The Republic of Seychelles has agreed to assist Gabon with its tourism development. This agreement was reached in Libreville following meetings between Minister Magloire Ngambia, Gabon’s Minister for the Economy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, and Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Mr. St.Ange was in Libreville last week following an invitation forwarded to the Seychelles government by Mrs. Annie Blondel, the Tourism Development Advisor to the President of the Republic of Gabon. Seychelles remains one country of the African Union (AU) with a succesful tourism industry. “Tourism remains the pillar of our economy, and since the recent restructure at our Tourism Board, we have embarked on the road to further consolidate our tourism industry and ensure continued growth in visitor arrival numbers,” Alain St.Ange said in Libreville. The Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel, personally holds the tourism portfolio in his government, and he has Alain St.Ange, the known tourism personality, as CEO of his Seychelles Tourism Board.
Following lengthy discussions in Libreville in Gabon between Alain St.Ange, Annie Blondel, and Amandine Ogouebandja from the Cabinet of Gabon’s Ministry of the Economy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, it was agreed to formalize a request to Seychelles President James Michel for the tourism island nation of the Seychelles to assist Gabon in its bid to open its tourism industry.
Areas of cooperation will include assistance for the setting up of a Gabon Tourism Board, its Tourism Information Offices in Gabon and in potential tourist markets, assisting with the structures for the setting up of DMCs (Agence Receptif), training at the Seychelles Tourism Academy for hospitality students from Gabon, the development and production of a leisure and business guide for Gabon, the development of the Tourism Licensing Inspectorates Section with training for staff, and the development of a campaign to increase the visibility of Gabon as a tourism destination, among many other points.
It is expected that as soon as the official documentation between the two governments is exchanged, the discussed points will start being tackled and technicians from Seychelles will travel to Gabon to assist on short-term specific contracts.
When leaving Gabon last night for Paris enroute to Seychelles, Alain St.Ange said that he was impressed with his discussions with Gabon’s Minister Magloire Ngambi. “He is committed to see Gabon develop its tourism industry, and he wants to see it done well,” St.Ange said.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba on his part is clearly echoing support for Gabon to develop a sustainable tourism industry, and the country is known to have great untapped potentials with mountain retreats, majestic waterfalls, stretches of empty beaches, and with a people wanting to see this new industry developed for Gabon. Alain St.Ange also said that he discussed with the Gabon Minister the possibility for the Republic of Gabon to send to the March 2012 carnival in Seychelles a Gabon cultural delegation comprised of a couple from Gabon’s indegineous pygmies tribe. “It is oen way to increase visibility for Gabon as Seychelles invites press and television networks from all over the world to cover their unique Carnival of Carnivals,” Alain St.Ange said.