31.08.17 Seychelles Looking to Increase Use of National Parks By Visitors, Residents

"With all that is happening locally in the tourism industry and recreation, there is a need for us to market our natural assets and to diversify our products," said Flavien Joubert, the chief executive of the authority.

Joubert said there is a lot of emphasis on the standard, price, quality and service, together with surveys that are done to get visitors' feedback and now the authority has to play its part.

"The authority is creating more opportunities and relooking at the different types of leisure activities for visitors," said the chief executive.

He added that "We are also looking at emerging small enterprises, which depend on parks, be it terrestrial or marine, and the need to maximise the benefits that these small businesses can reap from the reserves."

The Seychelles National Parks Authority was created in 2009 and is responsible for all of the marine and terrestrial national parks of the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.

These are the parks on the three most populated islands of Seychelles, the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe, the Praslin National Park and the Veuve Reserve on La Digue.

The marine parks include Ste. Anne, Silhouette, Port Launay, Baie Ternay, Ile Coco, Curieuse and Saint Pierre. All of these protected areas offer a diversity of fauna and flora which is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.

Apart from the parks, the authority is also responsible for several nature trails and has a forestry section which manages the country's forest to make it ensure its sustainability.

Joubert said, "As part of its strategic plan, the authority is in the process of rebranding. The process will include the setting up of a marketing and customer service section."

The chief executive added that although there is a provision in the organisation for a marketing section, this has never been developed.

The authority is also anticipating recruiting a consultant to give training to staff on customer care, tour guiding and any relevant issues which will benefit their clients.

The authority's website will also be given more attention to make it more interactive as well as introducing a social media YouTube channel. All maps and brochures about the parks will also be made available online.


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