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Saturday, July 22, 2017

SEYCHELLES TOURISM MOURNS THE PASSING OF MR. LOUIS D'OFFAY

By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY


SEYCHELLES TOURISM MOURNS THE PASSING OF
MR. LOUIS D'OFFAY

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

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!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top Seychelles Persona In Alleged Land Scams!



The heat in the kitchen is rising. Seychelles society, under President Faure is under going a purge of corruption and illicitly obtained land and properties. Expectedly, land is much sought after in Seychelles, more valuable then gold, to some, sweeter then honey, to others sweeter then the honeycomb.

L'Espace Tenants Booted!

Numerous tenants at L' ESPACE the grand commercial center built by Former President Michel. The parking lot is on a plot with no lease. The consideration for the plot where the grand commercial center sits was not fair market value. In addition, the source of funding of this building complex remains under investigation by the National Assembly. Recently, numerous tenants were booted including Seychelles Tourism Board. They were told to leave the furniture.  How much of the marketing fund is used to pay rent?

Dolor Bends Over In A Vice!

Dolor Ernesta, former Minister and Vice Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) is under investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission for acquiring on his name, 52 plots of land allegedly, then selling 26 plots in a systematic manner. Mr. Ernesta was a infamous Minister of Lands, a former sanitation inspector on La Digue, came to own numerous plots on La Digue, Beau Vallon, San Souci. Was he clever or crooked? The Anti Corruption Commission will give us its position.

Sarah LTD Scam

Last month a company called Sarah LTD was cajoled by President Faure after tough negotiations to give back numerous plots of land to government of Seychelles situated at Beau Vallon. The case registered the first concrete action taken by the President to undo malpractice in land acquisition. However, no further criminal case was brought forward, while the company was named, the individuals behind the company have been shielded in the Seychelles official press and opposition press.

International Prestige Ltd Scam With SCR. 1 Million Deposit!

International Prestige a company unknown in Seychelles commercial life, has obtained six plots of land at Providence Industrial Estate, with a deposit of only SCR. 1 Million. The Opposition submitted these details to President Faure, he has ordered immediately, the cancellation of the leases. No party or person has been named from government for facilitating the fraud and the individual tendering the payment on behalf of the shelf company has not been named or charged with a crime.

The lesson thus far is clear, better off stealing land in Seychelles, then breaking into houses to steal flat screens.

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!