This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Joseph Cesar and Annette Pierre
BBS in International Hotel Management Mark Nolan Class 2012
We hereby declare that the work submitted for this degree in International Hotel Management from Shannon College of International Hotel Management is entirely our own, and that ideas or extracts taken from other sources are properly acknowledged and referenced as per stipulated by the rules and regulations. We are satisfied that this represents a fair contribution in effort on the part of each member. serious sanctions. Furthermore we acknowledge that the penalty for plagiarism incurs
The ‘Strategy 2017’ is the long term plan conceived by the Seychelles president, James Alix Michel and his government in 2007 for this small island state country. This strategic plan is only a document broken down into many different objectives that are to be implemented within all sectors of the Seychelles economy.
In this research, we are interested with only the plan for the tourism industry, and our study is based on the employees’ impact from the Strategy 2017 only.
The title of our research project is; “Seychelles 2017: Barriers to its achievement within the local workforce and some recommendations to address them.”
As the title proclaim, there many barriers that can be identified within the local situation that if not taken into consideration in the implementation stages of the Strategy, could result in a partly failed plan. These are discussed and critically analysed in this report.
We would like to thank our families and children for the consistent support they have given us. Without them, we would not have had consistency and effort to completing this study.
We would also like to genuinely thank our supervisor Mr. Phillip Smyth for his full guidance and undoubted cooperation with us. His good advices have contributed greatly to this work.
Furthermore, we would like to thank Mr. Charles Etienne and Mrs. Nita Hoareau for conducting the local survey on our behalves.
Finally, we thank each other for working together and exercised the team spirit needed for the project.
We dedicate this research project to the tourism stakeholders of Seychelles and to our local college juniors and colleagues pursuing the same course. We would appreciate if this research is further exploited by them in the future.
List of exhibits in the appendices
- Seychelles Brand Article about it launching by the President James Alix Michel in 2010. - Extract of the strategy 2017 on the tourism plan.
Table of Content
Declaration Abstract Acknowledgment List of exhibits in the appendices 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Research process 1.2 Research objectives 1.3 Scope 1.4 Resources Equipment 2.0 Literature Review 2.1Introduction 2.2 Strategic overview 2.3 Situation Analysis 2.4 Focused Strategic Objectives 2.4.1 Increase Seychellois stake holding 2.4.2 Improve to Seychelles tourism product 2.4.3 Refocus position of Seychelles tourism product 2.5 Conclusion 3.0 Methodology
14 16 16 18 18 19 19 19 20 22 22 23 24 24 26
3.1 Research Objectives 3.2 Target Design 3.3.1 Questionnaires 3.3.2 Statistic data analysis 3.4 Pilot Study 3.5 Nature of Data 3.6 Administering the questionnaires 3.7 Problems and limitations 4.0 Data Findings 4.1 Demographics 4.2 Barriers 4.3 Conclusion 5.0 Conclusion and recommendation 5.1 Conclusions 5.2 Recommendations 5.3 Implications for further research References Appendices
26 27 28 29 29 30 31 31 33 33 34 39 40 40 42 45
In this study it is also important to note that the local workforce sample under study does not include management positions within this industry, because we believe that this problem has already been given a solution which is currently in progress. But rather, our sample is the general local workforce within tourism industry of Seychelles.
In this long term plan for the Seychelles Mr. Michel pointed on that, “Tourism will continue to be among the main drivers of growth and creators wealth.”
From his book, the main mission statement of this Strategy 2017 is; “To double the GDP of Seychelles by 2017 through focused fisheries and tourism expansion programmes, the development of financial services industry and the resultant growth of other economic sectors. This growth will be achieved while generating the maximum level of local participation, enhancing Seychelles human resource capacity, securing the highest environment standards, creating efficient and transparent governance and fostering strategic national and international partnership” (Michel, 2007).
It is important to support the idea that the tourism industry is a powerful economic motor for this small country. In view with this fact, also want to point out that this study focuses on the “enhancing Seychelles human resource capacity” part of the mission statement.
The research sample does not include management as it has already been addressed through understudy schemes where Seychellois with managerial potential shadow expatriate managers in certain departments. But because their academic backgrounds are usually not up to the
management complex decision making and/or problem solving level, these young Seychellois developments had always been limited to supervisory level positions.
The Seychelles strategy 2017 stipulates that a partnership between the public and the private sectors is formed to share the cost of training young potential Seychellois with required academic background for hotel management. This started in 2008 and the first cohort is soon to complete their course. It is evidence that this barrier is being dealt with.
However this could be a research topic in itself, but this study is to identify barriers that prevent the local general workforce to be attracted in the hospitality industry and the barriers preventing them to build careers in it.
1.1 Research Process
This research is divided into five main parts, which will try to point out the title and/or the research question and followed through by stating how the research is to be carried out, the different methods to be used, and identify relevant literature reviews that either supports the hypothesis of this study or does not support it.
Both qualitative and quantitative data will be gathered so as to enable a thorough analysis of the hypothesis.
Qualitative information is to be sought through open ended questions sent to key figures within the Seychelles tourism trade. Their opinions or views are to be analysed in a critical manner.
Quantitative information is to be sought out from the local tourism statistical data and the employment rates from different perspectives.
1.2 Research Objectives
Saunders, M. et al (2008) states that; “you may use your general focus research question as a base from which you write a set of research objectives.” Likewise, we used our research question which is; identifying the barriers that may stop the Strategy 2017 from being implemented as the base for our objectives.
Our main objective therefore, is to try and identify and give evidence of the four specific barriers to the Strategy 2017. These four barriers are;
1. The local work force lack of commitment and enthusiasm towards the hospitality industry.
2. No adequate and proper training prior first job in the hotel industry.
3. Favouritism for friends and family members for promotion (Nepotism).
4. Social issues such as family lives not compatible to promotional lives. Example: Long and odd hours at work, no time for family.
Another part of our objectives is to identify opportunities available to the general local workforce. Influencing factors could thus be identified here. Questions like; Why do people join this industry? What are the influencing factors? What motivates them? and; What drives them towards the tourism or hospitality industry?
