afrol News, 3 June - Central authorities in Seychelles have taken the decision to privatise the planned "beautification works" on Praslin, the second tourist destination on the Indian Ocean archipelago. The company to be set up is to "undertake beautification, road and beach cleaning programme[s] on Praslin.
To manage this project, it is expected that the new private company will absorb most of the 25 to 30 staff currently being paid by the Seychellois government for this purpose. The new private company, it is being discussed could receive, through collaboration with the Seychelles Tourist Board (STB), contributions from hotels and tourism establishments for the maintenance of a clean and well landscaped environment for Praslin.
The Seychelles Tourism Industry's Association has been asked to get the feedback from tourism establishments on Praslin on this proposal. The industry has some concern over the proposed changes.
"The works undertaken to turn Praslin into, what is often described as the big garden it is today, needs to be maintained and the cleaning program for the roads and beaches has made a positive difference for Praslin, but does the industry believe that they can absorb this additional cost?" asks the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association.
Praslin Island, located only 34 kilometres northeast of Seychelles' main island Mahé, has developed into a popular luxury tourist resort and a main stop-over for cruise liners in the Indian Ocean. The island is the exclusive home of the rare and famous coco de mer palm, which produces the world's largest nut, and also hosts endemic vanilla orchids and black parrots. Main attractions include the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve - often described as the Gardens of Eden - and a large number of beautiful beaches.
The six thousand inhabitants on Praslin almost exclusively gain their livelihood from the tourism industry. Praslin is home to first class tourism infrastructure, including an airport and several large resort hotels.
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