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Launching of newly renovated La Pirogue Party – Speech by Jean-Pierre Dalais, Chairman of Sun Limited.

December 07 2017

The Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius.
Honourable Ministers,
All protocols observed,
Dear Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Isn’t it wonderful to have a party in such a beautiful garden?
In fact this hotel has been designed with Nature as its centerpiece!
A warm welcome to ….La Pirogue by Nature!! In great Boho Chic style!!

I do recall… when I was a teenager walking along the stunning beach right behind me.
La Pirogue then had just been built.
In fact, it was the only Hotel on this beach which is one of the longest in Mauritius.

What great souvenirs…. 
I am sure many of you would recall these early days of the hotel industry. 
La Pirogue, like a few others, are now household names not only in Mauritius but in the international world.

Our hotel industry then was at its dawn.
I have always admired…. the vision of the pioneers…those who could see how successful this development would be for our country.

What seems obvious today was a completely different story back then…when it would take a 16 hour flight… to get to our island…and that after a couple of stops in places like Djibouti or Nairobi. 

Many then doubted the fact that we would develop into such a thriving industry! 

Look at where we are today…!

The growth of the industry since the seventies we all know has been impressive and yet we are just about coming out one of the most challenging period since the beginning of the industry.

We are just recovering from these tough years…when the supply way out numbered demand. …. But the good thing is that we come out tougher and with many lessons learnt.

I believe that the way we have Opened our world is giving us a much better tail wind.

An improved open-air access policy has made the reach to our shores so much easier.
The Openness to talent…. is allowing each of us to progress faster in our career.
That same openness is giving us better access to the emerging markets.

Mr Prime Minister,

I would to thank you… and your government ….for your in-flinging support to our industry. 

We need it because we  cannot say that all will go well from now on…
In a way we face similar challenges…. that the Pioneers faced in the early seventies. 

We are facing some major shifts in the distribution channels.
We are challenged by many upcoming destinations coming to market in this flatter and digital world.
And our economic growth is putting substantial pressure on our environment.

To stay ahead we need to think ahead…

There is a need therefore….to strategically position our beautiful island such that we become a must-see destination in a lifetime.

We could for instance….. leverage our small scale to become the first 100% sustainable destination in the world. Why not? 
Imagine Mauritius with 100% of its vehicle fleet being electric! 

…..We could set ourselves a realistic target to reach such objectives
It is up to us, together, to decide what we want to be known for. 

We have for the past 50 years since independence, defined our future. 
We did so with great success most will agree. 

We have the same opportunity to shape the next 50 years.

This is why we are so happy tonight to officially reopen La Pirogue.
We have enhanced the Boho Chic feeling that made it so successful and we have kept our closeness to nature.

La Pirogue offers an excellent balance between– 
its authenticity, 
its tropical charm and peacefulness…in fact 1976 doesn’t feel so far way anymore.
But yet…. Many modern experiences have been designed to impact our guests with timeless memories.

I would like to thank from the deepest of my heart the people that make La Pirogue so unique.
I salute the excellent work done over the last 41 years!
They are the soul of this hotel and their talent and smiles are forever linked to La Pirogue’s success. 

To Andrew and the team, you have taken this hotel to new heights. Well done!

Mr Prime Minister, 

I can assure you of our commitment in continuously investing in our People. 

We are particularly excited at SUN to be able to learn from some of the best hotel brands in the world, namely the Four Seasons and Shangri-La groups. 

By benchmarking against the best…. we learn best practices… and most importantly we develop careers for Mauritians into leadership positions.

Partnership for Sun is indeed a key word.

Our strong partnership with the authorities, with the ministries Tourism, Culture and Education, to name a few is vital.

Our great partnership with the MTPA… the ARHIM... Air Mauritius…Airline companies…. and TOs is a key element of our future development. 

Without a strong Partnership with the design teams, consultants and contractors this renovation wouldn’t have been such a success.

Partnering with our customers to respond to their expectations and surprise their imagination is what we must constantly do.

We truly believe in building a real partnership within the company for the employees to ensure that together we reach new heights.

I therefore use this opportunity to thank you all for your close collaboration.

I have no doubt that Mauritius as a tourism destination has a great future ahead; 

The recent transformation of Sun under the leadership of David Anderson and his team, the support of Ciel group, the new partnership with Dentressangle Initiative, will position us well for a brighter future. 

I have no doubt that this iconic hotel will continue to exercise an even stronger seduction on so many of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, 
Thank you very much for your attention and I do hope with enjoy this special evening.

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