These will be narrowed down into two main bodies of our objective. One will be based on our research question which depicts the negative factors stopping Strategy 2017 from being implemented. The other part is a positive perspective that can support Strategy 2017 to be a success.
1.3 The Scope
The limitation of this study is that it will be conducted on a small sample, and from another country. It would have been more accurate and extensive in the findings if this project was conducted in the Seychelles itself which would have been in the same location as the research subject. Direct contact and interviews and questionnaires could have directly been exposed to the sample. Personal supervision of the answers and survey could have been better for getting more reliable findings.
1.4 Resources Requirements
The Shannon College of Hotel Management library and information documentation unit will be the direct accessible data and information available to the researchers. Open ended questions will be sent digitally to influential key figures in the hospitality industry of Seychelles. Their opinions and views will be analysed and outlined. Their anonymity will be secured. But these will help us to critically better understand the implications of the research question from experts in the field under study which is the tourism sector. Statistical data from the National Bureau of Statistic in Seychelles will be sought out, either from their online location or from direct questions sent to them through emails. Either ways,
important figures such as; the turnover rate, the percentage of local employees compared to expatriates, the total number of local employees in the tourism industry, etc, could be acquired. These data will form the basis of our quantitative analysis of the research question. As Saunders et al, states; ‘these numerical data will be used to quantified answers that will help to answer the research question and meet our objectives.’
2.0 Literature Review
A literature review is to justify the research topic. Its purpose is to show how the studies supplement the work that has already been done on the topic.
For this research question, there is a limitation of not many works have had been done on the topic. It has been identified that there is only one study conducted by a local professional in the tourism business. This work will be used extensively to supplement our hypothesis. It is known as; ‘Shortage of Seychellois working in Hotels’ written by Antoine Pierre De Comarmond, Shirley (2012).
The strategy 2017 document itself is to be the backbone literature of our study. In this document it is only the tourism strategy that is to be reviewed. Under this chapter, the topics to be reviewed are; 1. Strategy overview 2. Situation Analysis 3. Focused strategic objectives
2.2 Strategic overview
It is believed by the Seychelles government that by improving the quality of its tourism products and, by better repositioning this destination on the global market, the number of tourist visits and their individual spending amount will both increases.
This strategy should aid Seychelles to attain self-sustaining tourism economic growth. The foundation to achieving these objectives is to “increase Seychelles tourism industry stake holding at all levels of the industry” Michel, (2007).
2.3 Situation Analysis
This is a numerical synopsis of the current situation of the Seychelles Tourism industry.
Tourism as a main pillar of the Seychelles economy was enhanced by the opening of the international airport in the 1970’s. Since then this industry “has played a crucial role in the country’s economy “Michel, (2007).
Michel, 2007 further states that; ‘by 2005, tourism sector accounted for over 50% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and 20% of its gross domestic product (GDP).’
Further useful information from the Strategy 2017 document are;
In 2005 the tourism sector provided about 7260 jobs within a population of about 84000. The combination of direct and indirect tourism generated employment was estimated to account for more than 40% of the total national workforce.
During the years 2000 and beyond, the numbers of tourism visits showed positive signs of growth. Appendix 5.
In 2006, that figure was 140’627 compared to 128’654 in 2005.
The increase in the availability of beds in the four and five star hotels revealed and increased in tourists spending. For example in 2005, it was analysed that figure had increase by 6% per annum from 2001 to 2005.
Figures in 2005 showed that average tourist visit was 10 nights with an average daily spending of SR 841.00. The hotel average bed occupancy rate was of 46%.
Important information identified was that most of the hotels and those being added locally were foreign owned. “This attests to the high level of external leakages” Michel, (2007) which is still to date prevailing in this industry.
There is also a human resource limitation in this small island state, and a prevalence antiservice industry views amongst the population. Therefore, this has forced the industry to rely on expatriate labour. And this adds to the foreign exchange leakages from the sector.
It has been identified, Michel, (2007) that Seychelles employees in the tourism sector earn about10% less than the national average wage.
Since the beginning of the tourism exploitation in Seychelles, European tourists dominate the total number of tourist arrivals by continents. This has its disadvantages because it “leaves the country vulnerable to economic fluctuations in the European region. See Appendix 5a
These figures show that there is a high potential to increasing employment, to increasing the general workforce wealth, to increasing the local workforce social status, and to increasing the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
2.4 Focused strategic objectives
As a focal point of our research, this section points out the objectives for implementing the Strategy 2017. These objectives are about what the research question is trying to predict, and it supplements to the extent of its success.
2.4.1 Increase Seychelles Stake holding
“The Seychelles tourism workforce will be dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed to the success of the industry” Michel, J. 2007.
The foundation of this vision is to encourage the participation in a synergy of both the public (through its workforce) and the private sectors at all levels of the hospitality industry.
The tourism legislation is to be rationalised so that both the local and international stakeholders will benefits. For example, Michel, 2007 states that; “Seychellois ownership and managerial responsibility will be guaranteed through training programmes and consultative mechanisms aimed at achieving a target quota of Seychellois management representation in the industry.” The latter should encourage more local participation in the decision working within the industry, thus, encouraging dynamic negotiation for better wages and motivation schemes for the local workforce. More Seychellois involvement at the higher levels, would also give value and better reputation to the service industry.
Michel, (2007) believed that by reconstructing the hotel school as a centre of tourism excellence, will provide the needs skills required. This will open the door to opportunity for further
development of the local workforce; thus, conform to the highest international standards.
The expansion of the tourism industry will continue to rely on expatriate labour but not for management levels, as this is already being resolved. The local workforce is a small one, thus, cannot provide the increasing number of employees needed in this expanding sector. The point here is that expatriate labour will only occupies the lower level positions, thus, this will surely “increase Seychellois tourism equity holdings”, and significantly retain foreign currency in the country.
2.4.2 Improve the Seychelles Tourism Product
Both the government and the private sector are to combine efforts into this project. As it is said in the Strategy 2017; the traditional ‘Sun, Sand and Sea’ holiday attractions are to be improved through exploiting the environment, the historical, cultural and culinary attractions.
