing Fee SCR. 500.00

Cousin Island run by Bird Life, charges SCR. 500.00. Bird Life pays no VAT on this fee. It pays no taxes. Excursion operators are already boycotting landing guests on Cousin Island because the fees make a sale difficult, and give the visitor the impression they're being robbed. The tour last one hour and a half, you have to pay your own way round trip to and from Praslin.

Sister Island

Sister Island charges landing fees illegally. The practice has been ongoing for years. The government receives no revenue, the public is out raged, and I will say, pissed off.
Sister island is one island which the government of Seychelles should be brave, acquire it, turn it into a national park, continue to charge the fees. An audit ought to be conducted, apply all the illegal undeclared revenue over the past 35 years to the settlement price. I assure you, it will be the last time a queer from Paris kicks a Seselwa off an island.

After much discussion, government agreed to withdraw these proposed fees in the national cross sector, which Seychelles Chamber of Commerce attended, kept the flag flying, thanks to his right good and decent, Mr. Pierre Quatre attending, while his Chairman ( Defacto ) Wilson a Nancy was absent, in mind and body, as usual....from Seychelles, but he was here.

Figure it out folks!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seycllois

Friday, June 16, 2017

Seychelles Abandons Environment Ideals With HYBRIDS

The Ministry of Finance has announced outrageous excise taxes to be applicable on environmentally friendly Eco vehicles or HYBRIDS which reduce consumption of fossil fuels, burn cleaner, emit less co2, cost less then fossil fuel vehicles. The public is outraged over the issue.

One Party State Mental State on Taxes

Excise Tax on HYBRIDS was 5% flat to encourage protection of the environment and to show Seychelles commitment to the environment. As of June 16 th, 2017, a one party state style tax ladder on HYBRIDS will take effect: 1. 1600cc - 12.5% tax , 2. 2000 cc - 37.5 % tax, 3. 2000-2500 cc 75% tax, 4. Above 2500 cc - 100% tax.

Add The VAT 15%

In addition to these taxes, VAT of 15% will be added to the vehicles. The policy will penalize Seychellois trying to buy a car, to improve their quality of life, and protect the environment. The super rich docked at Eden Island will remain un scathed as usual. Government officials who drive in new vehicles every three years will be unaffected.

Dealers Hurt
Dealers of vehicles will be hurt badly by this initiative, and it will be a negative on the business climate. Those who have invested dearly to set up dealer ships will be at a loss due simply to more bad policy, not market forces. The regime will add even more unpredictability to the Seychelles government and how they do things under the coco nut tree at Ministry of Finance. Last year, MOF scrapped Trades Tax, implemented Excise tax system to divert and nullify the Tourism Incentive Act, providing concession to the Tourism Industry, since they are the main hard currency earners in the country. Again, many business relied on TIA and trusted the government, they were let down in classic one party state style.

Keep Your Word Challenge

A government that cannot keep its word, is a government that cannot be trusted. Simple!

Sesel Pou Seselwa! 

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!