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The Seychelles Heritage Foundation and its parent Ministry, the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture, are working to finalize the lease of a plot of land on the reclaimed land at Bel Ombre facin

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The Seychelles Heritage Foundation and its parent Ministry, the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture, are working to finalize the lease of a plot of land on the reclaimed land at Bel Ombre facing the treasure prospecting site to see the development of a cultural tourism project.

In February 2012, the Seychelles Heritage Foundation launched a tender inviting interested persons to submit project proposals that are related to the historical significance of the treasure site. Bel Ombre has an active treasure digging site which is under the management of Mr. John Cruise Wilkin. It was Mr. Wilkin Senior and Mr. Reginald Herbert Cruise Wilkin who had originally instigated the digging of the treasure site at Bel Ombre. Today this site, its ruins, and the treasure markings has become a National Heritage Site in its own right. Prospecting works are ongoing on the site with treasure digging operations, but visitors are also able to access the site and walk through the tunnels and caves on programmed tours by Mr. Wilkin.

The new selected tourism development project for the site adjacent to the treasure site at Bel Ombre has been proposed by the Bel Ombre Tourist Development. It entails the construction of a replica of the famous vessel “La Vierge Du Cap” presumed to have been captured by the famous pirate La Buse. Once constructed, the vessel with its impressive architectural design is set to become a major tourist attraction and that new development will further diversify cultural tourism attractions in Seychelles. “Cultural tourism is educative, it is entertaining, and it provides a new perspective and stimulating experience to both local and foreign visitors. The Bel Ombre pirates ship project has already received Seychelles Investment Board’s approval while its concept has also been approved by the Planning Authority. The promoters will now move to submit detailed plans for Planning Approval. The Seychelles Heritage Foundation is at the same time preparing a long-term lease agreement for the land,” Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture said.

This development falls well within the mandate of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation as it is aimed at promoting and preserving a cultural heritage site with particular significance to heritage or cultural tourism. The Bel Ombre treasure heritage site is one of four heritage sites in Seychelles being managed by the Heritage Foundation. As it is the case with other heritage sites, the Seychelles Heritage Foundation invited interested and potential investors to participate in the redevelopment initiative for the Bel Ombre project. It is the Foundation’s desire to see the private sector play an important role in the conservation of heritage properties and in promoting heritage tourism. This approach ensures greater private, public, and community participation in the development of cultural and heritage sites through the principle of shared responsibility.

The Bel Ombre proposed project, with a replica of the impressive ship, once completed will offer museum exhibitions, restaurants, and bar services. On the dock, where the new ship will sit, local artisans will also get the opportunity to display and sell their craft products while at the same providing additional cultural and heritage attractions and services for visitors and the general public.

The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, visited the site on Thursday, August 2, 2013, accompanied by the CEO of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, Mr. Patrick Nanty; the promoters; and other officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation to formally make the announcement that the bid by submitted by the Bel Ombre Tourist Development had been the successful bid. Minister St.Ange welcomed the project which he said will enhance the cultural heritage landscape of the Seychelles.

Սեյշելները հիմնադիր անդամ է Tourismբոսաշրջության գործընկերների միջազգային կոալիցիա (ICTP) .

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