The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, used the 2010 World Travel Market (WTM) forum in London to appeal to governments worldwide and to multilateral forums such as the G-20 to place tourism higher on their agendas as the sector can contribute to our common objectives of sustaining recovery, regaining jobs, and promoting sustainable development. This appeal was welcomed by Seychelles where the islands’ President James Michel has personally taken over the tourism portfolio in a government reshuffle earlier this year.
The tropical islands of the Seychelles depend on tourism as the pillar of its economy, and this was reinforced when the islands’ President decided to bring the industry’s responsibility under the Seychelles’ highest office, an appeal now being echoed by the Secretary General of the UNWTO.
Reinforcing this point at the Seychelles evening in London on the occasion of the 2010 WTM, Mr. Barry Faure, the Secretary of State in the President’s Office and Chairman of the Seychelles Tourism Board said. “The UK and Seychelles enjoy much in common. It was whilst Seychelles was still a British colony that our islands first launched their tourism industry.
“Government continues with its efforts to add greater buoyancy to its tourism industry with an intense round of consultations with all local industry players. Suggestions arising from these consultations will be incorporated into new measures due to be announced in 2011 designed to further enhance the capabilities of our industry in the face of a struggling world economy.
“President Michel in a recent address spoke of the need to drive the Seychelles brand even more aggressively. The Seychelles Islands…another world brand encapsulates Seychelles’ many diverse and unique attributes that the President has referred to. Attributes which make the islands so much more than just a sun, sea, and sand destination and which differentiate us greatly from the competition. These are all natural advantages and characteristics with which Seychelles has been blessed and which must be given greater emphasis in our tourism campaigns and called upon to play their special role in attracting visitors to our shores.”
On his part, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange, said when he addressed the 150 odd press and tour operators gathered for the WTM Seychelles evening that the government of the islands believed in its tourism industry, which is why President Michel coined his new vision aptly named the “Seychelles Brand,” which is people centered but with support of the government of the islands.
Seychelles will in 2011 launch a Carnival under the banner of the “Melting Pot of Cultures,” which is hoped will enable countries from the community of nations to enjoy themselves together and to share ideas on the consolidation of tourism as an industry that remains crucial to a stable economic recovery of many nations.