Seychelles’ 11th Eco-Friendly Marathon set for February 25, 2018

Seychelles will once again be hosting the Eco-Friendly Marathon, which is held annually on the last Sunday of February.

The 11th edition of the Eco-Friendly Marathon is set for Sunday February 25, 2018.

It is aiming to attract the participation of thousands of people, both locally and from abroad. The organisers are already foreseeing some 4,000 local and 500 international participants this year.

As is the case each year, the race will start at 7 a.m. at Beau Vallon, one of the most popular tourist areas in the north of Mahé. Participants will be walking, jogging and running various distances covering the northern and north-eastern districts, going down to Victoria and heading back the same way to finish the race at Beau Vallon.

To cater for a wide range of fitness level the Eco-Friendly Marathon allows participants to choose whether they want to complete 5km and 10 km races, the half- marathon (21 km) and marathon (42 km).

The deadline for registration is February 15, 2018. International participants can download registration forms from the official website of the Eco-Friendly Marathon www.seychelles-marathon.com. The completed registration forms should be emailed to the race committee at the National Sports Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Local participants are advised to register in person at the National Sports Council.

Registration fees to be charged are €60 for the marathon, €40 for half-marathon, €25 and €20 for the 10 km and 5 km races, respectively.

The Eco-Friendly Marathon was initiated in 2008 by Seychelles' Honorary Consul General for South Korea, Dong Chang Jeong, who also heads the Seychelles tourist office there, as part of efforts to encourage the Seychellois population to exercise and stay healthy. The event is one that is also helping to promote Seychelles across the globe, especially among the more health-conscious travellers.

The marathon is both challenging and rewarding and it is more than a mere competition. While the participants have to endure some quite steep hills during the race, the visitors especially, also get to discover some of the island nation's natural beauty and breath-taking coastal views.

The Eco-Friendly Marathon also helps to unify the Seychellois and visiting participants, and since it was launched in 2008, it has seen an increase in the number of participants from different countries.

Seychelles’ Eco-Friendly Marathon is recognized internationally through the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) label. This year it is being organized jointly by the National Sports Council, the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) and the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).

A wide range of prizes will be awarded to the top five category winners, and all participants who complete the race will also be awarded their official time certificate, a medal, and a t-shirt.

Winners of the half-marathon and marathon will receive their prizes during a ‘cultural night’ that will be held at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel, in the evening of Sunday February 25, 2018.

Seychelles Tourism Board joins cultural delegation at Festival Liberté Métisse in Reunion

Seychelles was represented at the 8th edition of Festival Liberté Métisse in Reunion Island, held from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th December 2017, at L'Etang-Salé beach.

Festival Liberté Métisse is an annual cultural event that commemorates the abolition of slavery in Reunion. It was initiated by the Regional Council of Reunion as a Vanilla Island event.

Through this event, members of the Vanilla islands comprising of Seychelles, Madagascar, La Réunion, Mauritius, Comoros and Mayotte, come together to share the richness of their cultural heritage,

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Tourism Department produces new leaflet providing useful tips for a safer and memorable hiking experience

The Tourism Department has launched a new leaflet providing tips to hikers, especially tourists, keen to explore Seychelles’ walks and trails.

The leaflet has been produced by the Risk Management Section within the Tourism Department, in collaboration with other partners including the Seychelles National Parks Authority and Seychelles police.

The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune and the Director Risk Management, Philomena Hollanda presented a copy of the leaflet to the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne on Wednesday December 20, 2017.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne welcomed the booklet while highlighting that it is fitting to promote the country’s walks and trails.

“This goes well with the Seychelles brand as the country is a champion of a clean environment and when we engage in activities such as trekking this also helps us to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles National Parks Authority, Flavien Joubert and Chief Superintendent Sean Jacklin were also presented with a copy of the document, during the launch at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri.

The Director Risk Management, Philomena Hollanda said it has taken around 4 to 5 months to produce the document.

The leaflet provides useful tips that nature lovers – both Seychellois and tourists – should observe while hiking on both official and unofficial walks and trails in Seychelles.

This includes ensuring that there is good weather, seeking maximum information about the trails including seeking the services of a licensed guide -- especially for unofficial trails, having the proper safety gears and a list of essentials to carry along including water, a mobile phone with charged battery.

The leaflet also has a list of essential numbers to be contacted in case of emergency.

The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, said the leaflet will complement the Seychelles Hiking Guide, recently launched by the Seychelles Tourism Board, providing details of 15 trails found on Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, and Silhouette.

