Tourism Budget time in Seychelles

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Soon, Seychelles will see its 2019 Budget presented to the National Assembly for discussions, debates and for approval. The island’s Council of Ministers is probably already discussing the fine print of this document that will impact, in one way or another, on the lives of each and every Seychellois.

On the tourism front, Tourism Operators working with Seychelles from right around the world are saying that the writing is on the wall if the Government refuses to hear their plea of the island’s private sector trade, for a budget that is deemed appropriate for the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy. Discussions today are centered around the need to increase the Seychelles Tourism Marketing Budget.

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Too many Seychellois are dependent on this industry and so many local investments depend entirely on a buoyant tourism industry. New airlines have launched their services to Seychelles, and today we are connected with a range of direct non-stop flights to Europe. Europe remains the main tourism source market for the islands, and it will need to be continuously nurtured. It is the budget of 2019 that will consolidate the good news brought by the arrival of adequate air connectivity that we are now enjoying, but that has taken years to materialise.

The appeal on behalf of Seychelles is to ensure the ability of the Tourism Board to be supported enough, so that they can work with their airline and tour operator partners, and to be free of bureaucratic cobwebs so that they can respond fast when working on marketing partnership proposals they received.

Failure to show care and understanding of the tourism industry may be costly and could well result in the discontinuation of one or more of the air services in place today. We should never take what we have today for granted. Seychelles needs its airline partners because the island’s tourism industry remains dependent on them, and the island’s economy on its turn is dependent on tourism, the industry that is the main pillar of the Seychelles economy.

The islands must appreciate the seriousness of the situation and the importance of pushing for a budget that shows we want tourism to work, because that is the only way to strengthen the “We Are Tourism” call being spearheaded by the private sector.

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board. In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization. In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation. At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange. St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style. His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body. African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor. As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart. In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere. St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada” Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit. Member of Travelmarketingnetwork.