Seychelles is today a country that is widely recognized as having succesfully relaunched its tourism industry under its own “Seychelles brand” and were invited to take center stage at the Lusaka Conference where Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, will deliver a keynote address on “Developmental, Cultural, and Partnering Perspectives.”
Alain St.Ange, accompanied by Glynn Burridge from the Print & Production Department of the Tourism Board, arrived in Lusaka in Zambia on Sunday where they are representing the islands at the 5th IIPT African Tourism Conference, which is being held under the banner of: “Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism in Africa and the Developing World.”
Zambia’s President HE Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda said in his welcome note to delegates arriving at the Lusaka Conference: “Zambia recognizes the important role that tourism can play in the economic and social development of Africa and the developing world. Tourism also helps to foster peace in the world as every traveler is essentially a peace ambassador.”
Mr. Louis D’Amore, the President of the IIPT, in his remarks said that the Lusaka conference has brought together case studies, as well as “models of best practice” from Africa and other regions of the world that demonstrate in real terms how the tourism industry is responding to the issues of climate change.
Seychelles Tourism is proving an iteresting case study, as the Seychelles have managed to relaunch themselves when their main tourism markets were suffering from their very own economic difficulties. Their revival strategy ensured that all tourism business in the islands were able to continue their operations and guarantee the Seychellois population work in their most important industry. This was the situation in Seychelles as big names in tourism in many neighboring countries were facing foreclosures and bailouts by banks.
As interesting for the Lusaka Conference will be the innovative approach adopted by Seychelles to get increased visibility for themselves in order to diversify their tourism markets. The staging of their carnival of carnivals is being recognized as an African event, that along with the FIFA Football World Cup staged in South Africa, have helped to get world attention on Africa.
Alain St.Ange said that Seychelles was innovative and proactive in the continued development of its tourism industry. “We do not take anything for granted. We had targeted visibility for our islands as the course of action for 2011, and we can safely say that we are on course. Our product is exceptional, our natural beauty is unsurpassed, our people are welcoming as usual, and the government is the facilitator wanting to continue to work with its private sector partners to ensure consolidation of the Seychelles tourism industry for the long term,” said Alain St.Ange.