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In Seychelles, recent increased of landing fees for nature reserve islands is being seen by the Praslin Islanders dependant on tourism excursions as ‘apartheid tourism’ and are blaming aid donors and tax payers from donor countries for condoning this attack on their livelihood.
The Government island of Curieuse and now The Nature Seychelles Cousin Island have both announced increases in landing fees for tourists to land on these islands (Cousin going up to 700 rupees per person from 600). “One person even had the cheek to tell the boat owners representatives that tourism is secondary for us. We shall go up again if people keep coming until it gets to Rupees one thousand” the Praslin Islanders said as the met to discuss their reactions to the last attack on their livelihood.
The tourism industry of Seychelles cannot be milked when organisations just wants more money and secondly when others getting grants and aid money increases fees that can in return kill an industry where some 300 boat owners have invested only because they continue to ride on the back of tax payers from these donor countries.
“We the islanders from Praslin provide dedicated personalised service and believe our islands cannot just become tools to destroy our livelihood as we price ourselves out of the market. we cannot just sit back any longer and do nothing. Administrators for these Nature Reserves are all living comfortably pulling big salaries as they become more hungry for more money and are set to destroy our industry” the boat owners representatives said.
“We are calling on Aid Donors and representatives of Donor Countries to visit us and analyse the happenings here on the ground. Look at salaries of those receiving the aid money and grants, money paid by your tax payers that is now helping to push us in a corner and killing our livelihood as they can say that tourism is secondary for them” they said.
The representatives and their consultant from NConsultant Services are planning to rally all the boat owners and their crew together to take a united front to safe their industry that is now under attack