The “Seychelles Brand” concept conceived by the Seychelles president James Alix Michel in 2010, commend this new platform or ideology of marketing the new Seychelles. distinctive branded products” Michel, (2007), thus, offering value for money experience. As it is explained in the Strategy 2017; “the Seychelles tourism industry will be dedicated to offering
2.4.3 Refocus position of Seychelles tourism product
The tourism expansion has a “goal of achieving 60% of Seychelles tourist beds availability in the four-star and above” Michel, (2007).
“Seychelles tourism marketing will go beyond the Western European demographic, thus, promoting Seychelles in the Eastern Europe, China, India and the Arab countries” Michel, (2007).
The fact that our research question is a much narrower one and that only one past research done is relevant to our own, we were not able to review many literatures. We believe that our study should be kept qualitative rather than qualitative.
The Strategy 2017 gives evidence that there are many opportunities in the tourism sector for the Seychelles local workforce. The sector is also expanding, thus creating more jobs and The government is pushing towards more trainings and
possibilities for higher wages.
development for the local workforce to be better prepared and qualified for this sector.
The fact that the government is giving its full support to this industry will surely change the indigenous attitudes towards the service industry. reputation, thus, attracting more labour to it. This will give it more value and better
Through our methods of sourcing out and gathering information and data, we should find out whether those changes or plans could be implemented smoothly or whether if the Strategy 2017 would continue to be challenged by the barriers we have chosen to evaluate.
Saunders, M et al, (2003) describes methodology as; “the theory of how research should be undertaken including the theoretical and philosophical assumptions upon which research is based and the implications of these for the method or methods adopted”.
3.1 Research Objectives
The objective of this research is to be able to answer the research question with the most accurate answer or answers.
We are to try and gather relevant and appropriate information and data so as to identify and give evidences about the barriers to what can stop or slow the process of implementing the tourism long term plan from the Seychelles Strategy 2017.
This study will focus on four barriers that we have come up with based on personal experiences and observations.
3.2 Target Sample
The target sample for this study is the Seychelles local workforce without and within the tourism industry both. Those within the sector would have direct experiences and observations of the situation inside the sector in hotels, tour agencies and operators and other service units. Those
without the industry would have the external views and a more general opinions of what may stop or retard the Strategy 2017 implementation.
The general population of Seychelles could be theoretically considered as a target sample; statistical data of their behavioural pattern towards the tourism industry is to be analysed.
A number of active professional and/or experts from the tourism sectors will be interviewed through open ended questionnaires sent to them via emails. Their views and opinions would be considered valuable and relevant as they form part of the decision makers, architects and executives within this sector.
Based on ethical issues during any research, Saunders, et al. (2003) pointed out that it is essential to; ‘protect individual participants by ensuring their anonymity to anything you refer to in the project thesis’. In respect to that, we have kept the tourism executive participants anonymous. This also ensures a more sincere and accurate views and opinions of the current situation.
3.3 Research Design
The design of this research is very simple and coherently lay out. This can be viewed from the table of content which is also the blueprint of this study.
To supplement the quantitative approach to this research, questionnaires used in this research are very simple. The first one was direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions based on the four identified barriers. This was sent to ten employees in the tourism sector in Seychelles representing the general workforce in the sector. In some cases it was more convenient to address the questionnaires in Creole because we have targeted a diversified segment within this sample, and to extract more accurate findings.
These were sent to one employee in ten different hotels on Mahe and Praslin, so as to capture a more diversified sample.
The second one is an open ended type questionnaire sent to a few executives that are very active in this sector locally. There anonymity is kept secured. The reason for this is to be able to get a more reliable, realistic and honest testimonies of what are happening.
This type of questionnaire is purely to supplement the qualitative aspect of this research. Their answers are purely their own personal opinions and views based on their observations and experiences.
This information is kept as perceptions rather than facts.
3.3.2 Statistical Data analysis
This is the quantitative aspect of this study. It is a very important aspect as the figures found or generated through the SPSS and/or the excel software shows patterns that either support the hypothesis which is the barriers; or does not support them.
In this research most of the statistical data were taken from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistic website. Therefore on a grand scale, those data had already been analysed as per their purpose. In these circumstances, we are only to illustrate their patterns and commented on them in relevance to our report.
3.4 Pilot Study
This is based on personal survey conducted so as to enhance and to justify findings from the questionnaires and the statistical records.
For this research the pilot study was based on personal years of experiences and observations on the patterns and behaviours of the local tourism workforce, as well as the Seychellois attitudes towards work and career buildings, commitments and preferences.
This pilot study is also based on observation of the executives’ attitudes towards Seychellois employees.
This section is also an important one because it forms the base of the writers’ perceptions of the hypothesis in question. It is however free from bias as this would have influence the authenticity of the findings and the whole research. However its inclusion should not be neglected.
3.5 Nature of Data
The data retrieved is both qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative data were those acquired from the literature reviews and the questionnaires and they had both actual and descriptive nature.
The tourism workforce sample gave their straight forward direct answers as per the questionnaires layout. They had no choice of giving a descriptive answer, but rather a factual account of the situation. From this type of questionnaire, we processed it into becoming
numerical. The ten different answers are summarised into percentages, thus, giving a numerical pattern or measurement of what is happening or what has happened. For example; from ten responses, if six answers ‘yes’, then this is referred to as 60% of the respondent agreed with the question, and vice versa. See Appendix 4 and 4a.
The other qualitative questionnaire was kept purely in its qualitative aspect. This was open ended type of questions asked. Its analysis has been kept in a theoretical perspective.
Qualitative data gathered were purely numerical. For example; the number of tourist visits per year, the total number of the service industry’s local employees captured versus the total number of jobs available for the local employees in the sector.
From these numerical data, theories or hypotheses could be proven of disproven. Likewise, we will try to support our hypothesis through these figures.
