Seychelles offers tourism for all – but needs to say it as we start 2019


Seychelles has a diverse tourism product which makes its strength and which has guaranteed its success. Seychelles offers tourism for all. Visiting journalists to the islands continue to raise this question, and only last week Alain St.Ange, the former Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine was quizzed on the ‘Tourism for All’ he had pushed during his campaign as a Candidate for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Minister Alain St.Ange spoke about the continued drive by Seychelles for every niche market within the tourism industry. “Firstly Seychelles does not discriminate in who visits the islands. We are friends of all and enemies of none, which is why we welcome everyone with no necessity for Visas by anyone to visit our islands. Friends cannot be made to seek a Visa to visit their friends.  Secondly because of our unique location where we benefit of a weather pattern that gives Seychelles 365 days of summer every year, and the connotation of being the islands of perpetual summer, we have a unique flora and fauna and therefore we attract from bird watchers to botanists, to scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts, to bush walks fanatics, sailing, boating, island hopping holidaymakers, culinary tourism, cruise tourism and more. Seychelles has even been listed in the arena for sports tourism and more recently in medical tourism since the arrival of modern privately run dialysis centers. Seychelles welcomes couples, families, single travelers and members from the gay tourism world. Handicaps or religious groups are also all welcome for a dream holiday in our mid-ocean islands where the color of the skin, religious beliefs, political affiliation plays no part on how we welcome you in paradise” St.Ange said.

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The former Seychelles Minister who publishes his own weekly tourism report (Saint Ange Report) and runs his own tourism consultancy (Saint Ange Consultancy) nevertheless spoke with passion about the island’s tourism industry saying that Seychelles has the best in five star properties as it has unique and exceptional ‘one island – one hotel’ properties, but is also has a range of three and four star properties and a number of small ‘home grown’ Seychellois properties in villages and districts right around the islands which raises the question if Seychelles is being visible enough with what it has on offer.

“Tourism for All should be pushing Seychelles to have a solid stock of hotel rooms to serve its tour operator partners and to guarantee a continuous airline service that provides seamless connections to the tourism source markets. Tourist needs have changed, and expectations continue to change as well. A number of past visitors are now returning on holidays to Seychelles as families and these trips include kids, parents, and grandparents. It is known that this travel group has been a dominant force in the industry for the last few years. A lot about travel continues to change. Seychelles today has Long Haul flights with but one stop and those that are direct and non-stop which are being more sought after. Seychelles operates through three Middle East Hubs (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha) and two African Hubs (Addis Ababa and Nairobi). On the other side of the equation airlines like British Airways, CONDOR, Edelweiss, Austrian Airline and JOON of Air France are offering direct non-stop service to the UK and to Europe but they all have one thing in common, they all need passenger load to ensure continuity. Some airlines to Seychelles has three travel class (first, business and economy) and others provide Business and Economy only. Regionally Air Seychelles and Air Austral link the islands to India, South Africa, Mauritius and Reunion” Alain St.Ange said.

“The future of Seychelles Tourism remains on the recognition or appreciation of Seychellois who are in the industry and who are key drivers of the industry. The call for Seychellois to claim back its tourism industry will have no meaning if Seychellois are marginalized. It is Seychellois who will defend the industry and help the country to consolidate its tourism industry. They are the country’s partners and they are here to stay.  Seychelles needs more than ever before to ensure the local operators are treated as assets for the industry and respected accordingly The foreign investors will benefit and they will feel safer with their investments more secured when their Seychellois counterparts are happy and contented.” St.Ange said.

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.