“Many tourists like to visit our walks and trails and we have witnessed several incidents in the past where they can be injured or lost, so we have taken the initiative to produce the leaflet to give them tips that can be followed as a precaution,” said Mrs Lafortune.

According to Chief Superintendent Sean Jacklin, the police records at least one incident of tourists being lost on trails every two months, but they are usually provided with assistance within 12 to 24 hours.

Mr Jacklin noted that a lot of the incidents could have been avoided if some simple steps had been taken, like giving details of which trail they were going to visit, carrying along a whistle to signal the attention of the search party if they are too weak to call out for help, among others.

He welcomed the production of the new leaflet, which he said should help all hikers to enjoy the flora and fauna of Seychelles in a safe manner.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Flavien Joubert, said that in addition to the new hiking guide and now the new information leaflet, they will also be placing more information board along the trails to improve the trekking experience, as part of efforts to encourage more visitors to explore nature while on holiday.

A new helpline 2818800 is also operational for any visitors who may need assistance if they encounter any problems while visiting the trails, which also features on SNPA’s new website.

The SNPA is also collaborating with the Seychelles Tourism Board to design a smartphone app, which will present the new Seychelles Hiking Guide launched by STB in a digital format, also allowing hikers to access a host of other features.

The new leaflet providing useful tips for a memorable experience while exploring Seychelles’ walks and trails is available on the Tourism Department’s website. Physical copies are also being distributed to the various stakeholders including the tourism establishments, SNPA, police, tourist information office, among others.

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Award 2017: Seychelles’ H Resort wins accolade for Favourite Family resort

The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach has been awarded the Favourite Resort for Families title at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice awards 2017.

The award ceremony attended by top regional and international travel industry professionals was held at the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi, in the evening of Wednesday December 13, 2017.

A total of 22 accolades were presented to winners across various award categories from favorite travel experiences across destinations and hotels, to airlines and tour operators.

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Mentors committee for Shannon College graduates holds second general meeting to review progress and chart way forward

The Seychelles Tourism Academy’s mentors’ committee for Shannon College graduates organised its second general meeting on Friday December 15, 2017.

The mentors committee chaired by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, ensures the wellbeing of the graduates upon completion of their studies at the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.

The committee, which is also made up of general managers and human resource managers of the hotels where the graduates are employed, also ensures that there is a good mentoring programme in place, to encourage them to continue working in the tourism industry.

The meeting held at the Seychelles Tourism Academy at La Misère, was also attended by the Minister for Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, Myriam Télémaque, Principal Secretary for Employment Jules Baker, Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert, as well as the Principal Scholarship Officer at the Agency for National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) Amanda Denis, and the graduates.

The Chairperson of the mentors committee, PS Anne Lafortune, highlighted work done so far in 2017. This includes the updating of the graduates’ list and close monitoring of their progress.

Mrs Lafortune announced that a new progress report format will be used as of next year, to better record information about the graduates. Constant follow-ups with the hotels to obtain details of their training and succession plans is also envisioned to improve the mentoring process. PS Lafortune also appealed to the graduates to work in close collaboration with the committee, providing relevant information as and when needed.

The Seychellois graduates were also given the opportunity to voice out their concerns, and give their views on pertinent issues.

One of the main issues raised was the fact that they are limited to working in the operations department and not so much involved in the administration aspect of the hotels, but it was clarified that this was clearly explained in their bonding agreement. The ANHRD announced that it is working closely with the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management department at the STA, to ensure that students are informed on the conditions of the bonding agreements while they are still studying.

Whether or not the graduates can benefit from international work experience within their four-year bonding timeframe, lack of feedback from their managers, was among other concerns raised. The mentors’ committee welcomed the idea that graduates can be given international exposure working in an international branch of their respective hotels, but that this should be communicated to the ANHRD if the placement happens during the four-year duration of their bonding.

The meeting ended with a buffet dinner prepared and served by Year 1 and Year 3 students enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management course, who are also aspiring to pursue their studies in Ireland and come back to join the Seychelles’ tourism industry.

The hospitality management courses offered by Seychelles Tourism Academy, was launched in 2008, and the first cohort of students was enrolled the next year. The course entails three years of study at the STA for an advanced diploma in hospitality management, after which the students move to Ireland for one year to obtain their bachelor's degree.

 

Seychelles Tourism Board presents 2018 strategies at its annual end of year marketing meeting

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s end of year marketing meeting for 2017 was held on Monday December 18, 2017, at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, the Deputy Chief Executive, Jenifer Sinon, managers of the various tourism offices abroad, staff of the STB, as well as tourism trade partners.

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