3.6 Administering the questionnaires
The questionnaire sent to the local workforce sample was sent through our local college and hotel colleagues to conduct the survey on our behalves. These were done through emails of which some of them came in the last minute. But we dedicated our time into identifying patterns and commenting logically on them.
The other questionnaire sent to the executives was done through our supervisor Mr. Smyth who is also the college principal. His influence helped this questionnaire to be administered
positively and promptly. The answers were sent through him who then forwarded to the us the writers.
3.7 Problems and Limitations
Problems encountered during this research, are very relevant to the quality of the work. During the first stage of this study, there was the passing away of one writer’s close family member. This was disastrous to the writers’ concentration and schedules.
Another problem is that the initial research question had to be changed. The first research question was; ‘A career in the hospitality industry: Influencing factors’. Because the research question was not properly narrowed down, and because the sample chosen was too wide and broad, relevant data and information were difficult to get. Questionnaires sent to few samples
were not responded to at all. The writers discussed those issues with their supervisor and this current research question was conceptualised.
Within four expected answers from the local tourism professionals, only three have been responded. See Appendix 2, 2a, and 2b.
The worst problem encountered is the lack of cooperation by one professional tourism businessman who had conducted a similar research to our own, but failed to share a copy. In fact he did not even respond to our message sent to him. This is a major research issue in Seychelles. Some successful indigenous are not willing to help those climbing the ladder.
With this new research question is that the sample under study is located in the Seychelles island state, whereas the writers are based in Ireland, Europe. The only fast means of communication is the internet and through emails data information is sought.
Another limitations, is that one questionnaire was sent through local helps to conduct a survey on the writers behalves. This could be a default on their behalves. One could question the
genuineness of the answers.
It has been identified that the Seychelles Statistics website is not completed with enough useful and relevant data that would have helped our analysis. For example labour force survey is not completed.
In this section, it is all about analysing all the data and the information gathered. Therefore there will be both quantitative and qualitative analysis of data.
As stated by Saunders, et al (2003), the research question and objectives would be kept in mind while the analysing, evaluating and commenting on the findings. Their purpose is to help to answer the research question and meet the objectives wanted.
For the analysis of the quantitative data, dependency of computers and its sources will be used to not only to speed up our research, but to give more accurate readings, thus enhancing the accuracy of our comments, and findings.
For this research, the demographic is not a large one but rather the general workforce of the small Seychelles island state.
Within that, the focus is mainly on the potential workforce for the tourism industry. That includes the working age group (i.e.: above 16 years old to 63 years old); those with hospitality certificates or diplomas and who are not working in the industry; those that started in the industry but for unknown reasons, did not continue in it; and of course, those that are currently within the sector.
Within those currently employed in the sector, we have tried to identify the percentage of those who are devoted and enthusiastic for building a career within and those otherwise. But given the circumstances of our being in Europe, this has not proven possible. But other influencing factors identified would be commented upon in the analysis.
It is essential for example to note here that based on hands on personal experiences, the authors have noted that in the Seychelles, the majority of the tourism college leavers, most of them does not even join or continue in the tourism industry. This fact could be a thesis in itself. But it is believe that very few people are interested in the service industry.
The first barrier we identified was the; ‘general local workforce lack of commitment and enthusiasm towards the hospitality industry’. The highlighted points found out from opinions and views from local tourism professional and executives are as follows;
It is said that at the beginning of the second Republic, after the coup in 1977, the government told the people of Seychelles that tourism was not their butter and bread and that they were not to work as servants. This is where the anti-service philosophy was conceived in the Seychellois minds.
Another point identified is that; salaries were always low and working unsociable hours put off a lot of people from joining the industry.
“There were no opportunities for Seychellois to grow in this sector as most senior positions were occupied by expatriates. See Appendix 2a.
It is said that no formal training was given to the workers, thus they were not motivated at all.
It was only in the year 2000 that the government realised that tourism is a pillar of the economy, and started to encourage foreign investors to come and invest in Seychelles; but by then a lot of harm had been done. This is what we described as a ‘late intervention by the government’.
In the past, the hotel school had not been selective in choosing their candidates and only students with low self esteem were sent to that institution. As a result very few students joined the industry after completed their courses.
It is being said that the local workforce shows the wrong approach towards the work that is done in the hospitality industry.
It is not easy to find the right balance of Seychellois who are willing in joining this profession as a career as many see it only as monthly salary and/or just meeting ends.
People with desire to be part of the service trade are few.
It has also been identified that there are a few resorts and hotels that accept that their human resource is their greater asset, have designed excellent training and development programmes for their staff, thus, proven to be successful. See Appendix 2b
The second question which represents the other barrier to the strategy 2017 is; ‘no adequate and proper training prior to first job in the hotel industry’. The findings gathered for this barrier are;
Some local hotels do not have training managers, thus staff are recruited and put in a department to work without given on the job training. As a result, they leave and avoid the tourism industry altogether.
Most experienced candidates come from small scale resorts, thus they lack true consistent and high volume service culture.
Their service is often based on providing what guests ask for rather than intuitive service. They lack the warmth and friendliness needed.
The real problem is that there is only one hospitality training institute, thus relying mostly on resorts and tourism establishments to provide the practical training.
It has been experienced by the writers that in many cases, training are provided to the wrong employee segments.
The third barrier identified was; ‘favouritism for friends and family members for promotion’. The following findings have been gathered;
Some establishments promote employees based on their performance, and/or those meeting the eligibility criteria for higher positions.
It has been noticeable by many that Mauritians expatriates working in hotels in Seychelles tend to bring their relatives and friends from Mauritius to take employment in the sector. Personal experience found out that this practice is not only done by the Mauritians, but rather by other nationalities such as Indians and a few European expatriates.
Nepotism or having a strong family dominance in the organisations or tourism establishments is found mostly in the family owned small hotels. In many cases, one can observed family members without any relevant hospitality trainings occupying managerial positions. This type of establishments looses good long service staffs who have been working for years. Words of mouth are a powerful influencing tool, thus these victims talk about their losses and as a result, discourage many potential candidates who could have made successful careers in the sector.
