Seychelles introduces schemes to develop future workforce

Tourism clubs have been set up in schools across the Seychelles this year, to help encourage more young people to work in the industry, as the country makes a conscious effort to highlight the importance of tourism.

Speaking to Travel Weekly at World Travel Market, Sylvestre Radegonde, the minister for foreign affairs and tourism, said he wants children in schools “to be ambassadors” of the tourism industry.

“The kids are encouraged to get involved with tourism, understand what tourism is,” said Radegonde. “Normally the club is adopted by a hotel or a tour operator, so they get to spend time with the trade.”

If the club is held in a hotel, the students will learn how food is prepared and served for guests, for example.

Clubs have been established in all but two schools across the Seychelles, he said, adding: “Hopefully then we will get them encouraged to take a job in the tourism industry.”

Radegonde emphasised: “Tourism is everybody’s business. It’s not only people in the industry, it’s the guy who cleans the street, it’s the police officer, it’s everybody. If, as a country, we can get to that stage that would be great.”

The UK is in the top five markets for the Seychelles, said Radegonde, with around 18,500 Brits visiting the country so far this year.

The Seychelles will be focused on pushing for more cultural tourism and has been encouraging villagers and districts across the islands to put on cultural activities, such as cooking classes and dance classes, to offer visitors another experience. “Also, the local population can benefit directly from the tourism industry,” Radegonde said.

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