Seychelles launches bid for UNWTO executive council seat


A notice to that effect has been circulated to member states by the UNWTO.

The next election of the UNWTO will take place at the 55th meeting of the Regional Commission for Africa to be held during the twentieth session of the General Assembly in the Victoria Falls area, Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2013.

Seychelles’ Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange told the press following that notice Seychelles feels that as it remains a tourism destination dependent on tourism, and one where the industry remains the pillar of its economy, it can play a part to increase the importance of tourism for Africa as a whole and to push for more visibility of Africa and its islands as twin center holiday possibilities with a difference.

“Africa has everything to be the new Continent for tourism -- from the Big Five Safari concept to spectacular island beach holidays with unrivalled swimming.

 Africa also offers ski holidays on the equator with cultural tourism possibilities, to big game fishing, sailing holidays or diving breaks.

 Africa has its Natural Wonders of Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Aldabra Atoll of the Seychelles, the Table Mountain of South Africa to name just a few of mind boggling attractions and this we need to work through the World Tourism Organisation to consolidate it for our respective countries,” Mr St Ange commented.

“The time has come to work with the UNWTO to take tourism in Africa to greater heights. This we can do by getting our African Union (AU) to see tourism as one of its development growth areas.

 With giants like South Africa and Nigeria working together through the AU alongside their many smaller tourism destinations, the sky is the limit,” Minister St Ange said.

Seychelles, as small as it is, remains a country that believes in working together in synergy.

Earlier this year the country hosted Routes Africa and brought together many African tourism ministers and Seychelles is the sitting President for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation.
The country remains the tourism destination seeing remarkable growth in its visitor arrival numbers even when its main tourism markets are facing economic difficulties.

Seychelles will finish 2012 with a 7% increase in visitor arrival figures. This is over and above the 11% it recorded at the end of 2011 over their 2010 figure.
“We have put forward an event where the Indian Ocean islands and the African mainland can showcase their people and culture as they fly their flag in front of the world media.

 This is the Carnaval International de Victoria, now known as the only carnival of carnivals and it remains the event on the equator to which the world flocks for an annual meeting.
Seychelles made this move when the island’s President, James Michel, personally held the tourism portfolio and after he had launched the islands ‘Seychelles Brand’ of tourism which was aimed at Seychelles claiming back its tourism industry by getting the Seychellois as a people more involved.

“This was initiated by our President in a bid to consolidate the industry for the long term. The President wanted the Seychellois at large to see themselves in the industry that remains the pillar of their economy.

 That was a sure way for the people of our islands to not only support the industry, but also to defend it and ensure that everyone works for the consolidation of the industry,” Mr St Ange said.