Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Seychelles Tourism

International Tour Guide Day: SIF shares latest Vallee de Mai research with Mason's Travel Guides

Established by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) in 1990, International Tourist Guide Day is recognised each year on 21 February.

This year, due to lock-down restrictions in Seychelles in February 2021, Mason’s Travel’s passionate guides were not able to spend the day doing what they love – sharing their local knowledge with visitors to the island nation. However, they did team up (virtually) with the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) and their equally-passionate team of researchers at the Vallee de Mai, for a series of informative digital presentations on the latest work and research being conducted at the World Heritage Site.

Guides connected with SIF researchers via Zoom from Mason’s Travel’s various offices in Praslin and Mahé. The researchers shared some of their latest findings related to the Seychelles Black Parrot, Coco de Mer, the park’s lizards and geckos, and the control of Yellow Crazy Ants in the Vallee de Mai. The informative presentations also outlined key takeaway messages for visitors to the park and how tourists could assist with SIF’s conservation efforts (eg. sharing photos of ringed Black Parrots and checking clothes and bags for Yellow Crazy Ants before entering protected areas), as tour guides are an important channel of communication between conservationists and visitors.

Guides had the opportunity to ask some of their questions about species found at the Vallee de Mai and shared commonly asked questions that they received from visitors.

As a proudly Seychellois company, Mason’s Travel is committed to providing innovative and authentic experiences of the islands to their clients from around the world. Clients that book their popular Vallee de Mai excursions can now look forward to receiving the latest, detailed information about the reserve’s inhabitants – together with enhanced health and safety precautions and Mason’s Travel’s characteristic Creole congeniality.


Friday, 12 February 2021

Hotel News

An Exciting New Chapter: H Resort Rebrands as STORY (Seychelles)

10 February 2021 saw the launch of the much-anticipated STORY (Seychelles), flagship resort in the Seychelles of STORY Hospitality, a dynamic, UAE-based hospitality management company with an innovative approach and singular vision of excellence.

Formerly H Resort, this popular luxury resort lies directly on Beau Vallon beach in the bustling north of Mahe and offers an unparalleled collection of opulently appointed rooms and suites and villas that represent the epitome of tropical luxury.

STORY Hospitality will serve as the umbrella parent marque bringing a full suite of options to travellers and visitors with two different hotel brands: STORY Hotels & Resorts for a superior visitor experience as well as CUE Hotels, a modern lifestyle brand.

The new identity aims to deliver inspiring transformational hospitality, allowing guests to find a new perspective from their travels and experience of the world in a new way, through exceptional service and stimulating surroundings, coupled with modern and sophisticated spaces.

As its name suggests, STORY (Seychelles) is about creating ‘stories’ for its guests - not only to relish, but also to participate in- during their stay.

Fuelled by a unique set of operating beliefs, STORY (Seychelles)’s objective is, in essence, to inspire its guests by kindling passions and awakening new dreams either through their introduction to new experiences, or to existing experiences but freshly perceived in novel and surprising ways.

The launch of the STORY Hotels and Resorts brand in Seychelles promises to usher in a new age of the Intrepid Discoverer - but not this time, as in the past, in search of new continents and their riches; now, rather, seeking a deliciously eclectic mix of new sensations, impressions and experiences that are genuinely lasting and potentially life-changing.

A STORY that Sparks Inspiration.

The resort management looks forward to welcoming you to STORY (Seychelles).

- Submitted by STORY (Seychelles)

Friday, 5 February 2021

Mason's Travel News

Mason's Travel Invests in Green Cleaning Technology

Mason’s Travel has been a driving force behind Seychelles’ tourism industry for almost five decades. Never one to shy away from embracing innovation, Seychelles' leading DMC has evolved with international travel standards to maintain its market position and fulfil its promise of offering world-class services and an authentic Seychelles experience to clients from around the world.

As a family-run business, the safety and well-being of guests and employees has always been a top priority for Mason's Travel - no more so than in today's COVID 19 era. With teams operating on the front lines of the tourism industry, the tour operator's commitment to creating safe and sanitary environments in which staff can interact with guests, is at the forefront of all business decisions.

Mason's Travel recently became the first DMC in Seychelles to invest in a new method of sanitizing their extensive fleet of vehicles, by introducing the use of a FOGAIR device - a disinfectant nebulizer. This improved "fogging" method of sanitization releases a disinfectant solution in a fine mist, which coats all vehicle surfaces evenly and effectively.

The mist-solution, which is both non-toxic and environmentally-friendly, remains activated for over 18 hours and is able to coat surfaces not easily accessed with traditional cleaning methods. The disinfectant vapour can also be circulated through the vehicle's ventilation system, ensuring that even filters and air-ducts are thoroughly sterilized.

The solution is a product developed in Canada, where trials demonstrated proven-effectiveness in the elimination of 99.999% of all viruses and funguses, in just 30 seconds. Unlike traditional sanitizers, the solution is not wiped off after application and remains active on vehicle surfaces, preventing contact-spread of viruses like COVID 19.

