Seychelles renews ties with Oman in tourism education

Posted in Tourism industry at 2:45 pm by Robert Klien

New avenues of cooperation between the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and the Hotel and Tourism College in Oman have been opened.

This follows the renewal of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2002 between the 2 educational institutions. The renewal of the accord was done by Dr Shoba of the Oman tourism college and the principal of the STA, Flavien Joubert, during a recent official educational mission in Oman. The signing took place in the presence of delegations from both sides.

Mr Joubert said the renewal of this MoU “will provide opportunities for STA students to follow courses at the Oman tourism college (OTC) and STA lecturers to follow internship courses on an exchange programme”.

“It will also make available opportunities for Seychellois hospitality professionals working in hotels and restaurants to go on work attachment in Oman’s 6 and 7-Star hotels through STA for exposures to another level of hospitality standards and clientele,” Mr Joubert said.


SIB to stress on encouraging local investments

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments at 2:06 pm by Robert Klien

The newly appointed chief executive (CEO) Rupert Simeon of the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) said that his primary aim is to encourage more local investments and at the same time not to neglect foreign ones.

Simeon said that there has been the general perception about the SIB only striving to attract foreign investments. However, local investors are also given due importance. “The SIB will work towards dispelling this perception,” said Mr Simeon. He noted that the SIB has helped many Seychellois investors but this is not being put to the fore as not many people want to talk about the process they have been through when their businesses are doing well.

The SIB will be holding a series of meetings with all agencies, authorities, ministries namely education, finance trade and investment, land use and housing, which deal directly with investments to explain SIB’s new work programme, discuss different issues relating to their functions, roles and responsibilities and get their feedbacks on matters relating to their operation in relation to local investments.

Mr Simeon emphasized: “If all the conditions in place are conducive for local investments to thrive it will therefore be easy for foreign investors to come in as our laws do not discriminate between local and foreign investors”.

Mr Simeon believes with this new approach and dynamism 2013 will be a dynamic year for SIB and for investments in Seychelles.


Seychelles welcomed record 208 034 visitors in 2012

Posted in Seychelles' statistics, Tourism industry at 2:16 pm by Robert Klien

A record number of 208 034 visitors came to Seychelles in 2012. This number hit the previous record of 194 753 set in 2011.

These figures represent a growth of approximately 8% over those of 2011 and a total of 6992 visitors arrived here during the last week of December 2012.

The most visitors still came to Seychelles from France – 32 190 people, which is a 18%-decrease in the number of guests from this country.

There were also decreases in the number of visitors from the United Kingdom and Ireland (-15%) and Italy (-8%).

Despite the fall in the number of guests from France and Italy, they remain 2 of the 6 leading markets. The other four are Germany, Russia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

The number of visitors from Germany, Russia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa increased by 20%, 35%, 52% and 17% respectively.

Russia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa were until a few years ago just secondary markets for Seychelles. The fact that they have now joined the “core markets” means that efforts to diversify local tourism have yielded good dividends as tourism remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy.

Visitors from China also increased by 111% last year, while those from America and Oceania went up by 18% and 12% respectively.


VAT comes into effect

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles legislation at 2:11 pm by Robert Klien

Value Added Tax (VAT) became operational in Seychelles on January 1, 2013.

While Value Added Tax is applicable on most goods and services imported and purchased locally and consumed in Seychelles, there are some goods and services which are exempt from this tax.

VAT is not applicable on the construction of a residential dwelling. Any construction that is for residential purposes, which include the construction of private houses, block of flats and condominium, is exempt from it.

However, it is applicable on construction materials for residential dwellings. It is 15% on all construction materials imported at the point of entry at the time of import and on those purchased locally from a VAT-registered business, whatever their final use. This includes construction materials incorporated in the construction of the residential dwellings.

Thetax is not applicable on residential rent. Prior to January 2013 GST was being paid monthly at 15% on all residential income/rent. Although VAT has replaced GST effective January 1, 2013, it will not be applicable on residential rent. However, as from January 2013 residential income/rent is liable to Business Tax, at the rate of 15% just as it was the case with GST.

The Value Added Tax Act, 2010 is available on the Seychelles Revenue Commission website.


Investors get more interested in Seychelles increases in 2012 as SIB promotion efforts

Posted in Foreign investments at 2:41 pm by Robert Klien

“2012 has not been an easy year for Seychelles in terms of investment but the level of potential investor interests in non-traditional sectors has surpassed our expectations,” Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) chief executive Sherin Renaud said.

Speaking at the end of the year for the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), its chief executive said the board has been busy organising several promotion forums in different parts of the world as well as in Seychelles aimed at boosting investors’ and businessmen’s confidence to do business here and to inform local businesses and investors of all the potential business opportunities.


Seychelles joins the World in marking a One Billionth tourist record

Posted in Seychelles' statistics, Tourism industry at 2:20 pm by Robert Klien

On December 13, 2012, Seychelles joined the globe in celebrating the one billionth tourist mark.

The one billionth tourist travelling the globe illustrates how very far tourism has come and how much the industry has grown since the end of the Second World War. Today, it is the world’s fastest growing industry, and Seychelles is typical of many nations which have come to depend on tourism as a main pillar of their economy.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has coined the phrase ‘I billion tourists – 1 billion opportunities’ to mark this watershed moment and has launched a global campaign to vote for the one tip that travellers believe will make a difference in ensuring that tourism remains sustainable, which is another way of saying that what we do today we do in such a way that we shall be able to continue doing it tomorrow.