The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, has held talks with the German Ambassador accredited to the Seychelles Mrs. Hellwig Boette, with the aim to strengthen cultural ties between the two countries.
According to a regular source from Victoria, the discussions focused on several areas of mutual interest, one of them being the lack of German language teachers and available courses for Seychellois intent to learning the language. The new Seychelles Tourism Academy, presently under construction with phase one rolling out according to schedule, will contain a dedicated language laboratory where students can learn a range of foreign languages to become fluent, and Minister St. Ange reportedly asked the German Ambassador to assist and support the introduction of such courses. According to information sent overnight from Victoria, Minister St. Ange said: The new purpose built Tourism Academy currently under construction in the Seychelles will house a language laboratory which will play an important role in the development of languages for our travel and tourism industry. Good German communication skills are today indispensable to the success of our tourism industry. If one wants to reach out to people, he or she has to speak the language. Germany remains a key tourism market for Seychelles and one that is growing fast. It is therefore essential for the Seychelles tourism industry to have more German language speakers as it can boost students employment prospects both domestically and internationally’. He went to to say that the lack of German teachers in the Seychelles is a huge constraint for students aspiring to learn Deutsch.
The German Ambassador promised to liaise with the Goethe Institute in Nairobi, where she is based as resident ambassador to Kenya, with the aim to encourage future cooperation between the institute and the Seychelles.
Other issues discussed were reportedly also the Carnival International de Victoria, where for the second edition in March this year a first ever large group from Duesseldorf took part to the delight of the crowds. Minister St. Ange requested the German Ambassador to support the 2013 Carnival Festivals objectives to bring once again at least one if not more groups from Germany to the Seychelles.
Also discussed was the potential support by Germany to help in the restoration of Seychelles heritage sites in order to further enhance already strong political and cultural ties between the two countries.
Germany and the Seychelles are connected by air for many years by Condor, but the recent partnership between Etihad and Air Seychelles Etihad holds 40 percent of Air Seychelles shares now and between Etihad and Air Berlin, where Etihad holds almost 30 percent of the shares, has opened new options for Germans to travel with Air Berlin to Abu Dhabi and then connect on to the Seychelles. Germany is one of the Seychelles main European markets and the Air Berlin / Etihad / Air Seychelles link is considered crucial to bring more German holiday makers to the archipelago in coming years.