For all it's effectiveness, the solution is surprisingly gentle and is non-hazardous to plant and animal life. It has no special disposal requirements, is non-staining and non-corrosive. It is appropriate for use on fabrics and coming into contact with clothing, or for application directly onto vehicle switches and electronics. Mason's Travel is so confident in the gentleness of the solution that it is even applied it to the electric control panels in their luxury vehicles, like the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.

By adopting this new method of sanitization, alongside previous methods, Mason's Travel's clients are assured of a safe and comfortable travel experience. The method is applied to all vehicles used for transfers, excursions and private tours, and can even be applied to guests' luggage, as the solution has no strong chemical odors and there is no risk of clothing or luggage being stained or damaged by the disinfectant. Mason's Travel's drivers, guides, ground handlers and maintenance teams also benefit from the reduced risk of cross contamination from commonly-touched surfaces.

Mason's Travel continues to practice preventative measures in line with the recommendations of the Public Health Authority, and their teams are fully prepared - and eagerly excited - to welcome clients to Seychelles.

Contact Mason's Travel for more information about tours, excursions and transfers in Seychelles.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Fauna and Flora

Celebrating Protected Areas in Seychelles

On Sunday 31 January 2021, Seychelles celebrated Protected Areas Day. The Indian Ocean destination is a global Protected Areas champion, with one of the world's highest ratios of land and sea set aside for protection. Seychelles has recently declared 30% of its marine territory - an area roughly the size of Germany - as protected and roughly 47% of its total landmass is reserved for Protected Areas. These include National Parks, Special Reserves, World Heritage Sites and Protected Wetlands.

Protected Areas safeguard critical natural zones that are deemed to provide a range of goods and services, protect historical and cultural resources of national or global importance, or are considered important for the sustainability of indigenous and endemic species. The range of benefits provided by protected areas are many:

Every day up to 150 species become extinct. Protected Areas guard critical habitats for species so that they can thrive in nature, unimpacted by human disturbance. Recent studies have shown that, on average, the number of species found in Protected Areas is 10.6% higher than in areas outside of protected zones. 

Areas protected for their unique biodiversity, natural beauty or cultural significance are frequently popular tourist attractions. On average, visitors to Seychelles will visit 2.4 Protected Areas during their stay, with a 2017 survey indicating that 87.5% of all tourists will visit at least one Protected Area during their holiday.

Marine Parks, and areas where fishing is not allowed, are surprisingly beneficial to the fishing industry. They allow for areas where fish populations can thrive and grow, before moving out into unprotected waters where they may be caught by fishermen. Since Marine Parks also protect the breeding grounds of many species, they ensure healthier, more sustainable fish stocks and allow individuals to grow to bigger sizes.

Protected Areas are economic engines. Tourism is the most important pillar of Seychelles' economy, as it contributes to more than 50% of the country’s GDP and supports 30% of its workforce. Fisheries are the second-most significant contributors to the nation's GDP - both industries are supported by Protected Areas in sustainable ways that prioritise longevity and the protection and cultivation of natural resources.

The planet's oceans and forested areas are essential for regulating global temperatures and absorbing greenhouse gases produced by modern industry. In addition to helping to stabilise global weather patterns, protected forested areas also help manage erosion and flooding, which can wreak havoc on nearby settlements and economies.

Most communities rely on freshwater sources for their drinking water. Well-managed natural forests almost always provide higher quality water - these Protected Areas help to absorb pollution from the atmosphere and regulate soil erosion, which in turn means fewer sediments and contaminants in water sources.

Protected Areas provide the settings for healthy outdoor recreation and exploration. In Seychelles, popular recreation activities include hiking, snorkeling, diving, fishing and time spent on the beach. Exploring Protected Areas offers tourists and residents alike the opportunity to understand and appreciate nature while enjoying exercise and improving their overall health and well being. Much evidence has been accumulated on the recuperative effects of spending time in nature. Well-managed Protected Areas also offer important arenas for research and an improved understanding of our planet.

In Seychelles, a range of NGOs and conservation organizations - such as the SNPA, MCSS, ICS, SIF, GIF and SeyCAtt, to name a few - work tirelessly to protect and preserve areas and remote islands spanning over hundreds of thousands of kilometers. 

Mason’s Travel has carefully designed a portfolio of exciting excursions and activities that showcase the best of Seychelles' best-loved Protected Areas, making it convenient and affordable for you or your clients to enjoy these important sites. Our knowledgeable, local guides and seamless transfer options make visiting various Protected Areas - scattered across multiple islands - both effortless and informative.
We can also arrange for private tours of Protected Areas for groups or individuals with special interests or that require bespoke itineraries. Contact our reservations team today!

Special thanks to the Seychelles National Parks Authority for the graphic and above information and for maintaining over 30km of hiking trails on Mahe Island!