There are not enough drivers to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ Seychelles workers who have the skills and attitudes require taking on more responsibilities in higher positions.
For the fourth barrier it is; ‘social issues such as family lives not compatible to professional lives’. The following findings were found;
Male workers do not like to work in the housekeeping and the food and beverage service, because they believe these are women’s jobs.
Most hotels if not all, do not provide child care facilities for mothers at their work places. This causes punctuality and absenteeism problems. As a sequence, many potential
women hospitality workers are discouraged to join the hotels.
It has been identified that hotels do not usually attracts the right people as employees, who would be prepared to working unsociable hours.
The health service in the country is too soft and easy on giving sick leaves to any employees. This fact often leaves the operations in trouble. And this problem is not only for the tourism, but for all sectors of the economy.
There is a big tension between expatriates and locals at the workplace. This is often because locals are not committed enough to time and effort needed to achieve the skills and talents necessary for promotions. Expatriates do otherwise and are promptly
promoted ahead of the locals. As a result there are often built up resentments towards expatriates.
The ‘island life’ style of living creates laid-back attitudes from the locals. And of course, this impacts on their professional lives which is a big defect towards their development and towards the industry’s effectiveness and efficiency.
5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations
Conclusion is all about the authors’ review and opinions about the findings and the whole research as a whole. The recommendations as the authors’ action plan to help solve the research question are based on personal point of views and opinions.
The strategy 2017 for the Seychelles tourism industry is the long term plan that aims to sustain a positive growth for this sector.
One of its objectives is built to develop and train the local human resources with necessary skills and talents to meeting the required competitive international standards.
Another important objective is to increase and upgrade the infrastructure so as to meet the expected increase in the demand or tourist arrivals.
The authorities’ organisational structure is to be restructured so as to involve more local participants in the executive decision making.
The hotel school is to expand and upgrade with efficient and effective programmes and courses. The management issue of replacing expatriates by locals has already started.
There are other objectives in this document that directly or directly impact on the tourism plan for the future of Seychelles. But there is found a loop hole in the Strategy 2017. It does not have any objective plan for the general working class in the tourism sector. It does not try to solve the current issues but rather dictates the future through new changes. The question is what will happen to those that are already imbued with the old ways and that are not willing to change overnight without any formal process and/or training development plan?
This plan does not have any objectives that directly consider the general working force’s conditions and welfare. This segment is an important one because it involves operational people. These people interact directly with customers and consumers. They contribute as the touch points for the industry. It is in the basic simple things that real changes should occur. A lot of emphasis should be put to the general workforce development and preparation for these changes in the sector.
The strategy 2017 therefore is a ‘black and white’ document or plan that does not really or fully affect the local workforce. It does however, has a good and sophisticated plan for the economy as a whole. However the basic simple details are ignored.
Since the Seychelles Tourism Board took over the hotel school, there have been a lot of improvements in both its standard and image. A-Level students and people from the industry are now building interest in the new high level courses being offered. This is helping the attitude of the people to change positively. In line with that, the school is now changing into a modern Hotel D’application type of school. The students will be able to learn about theories and at the same time have first hand contacts with real guests. They will then be better prepared and more confident to work in the hospitality industry.
A few hotels have already built day cares at their premises and a few are giving two days off per week for the young mothers. This is helping to cut absenteeism and punctuality issues. In the long run it will encourage more people to join the industry.
The industry does not attract people with the right approach because there are no proper trainings given before they join and during their enrolment there. This is also due to lack of proper counselling and/or attractive advertisements towards the right people.
“Through various courses now available for locals, the opportunities offer by the hospitality industry are now more revealing and available to people. More hotels are now offering
assistance and helps to the school, thus giving students hands on experiences beforehand so that they can feel and appreciate the passion and enjoyment in the works in the sector. This also helps them to develop their career in the right way.
With the right agenda and involving all stakeholders in this gigantic change, the hospitality industry is to progress and develop successfully.
Seychelles entrepreneurs should try building synergies and merging ideas into innovating and investing in new 4-5 stars resorts. They should also support their indigenous segment in
enhanced trainings and development, attractive and competitive remuneration packages and other essential motivation programmes. But of course, the government should revised the
legislations and create policies to allow and encourage that.
Seychellois stakeholders would also welcome the fact that government creates a task force or a committee of purely indigenous professionals in tourism environment and legislation, which could enforce policies that protects the local workforce from any victimisations. This may be in terms of ensuring that all vacancies in the sector are filled primarily by potential Seychellois candidates first, and that expatriate executives have locals understudying them, and that they do not renew their contract of two years three or four times until they reside for five years in the country, thus allowing them legal status to apply for citizenship. This is a common practice by many especially the Asian and European expatriates.
This could also be supplemented by having all human resource executives in the tourism hospitality sector to be purely Seychellois nationals. This would mean that government negotiate with the multinational company hotel chains operating in the country. This would help to maintain that the local workforce interests are managed justly but also non-partially.
In liaise with previous point, we found out that in the Seychelles tourism ministry and authorities, many key influential positions are held by expatriates without any locals understudying them, thus this practice has been going on for years. This is questionable and should be addressed promptly. The same bodies preaching to replace foreign workers by locals are not practicing what they preach. Further research could thus be made on this fact.
The strategy 2017 should be reviewed through a strong diversified committee including representation from all stakeholders and not just a few top executives from the private sector mostly made up of foreigners, and the public sector represented by bureaucrats.
A national consensus should be made before finalising this important document. After all it dictates the future of the small country and its people’s wealth.
Not only more, but efficient and effective indigenous managers are needed to educate and constantly encourage or motivate the locals to be more conscious about the tourism significant for the country; about the benefits that can be exploited from it; and about the Seychellois workers to be more committed and enthusiastic in their duties and responsibilities.
The hotel school should involve more professionals from the industry to participate in the school curriculum, through more guests speakers, real world simulations given to students and restructuring the already ‘too soft’ internship program structure. The researchers believe that the whole tourism school should be restructured completely; from staffing to syllabuses.
