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TOURISM

French diver killed in Seychelles shark attack

A French tourist diving in the Seychelles died after a possible shark attack, officials said Tuesday.

The 36-year-old had been deep-sea diving in Anse Lazio in the archipelago’s Praslin isle on Monday, police spokesman Jean Toussaint told AFP.

“Other tourists on the beach tried to help him, but he died as his injuries were serious,” Toussaint said, adding: “The injuries looked like a shark bite.”

An autopsy was to be conducted Tuesday to determine the exact cause of death, which some officials said could have been as a result of being cut by a boat propeller.

Shark attacks are rare in the idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago.

“I have been diving for the last 40 years and I have never encountered any problems. Sharks are actually very rare because they are hunted for their meat and fins,” said Michel Gardette, a development official in Praslin.

“Seychelles is one of the safest countries for diving,” he added.

The 115-island Indian Ocean archipelago is a popular top-end tourist destination, with some villa accommodation costing as much as 10,000 euros per night.

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TOURISM

Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.

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