The Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles get their independence from Britain on Monday (28 June) and much of their future prosperity will come from the development of the tourism industry.
CU PAN Signs, Welcome to Seychelles
CU PAN Indian Creole, African and Chinese girls picking flowers
LV & CU Black and white workers in cement factory (3 shots)
CU Three nurses of various races
SV & CU Men working on cars in garages (3 shots)
TOP GV Cove
SV PAN AND LV Fishermen's Cove Hotel (3 shots)
SV tourism minister David Joubert with tourists, speaking (5 shots)
LV & SV People on beach (3 shots)
SV & CU Various races talking (2 shots)
SV & CU Coloured woman and child on beach (2 shots)
SV & LV Children playing in surf (3 shots)
JOUBERT: "I can assure you this is the policy of our government not to overdevelop our tourism potential. We are not going to have 500 bad hotels on either Mahe, Parslin or La Digue. We shall be going now for small hotels of 100 beds in most of the places. In other words we are not for mass tourism, but I would say expensive tourism if you can call it that. We want this island to remain as God made them, as you said earlier and we want men not to destroy what we have inherited."
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Background: The Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles get their independence from Britain on Monday (28 June) and much of their future prosperity will come from the development of the tourism industry.
SYNOPSIS: The Seychelles group comprises 86 islands, about a thousand miles from the coast of East Africa. Numerous travellers and writers have termed it a paradise. Part of its attraction lies in the variety of life styles on the island. The island present an extraordinary example of racial mixing but the minorities have largely maintained their ethnic identity.
But independence is going to bring an uncertain economic future. The islands have very few handicrafts and no manufacturing or processing industries. They lie in the middle of one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, but these are grossly underdeveloped. The Government intends to develop that industry, but meanwhile the islanders watch the Japanese, Koreans and taiwanese taking in large hauls of fine fish.
The Government is also relying heavily on tourism possibilities. An airport opened the Seychelles to the world in 1971. It's hoped the islands could become self-sufficient on an economy based on tourism in 10 years, but tourism minister David Joubert, says the development will be watched closely.
Tourism has shown a spectacular growth since the opening of the airport. Six years ago there were only about 140 hotel beds in Seychelles and about 1600 visitors spent time there annually. By the end of last year the number of beds had increased to 1700 and the visitors to about 32,000. This was despite a fall in international tourism.
It was Britain's idea to build the airport and she has also promised the Seychelles substantial help after independence. This will be given in the form of budgetary support and capital aid and in a much needed technical assistance programme. The Government is also actively pursuing foreign investment.