Seychelles: Tourism minister says Seychelles opposes racism after allegations of mistreatment of African-American travel influencer
Seychelles opposes racism and works with influencers regardless of skin color, tourism minister says in response to blog post about mistreatment of African-American travel influencer returned to the archipelago in April.
Sylvestre Radegonde told reporters Thursday that staff in his department told him there were a lot of exaggerations and lies in what was said in the blog post.
“We work with foreigners, and in her case, she is an influencer. I want to have the right circumstances and as such, I am awaiting the report from our South African tourism representative, who was the organizer of the trip. , to obtain the exact circumstances of the trip, said Radegonde.
He said that if there was a possibility that there was racial discrimination and that she was abused, of course that is not acceptable, not only to this woman because of her skin color, but also because of the nationality of the tourists.
“If it happened, we need to know where it happened and the report will show it. Was it to immigration, customs, the hotel, tourism staff or the minister himself? We need to establish that and fix the problem,” he continued. .
The May 11 blog post on Travel Noire said influencer Abigail Akinyemi “was excited about the opportunity to work with the Seychelles Tourism Board” after “they invited her to visit and create content to promote travel.” to the East African island nation.”
He added that Akinyemi was promised accommodation but as the date of the trip approached, she received no confirmation that a hotel had been booked. She traveled to the Seychelles to find that her accommodation had not been sorted so she had to “scrambling to find accommodation at the last minute”. The article stated that the influencer still had to stick to her agreement, after which she left the island nation the next day.
According to the article, Akinyemi said: “During my short stay in the country, I have been the victim of negligence, anti-darkness and disrespect, not only from the board of directors but also from the population, which was a huge shock.”
She said it was the treatment of airport staff when she arrived, a taxi driver and airport gate agents when she left the country.
In an interview with the Seychelles Nation newspaper, the general manager of destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin, stressed that there was no commitment of any other agreement between Tourism Seychelles and the person for accommodation or transfers.
“It’s quite unfortunate, given the excellent reputation we enjoy with partners around the world,” she said.
Willemin added that since the start of 2022, Seychelles Tourism has received more than 30 collaboration requests per market, noting that this concerns 20 markets.
Commenting on future collaborations, the Minister said there was a need to review the way arrangements are made in order to avoid future misunderstandings that may arise.