Indian Ocean Rim member states should join forces in pushing the tourism wheel barrow
Seychelles echoed a strong message to members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism Ministerial Meeting to unite their strengths and push forward the tourism wheel barrow for the developm
Seychelles echoed a strong message to members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism Ministerial Meeting to unite their strengths and push forward the tourism wheel barrow for the development of the regional tourism industry.
Addressing delegates at the historical Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism Ministerial Meeting which opened at Savoy Resort & Spa, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, said the meeting was needed for the region because of the Indian Ocean Region’s common specificities. Minister St.Ange outlined that all members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association were today benefiting from the blue economy concept.
“What unites us with this group of countries is the ocean that engulfs us. It is this ocean that gives tourism our unique selling points. It is also this ocean that makes up the blue economy concept that we must defend and preserve for our future generations,” said Minister St.Ange
The Seychelles Minister said that it sees the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association as unique because of its diversity.
“Together we have a diversity that make us stand alone in the Community of Nations. We must realize that this diversity we have is a potential that works for our region for the benefit of every member state,” added Minister St.Ange.
The Seychelles Minister said that the time was right to look at the block of nations within the Indian Ocean Rim Association as a tourism region to ensure the people of the different Member States benefit from tourism. He outlined the close synergy between culture and tourism.
“If there is one thing we can sell, it is our culture. This culture of ours has our very own DNA. We have to be proud of it, and we have to realize that we have something the discerning travelers of today are looking for,” the Minister said.
Minister St.Ange went on to speak on the question of air access saying that there is no tourism without air connectivity.
“We cannot have tourism without aviation. If we say we need aviation, we must agree tourism and aviation are linked for success of our tourism industry,” Minister St.Ange said.
Over 16 member countries of IORA converged to Seychelles for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism Ministerial Meeting that was being held for the first time. This historical inaugural IORA Ministerial Meeting was being hosted under the theme “Tourism and Travel within IORA.” The ministerial meeting is set to endorse recommendations of an expert session held on Thursday, November 20, that discussed issues pertaining to Indian Ocean tourism and travel perspectives, maximizing regional development through sustainable tourism and developing cruise tourism in the Indian Ocean.
Minister St.Ange said looking at the way forward following this historical meeting was crucial for the organization. He proposed the setting up of a tourism secretariat within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to look at tourism as an industry that can benefit and that will benefit each and every Member State of the Association.
“We need to be able to see how we keep the tourism ministerial agenda moving. It is opportune for us to have something that makes our economy work and put money in the pocket of all our Indian Ocean Rim member states,” Minister St.Ange said.
Officially opening the meeting in the presence of Danny Faure, the Seychelles Vice President, Jean Paul Adam, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, said delegates of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) were meeting in Seychelles because they believe that with the right strategy, tourism can bring much more benefits to the region.
“In our Indian Ocean region, and through our only pan Indian Ocean Organization, IORA, we have a unique opportunity to build on our respective strengths and create synergies that can improve our resilience while also creating new and innovative products and experiences,” Minister Jean Paul Adam said.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism Ministerial Meeting was chaired by Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, together with Graham Anderson, the IORA Director.