The hotel school could or should (as we prefer) have a subject in the line of; “professional etiquettes” through which students could learn to develop the needed passion for this sector (service) and the right attitudes, grooming, disciplines and other attributes needed.
Cross exposures are excellent and active, but tourism establishments especially hotels, could identify potential candidates within their general workforce and send them on international exposures. Currently, this is designed only for the local junior managers or supervisors. This should be for the operational general workforce. These local managers go on these overseas trip exposures, and return without any structured training programmes to pass their experience to their workers and/or without the time, effort and commitment to do so. This is a disastrous issue altogether. The small few local managers who had been successful usually tend to forget about their fellow nationals. This has been experienced many times in the industry. For example; when foreign MIT students come on internship programs, they are well cared for and professionally looked after. But in many cases when the same programs are being filled by the local students, they are totally ignored and left to do whatever they feel like with no supervision and/or follow ups. The researchers fears that this would lead to the new management program’s failure on the local front.
The “island life culture is a major problem in the service industry. It is the result of a long time cultivated government’s spoiling the nation attitude. This statement is purely the writers’ hypothesis. The ‘island life’ attitude could become a very dangerous cultural factor enhanced by the very same ‘Seychelles Brand’ concept. Many locals do not understand this new ‘Seychelles ways’ approach in the service sector. Careful discussions and explanations should be undertaken at all levels in the society. The hotel school could or even should adopt this as a subject itself. The ‘Seychelles ways’ is already an anti-service culture, thus it should be waxed properly and perfectly first before exploiting it.
Young local men should try considering joining the housekeeping and the food and beverage service departments. Male expatriates are filling up a good percentage of those positions in the hotels. The future needs young indigenous gentlemen to replace those expatriates and minimise leakages in the economy. It is recommended that these young males start thinking about these available opportunities at their disposal now before it becomes too late when all these jobs would have been taken by foreign nationals. The government and the hotel should start sensitising this area of significant opportunities and exploitation.
5.3 Implications for further research
This research was narrowly defined. It only aimed to investigate the barriers that can challenge the implementation of Strategy 2017, and investigate the attitudes of the Seychelles local general workforce towards it. The whole target population was not available to the researchers and the internet was necessary to conduct surveys and data gathering and findings.
Consequently, no generalisations to other similar research could be made from this study because there are none. Hence, there is scope for similar studies to this one both in Ireland and
Seychelles, and other countries where there is anti-service industry attitudes and where tourism plays an important role in the local economies.
More research about the barriers that could stop a smooth implementation of tourism strategies in other small island state countries could further validate this study and give more insights into the topic. The Strategy 2017 should be further studied and critically evaluated.
Michel, J., (2007) ‘Strategy 2017; Unlocking the Potential of the Seychelles Economy’ [online] (cited 05 April 2012) Available from URL:http://www.egov.sc/documents/strategy2017.pdf
Michel, J., ( 2007). Strategy 2017: National Support for the Nation’s industry. Pgs 11- 15
National Bureau of Staistics (2012): Seychelles; [online] (cited 05 April 2012) Available from
Pool, S., (2012) Year 4 Project – STA students at Shannon College (email to the authors) (online)
Seychelles Brand Virtual Seychelles [online] (cited of April 2012) Available from URL:http://www.virtualseychelles.sc/index.php?option=com_content&view=articleandid=817:p resident-launches-qseychelles-brandq-tourism-vision&catid=49:miscellaneous&Itemid=89
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill,A. (2003) Research and Methods for Business Students: Glossary. (3rd Ed.),Prentice Hall,UK.Pg.481.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill,A. (2003) Research and Methods for Business Students: Negotiating access and research ethics. (3rd Ed.), Prencticehall,UK. Chapters 5 Pg.142.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill,A. (2003) Research and Methods for Business Students: Analysing quantitative data.(3rd Ed). PrenticeHall,UK. Chapter 11 Pg.338.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2003) Research Methods for Business Students: Formulating and clarifying the research topic. (3rd Ed.) Prentice Hall, UK. Chapter 2 Pgs. 24-25
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2003) Research Methods for Business Students: Analysing quantitative data. (3rd Ed.) Prentice Hall, UK. Chapter 11 Pgs.327-378
Strategy 2017: Creating our nation’s wealth together Our nation has come a long way in a short time thanks to our commitment to placing people at the centre of development. This has given us the right platform for our future socio-economic development. We have also achieved a lot in the last two years in terms of re-dynamiting our economy. In many ways, we are witnessing a great transformation in our economy - a transformation which reconciles our increasing growth over the last two years with our commitment to equality and social justice. All transformations of this scale and of this nature require a dynamic strategy to guide us and provide direction. Seychelles’ strategy for 2017 provides a template for sustained growth through a strategic positioning of Government as facilitator. Wealth creation which will benefit the whole population is at the heart of this approach. Full Government support is available where necessary, with the emphasis remaining on the empowerment of economic actors in the productive sectors of our economy. Tourism and fisheries will continue to be the main drivers of growth and creators of wealth. Through strategic re-investment, the expansion of revenue in these two sectors will also enable the generation of growth throughout the economy and allow new entrepreneurial initiatives to emerge in previously untapped areas. The policies developed here also take into account the shifting nature of global economic patterns and endeavour to further establish competitive niches for Seychelles. To do this, we will require increased flexibility within the Seychellois workforce and our Human Resource Foreword Development initiatives will reflect this. We need an adaptive and results orientated workforce, fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Debates and discussions are vital to the development of dynamic economic policies. This is a document based on a policy of inclusion - representative of a drive to meet the needs of all Seychellois by working ‘together, for the love of Seychelles’.
