Seychelles has been accepted as a member of RETOSA, the regional tourism organization for Southern African countries, held in Livingstone, Zambia, between June 19-25, 2011.
A three-man delegation of Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB); David Germain, regional tourism director for Africa; and Glynn Burridge, STB’s copywriter and tourism consultant, attended the meeting to make Seychelles’ case to become a member but with payment of reduced membership fees.
Alain St.Ange argued: “I stand before you here as the representative of one of the tiniest nations on Earth, something that the briefest examination of the world map will confirm. A country that has more sea than land. A small country that remains part of Africa.
“As one might well expect, not only is Seychelles one of the tiniest nations on Earth, but it is also one with one of the smallest working populations. We have a workforce amounting to no more than 46,000 individuals within a total population of a mere 87,000 and possess a very small budget with which we are obliged to meet all of our considerable financial obligations.”
Seychelles benefited from the valuable support from the chairperson of RETOSA, Zimbabwe’s Dr. B.S. Maunganidze, Permanent Secretary of The Zimbabwe Ministry of Tourism, who was also chairing the proceedings, combined with favorable arguments from delegates from Mauritius, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to win Seychelles admission to RETOSA’s ranks.
“I think it is very much a win-win situation for all concerned,” commented Alain St.Ange, “with Seychelles benefiting from membership of RETOSA and RETOSA now in a position to avail itself of Seychelles’ proven proactiveness in arenas such as marketing.”
The islands of the Seychelles has been proactive in the pushing for regional cooperation and integration. The President of the island republic, Mr. James Michel, who is personally responsible for tourism, has launched his “Seychelles Brand” of tourism, which brought about the proactive stand of Seychelles on the regional stand.