Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tourism lift for Seychelles

Business Day - 08 October 2008

A $350m investment is planned to redevelop the old Plantation Club Resort & Casino in the Seychelles into a premium tourist destination.

Following years of neglect and the much-publicised liquidation of the Plantation Club, the property has been awarded through public tender to European Hotels and Resorts, with development partner Mantis Development International.

Mantis CEO Graham Moon said: “This project represents the biggest opportunity for Mantis Development International and is the culmination of searching for the right opportunity and partners over the past few years.”

Mantis has a portfolio of 14 luxury hotels worldwide.

The development will consist of three new premier resorts on the old Plantation Club property, including two new luxury resorts.

The project was expected to bring an additional 9000 tourists to the Seychelles annually, contribute $350m to the island’s gross domestic product, provide about 14000 jobs during the construction period and 1500 jobs in the tourism industry.

Moon said the project aimed also to include the community of the Island of Mahe by ensuring accessibility to the resort’s cinema, restaurants and entertainment facilities.

He said the site would include a world-class environmental education and marine rehabilitation centre to facilitate the conservation of the unique environment and species of the Seychelles.

The education centre would provide courses in tourism and wildlife conservation, an initiative which was close to the Mantis Development Group’s heart. The consortium was committed to good environmental practices and has won numerous international environmental awards over the past 10 years.

The developers plan to renovate the hotel to four-star status with 138 suites.

A five-star component of the project would include two separate boutique facilities — a Mountainside Lodge and Beachfront Hotel. The Mountainside Lodge, a 40-villa boutique hotel and resort, would be on the terrace of the four-star hotel, and the Beachfront Hotel would be along the beach and around an inland wetland on the eastern corner of the property.

Moon said construction would begin next month.