While this strategic plan is a government led document, it has been compiled to address the needs of all sectors; government, private business and civil society. Such a broad based, socially inclusive approach will be of vital importance throughout the implementation of the strategy, to ensure that the development gains are enjoyed by each and every Seychellois. We look forward to the work and discussions ahead to fully unlock our nation’s potential in this new era. Through our hard work together, and with the right tools, we can soar to great heights…
James A. Michel President of the Republic of Seychelles
1- The local workforce lack of commitment and enthusiasm towards the hospitality industry The local work forces often have the wrong approach towards the work we do in the hospitality industry. It is a challenge to find the right balance of Seychellois who are genuinely interested in joining this profession as a career as many of them see it only as a means to an end - salary at the end of the month instead of working in this industry because of desire to be part of this noble profession. In saying that there are those in the local work force who do see the positive side of what we do and are helping to change the attitude of others around them so they can also encourage others to work with passion and dedication from a true love of what they do. Slowly the mentality towards our industry is changing as it is seen by more people as an opportunity for an honest career rather than just as a fall back plan. This idea will not happen overnight, however improvements are already taking place that help others to see the hospitality industry as a way forward. 2- No adequate and proper training prior to first job in the hotel industry Through different courses now available for local students, the idea of joining the hospitality industry for a career is now more readily available to more Seychellois than before. Through increased awareness of the courses available for students now and through the extensive practical attachments available through these courses, more and more locals are having the opportunity to really have the experience of our industry and get a hands on feel for what we do. More so than before we are seeing students joining the work force with more extensive experience than in the past and this makes a big difference when looking at potential employees for the future. The hotels in Seychelles need to continue to support these courses so the students have the right opportunities to develop their careers in the right way - ensuring that we take the time and make the effort to encourage more students to make this industry their first choice. 3- Favoritisms for friends and family members for promotion. (Nepotism) In any industry where two thirds of the work force is made up of local members and especially from such a small community such as we have here in Seychelles this is bound to happen. In saying that we should ensure that we encourage those within the work force to earn their positions and show that the promotion is based on merit. We need to encourage those with the right skills and attitude to take on more responsibility in higher positions within the industry however in many cases the drive is not there and the more senior positions therefore are held by expatriates. Once the Seychellois see the potential in moving to higher positions then hopefully more of them will be encouraged to make the effort to get the reward of higher positions.
4- Social issues such as family lives not compatible to professional lives e.g.- long and odd hours at work and no time for family. The hospitality industry around the world works on long, difficult hours. Coming into this industry with that understanding is an important part of being prepared to balance work and home life. Anyone not able to commit to the time restraints of this industry should in fact think twice about this being their
chosen career. Those who are aware in advance about the unsociable hours needed to work in this industry should therefore plan accordingly to ensure they are getting the most out of the time off that they have. I have noticed that here in Seychelles getting "sick leave" for extra time off for personal reasons is a little too easy to come by which can then leave the operations in trouble depending on the number of people all feeling "sick" from one particular area at a given time. Also here we have many young, single mothers who need to find work to provide for their families which is not always easy with the hours and shifts we work in our industry however many find the way to achieve both. There is no set way for success regarding trying to get the balance right however going into the industry with the right attitude helps along the way. An additional barrier I have noticed here in Seychelles is locals versus expatriates. In so many cases the working relationship between the 2 sides can be strained as the locals feel they should have more people in more senior positions within the industry but are not always committed to investing the time or effort in achieving the skills and talents needed for senior positions. There can be built up resentment towards the expatriates who are possibly being promoted ahead of them based on merit and this can lead to tension in the workplace. Another factor to consider is that not many of the local work force have international experience in the industry and this can also cause an obvious difference in service standards between local and expatriates who may had additional experience from other countries. The guests staying at the resort comment on this regularly as they can directly see and feel the difference in service. Using the "island life" excuse can only be used to a certain extent before guests are impacted in a negative way as a result of this. I hope these answers are of some help to the students and I wish them continued success in their studies.
1- The local work force lack of commitment and enthusiasm towards the hospitality industry. Following the coup in 1997, the President at the time Mr. Albert Rene told the people of Seychelles that tourism was not our bread and butter and that the Seychellois people are not going to work as servants. Working in hotels was classified as not so important and the nation was not encouraged to work in the hotel industry. Salaries were low and working unsociable hours put off a lot of people from joining the industry. There were no opportunities for Seychellois to grow in the industry as most of the senior positions were occupied by expatriates. There was no formal training given to hotel workers and staffs were not motivated at all. The generation grew up with this attitude in mind and it was in the year 2000 that the Government of Seychelles realized that tourism is the pillar of our economy. By then a lot of harm has been done and it was only a few years ago that the government started open up the tourism industry and tried to encourage foreign investors to come and invest in Seychelles. The hotel school was not selective in choosing their candidates and only students with low self esteem were sent to the hotel school. As a result hardly any students joined the industry after completed their courses. Since STB took over the responsibilities of the hotel school we have been very selective and the hotel school has started to improve on its image. A-Level students have now been attracted to come and study hotel management courses at the Academy. Attitude of the Seychellois people is now changing and in time to come we will have committed people to join our hospitality industry. There are opportunities in management and we have leading hotel groups operating in Seychelles.
No adequate and proper training prior to first job in the hotel industry.
Some of the hotels operating in Seychelles do not have a training manager in house. Staff are recruited and put in a department to work without given on the job training. Staffs get frustrated and they tend to leave and avoid working in the hotel industry. The Seychelles Tourism Academy is being modernized to operate as a hotel D’application. This will enable students to do their theory and at the same time do their practical. They will also have first hand contact with guests. By the time they completed their course at STA the students will be better prepared and confident to work in the hospitality industry.
3- Favoritism for friends and family members for promotion These have been the case particularly with the Mauritian expatriates working in hotels in the Seychelles. They tend to bring their relatives and friends from Mauritius to take employment in the hotels in Seychelles. Promotion within family members are owners of small hotels, an example is the Sunset Beach Hotel. The owners have two sons and they have no hospitality training and have been put in management positions. As a result the hotel is losing good staffs who have been working there for years.
4- Social issues such as family lives not compatible to professional lives. eg: long and odd hours at work and no time for the family. There are a lot of young mothers with young children in Seychelles. They find it difficult to do shift work in the hotels as they can’t find anyone to take care of their children. A few large hotels have built a nursery and the staff can bring their small kids to the nursery while they are working. Maia Resort for example has started giving their staff two days off per week and it is also helping to sort out the problems.
