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President Macron of France & President Obama of the USA in Africa

President Macron of France & President Obama of the USA in Africa

Head of State visits always makes world news, and the continent of Africa received two dignitaries during June and July that can only help ‘Brand Africa’ to remain visible and relevant in the world of tourism.

The visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Nigeria among other countries, and by former President Barack Obama to Kenya and South Africa, has boosted the coverage of the African Continent and this can only be positive for the 54 Member States of the continent.

Seychelles tourism

On the Seychelles front, the local tourism industry continue to raise operating costs as their main challenge. President Danny Faure personally visited hotel establishments on the islands of Praslin and La Digue last week. The interest by the Head of State for the tourism industry is welcomed, especially as the President was himself the Chair of the island’s Cross Sectorial Meetings, when he was Vice President and is therefore well briefed on the industry’s challenges. Many on the two islands have echoed the appeal for the President to appreciate that hotels in Seychelles were not competing amongst themselves, but were measured in Tour Operator Programs with properties in other holiday destinations. The comparison of apples for apples, or oranges for oranges, is where the Seychelles rate structures becomes a cause for concern. The need for an adequate marketing budget to ensure visibility and relevance is also the battle cry today, as it was yesterday, and the day before.

As we are in in the final stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Fever, it is important to analyse the many football teams everyone had expected to see progress from the elimination rounds, but that instead faded away into thin air. Never take anything for granted, is the morale behind these last games, and it is the same for tourism destinations. The need to continuously innovate, and to then communicate what we are doing to remain visible and relevant, is the key for success. It is also important for the destination, (the country) to live up to the expectations of its visitors.