SHTA added comments, "On behalf of the SHTA we are pleased that the proposal was well received by the council and quickly followed up by the Minister for Finance and his PS.  The SHTA took the steps to officially write to the Chairman of the NEC following the ‘repositioning’ of Air Seychelles, and our realisation after discussions with key partners that the marketing of Seychelles would now be at risk.  This was quickly followed up with letter to the Minister for Finance written and delivered by hand on the 29th of December 2011, and one to the Chairman of the NEC a few days earlier, as well in December.  Our most recent proposals to the NEC addressing again economic concerns was written on February 1st 2012 with the suggestions again taken aboard and at this time being discussed at the NEC meeting of the 8th Feb 2012.  As mentioned in a most recent communique, events are ‘fluid’ and Seychelles can ill afford to delay even as other countries well placed and with deep financing go after not only our traditional markets but our new ‘targets’ as well.  Communication remains key and the SHTA remains fully engaged in the process to positively deliver, where possible,  catering for inbound guests, , so that the 200k figure for calendar 2012, is arrived at.  Extra funds for STB for the market arm of the board is but one example.” Raymond St. Ange Executive Director SHTA

 The release from the Seychelles Tourism Board reads:-

The National Economic Council held on the 8th February at State house under the Chairmanship of President James Michel has supported the request made by the SHTA (Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association) and the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) for extra marketing funds for the Tourism Board.

 Vice President Danny Faure used the National Economic Council to report on the recent meeting of the Ministry of Finance with the Seychelles Tourism Board regarding extra funds deemed essential for target marketing needs.

The Council echoed their support for the commitment by the Ministry of Finance to provide extra funds to the Tourism Board to be used specifically to support marketing efforts. President James Michel took the opportunity to also confirm to the Council his Government’s commitment to work with the Tourism Board to market the Seychelles and in so doing increase the visibility of the islands.

 The National Economic Council were informed that Vice President Danny Faure and Mr Ahmed Afif, his Principle Secretary had agreed to find additional funds to be made available to the Tourism Board for marketing initiatives.

 The National Economic Council used the opportunity to appeal to the tourism trade and to the country to speak with the one voice. They said that tourism remains the most volatile industry and that negativity and insecurity creates adverse effects that can have direct bearing on visitor arrival numbers. The country needed its private sector to work together to portray a positive image of Seychelles at all times. The Council deplored the existence of online blogs and the recent email circulated that intended to discredit the industry at large and which is today resulting with a number of businesses expressing dissatisfaction and wanting to distance themselves from the documents.

 Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Dr V. Ramadoss, the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and industries (SCCI) has welcomed the decision of the government to further support the marketing of Seychelles by increasing its budget specifically to support marketing efforts.