Appendix 2b 1- The local workforce lack of commitment and enthusiasm towards the hospitality industry We come across some candidates during interviews that do not like to work shifts, work on weekends or Public Holidays. As a rule though once they have joined Four Seasons and embraced our training programs, our culture and Our goals, beliefs and principles that are the foundation of the work we do every day on behalf of our guests we see a profound change in an employee who may have demonstrated concern upon initial recruitment. Some do expect to be promoted without demonstrating any skills or determination to move to the next level and like most places in the world some do just turn up for work, do the needful and leave for home without any desire to contribute anything more towards their department or the hotel. But we do engage at every level with our employees rewarding them and amplifying the good and assisting to correct the constructive points in their training and performance. What we believe at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts wherever we are in the world is our greatest asset, and the key to our success, is our people. We believe that each of us needs a sense of dignity, pride and satisfaction in what we do. Because satisfying our guests depends on the united efforts of many, we are most effective when we work together cooperatively, respecting each other’s contribution and importance. The employees at our property here in the Seychelles resonate this trait.
2- No adequate and proper training prior to first job in the hotel industry Most of the candidates who come with experience in smaller scale resorts and tourist establishments that may lack a true consistent service culture. Their understanding of service is about providing what guests ask for, lacking warmth and friendliness at times, certainly not intuitive service. There is only one hospitality training institute - The Seychelles Tourism Academy and it mostly relies on resorts and tourism establishment to provide most of the practical training. 3- Favoritism for friends and family members for promotion. (Nepotism) Not at our resort. We promote employees based on their performance and meeting the eligibility criteria for a position. 4- Social issues such as family lives not compatible to professional lives e.g.- long and odd hours at work and no time for family. Some candidates encounter family situations, especially single mothers. They lack support in caring for their young ones and periodically have to take time off or sick leave. Some male candidates do not want to work in particular positions e.g. Housekeeping as they feel its a job meant for women.
Questionnaires to General Workforce in the tourism sector of Seychelles
1. Do you think Nepotism/favouritism still exists in the tourism industry? Yes No
2. Is the working hours convenient to your family activities at home? Yes No
3. Does the local workforce shows enough commitment and enthusiastic to their jobs? Yes No
4. Are there enough training irrelevant to your post? Yes No
Appendix 4a: Results Analysis
Questionnaires 1 2 3 4 A Y Y Y Y B Y Y N Y C Y N N Y D N N Y N E N N N N F Y Y N N J Y N Y N H Y N N N I Y N Y Y
Questionnaires 1 2 3 4
Analysis 80% yes, there is nepotism and favoritism 60% no,, the working odd hours in tourism creates problems at home (socially) 50% yes, locals shows commitment, 50% no they do not 60% no, there are not enough trainings relevant to their positions
VISITOR ARRIVALS PER YEAR
Tourist arrivals Year 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2011 2012 Total Total Total Total Total Total Total Total 72,542 103,770 120,716 130,046 128,654 174,529 254,050 29,787
Visitors Arrivals by Countinent
Dec-87 TOTAL EUROPE AFRICA ASIA OCEANIA AMERICA 5,673 4,775 550 216 53 79 Dec-88 7,020 5,272 1,323 219 58 148 Dec-92 8,518 6,435 1,467 357 72 187 Dec-96 12,782 8,653 1,680 878 119 1,452 Dec-00 11,232 7,765 1,723 619 66 1,059 Dec-04 11,940 9,140 1,753 609 66 372
President Launches "Seychelles Brand" Tourism Vision
President James Michel has called upon the tourism industry to engage with the government to map out a new national tourism development plan, and promote his vision of the Seychelles Brand in the tourism sector. This took place at a tourism industry gathering which was held at the Domaine de Val des Pres on Thursday. The President called for greater Seychellois participation in the tourism industry, in the ownership of hotels, in employment, as well as the supply of local products in the hospitality industry. The President said the Seychelles Brand would be a whole new approach to the tourism development of the country. “We can no longer go out there in the global village with only our sun, sea and sand tags. The Seychelles brand goes beyond the physical beauty of our islands. It is the long awaited and much talked about bridge that brings Seychellois social cohesion, arts, history and culture closer to other civilizations,” said President Michel, who has the portfolio responsibility for tourism. President Michel said that the essence of the Seychelles Brand is the Seychellois identity, charm and hospitality as well as the serenity and stability that the country enjoys. “Visitors to Seychelles can identify the distinct nature of Seychellois hospitality, our way of life and the unique beauty of our nature and the warmth of our people. Above all, it is a new dynamism. It encapsulates the spirit of Seychellois entrepreneurship in the industry. It will reaffirm and open avenues for Seychellois ownership in tourism-related enterprises. I strongly believe in the ownership of this vital industry by Seychellois. We have to continue to reinforce the structures and enhance the conditions to allow our people to become key stakeholders in the tourism industry.” The President announced that the Seychelles Tourism Board will collaborate with the Planning Authority and the Licensing Authority to manage the country’s Unique Selling Points in future tourism planning and licensing of establishments. He said that a new quality assurance label will be issued annually to tourism establishments and services that guarantee 'Seychelles Tourism Assurance' by the STB.
The President announced that the historical site, the Domaine de Val des Prés, will come under STB management, in order to maximise its potential as a functional cultural village, where students from the Tourism Academy will also receive training and valuable first-hand experience. The Anse Royale Beach Park will also be transferred to the STB for further development. “We will streamline our policies in the management, conservation and promotion of our national heritage. Government has decided to set up a body that will provide for better networking amongst all agencies that have a stake in managing our historical, cultural and environmental sites. This body will ensure that there is harmony in common policies and standards, ensure better coordination and set best practices,” said the President. The President noted that Seychelles has seen an increase of 12% in visitor arrivals, compared to last year, and an increase of some 6% over the arrivals for 2008, which was a record year. Seychelles has had the best May, June and July, in terms of visitor arrivals ever recorded. The Seychelles will continue to market itself abroad under the slogan; The Seychelles Islands, Another World
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.