South Africa & Seychelles set to cooperate even further in tourism

The Ministers of Tourism from South Africa and the Seychelles have paved the way for a more solid partnership with the signing of an MOU last week when Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk of South Africa

South Africa & Seychelles set to cooperate even further in tourism

The Ministers of Tourism from South Africa and the Seychelles have paved the way for a more solid partnership with the signing of an MOU last week when Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk of South Africa was on a working visit to Seychelles.

The two countries already enjoy very friendly ties. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa was personally in Seychelles last year when he and President James Michel of the Seychelles headed the mediation process between the political leadership of Madagascar. This time it was in the field of tourism that cooperation between South Africa and Seychelles was is being consolidated.

Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk and his delegation were also accompanied by a group of South African Tour Operators who were invited for a one day workshop by the Seychelles tourism private sector.

Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister responsible for Tourism and his Seychellois counterpart, Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture have discussed air access, marketing and for the need to see Africa work with Africa in the field of tourism.

At a ceremony after the MOU Signature the Seychelles Minister St.Ange announced that Seychelles would be supporting South Africa’s bid for their re-election for a seat on the Executive Council of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). These elections are due to be held in the UNWTO General Assembly which will be held at the end of August in Zambia / Zimbabwe.

Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister responsible for Tourism said that he was appreciative of the Seychelles support and went further that he would be echoing to the South African Committee responsible for guiding votes for World Organizations his personal support for a Seychelles vote.

Three Executive Council seats are up for grab for in this coming General Assembly elections in Zambia / Zimbabwe at the end of August. Zambia and Zimbabwe have already come out to say they were supporting the Seychelles candidature.

Other world organizations have also spoken out in support of the Seychelles bid for a seat on the Executive Council of the UNWTO.

African Diaspora Tourism is in support of Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Republic of the Seychelles, in his nomination for election as a member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council. “St.Ange has done an outstanding job in the tourism field and has managed to brand Seychelles globally as a desirable destination,” says African Diaspora Tourism publisher Kitty Pope.

“He is a strong believer in strategic regional marketing approaches as demonstrated by the successful Vanilla Island Cooperation of Indian Ocean Island. Having developed win-win marketing partnerships with African mainland and other destinations, St.Ange is very visionary and insightful as a leader. He would bring the same commitment and expertise in tourism to the UNWTO Executive Council,” says Pope. “I am certain he will be able to help increase tourism arrivals to Africa in a few years the same way he has for Seychelles. I believe St.Ange has the capability of making Africa a premier global destination of the twenty-first century.”

St. Ange is the creator of Carnaval Internationale de Victoria (The Carnival of Carnivals), where he got participation from various countries around the globe. His idea for such a carnival was to bring different cultures together for celebration in Seychelles. He has also launched other successful, original marketing campaigns where he worked with global media outlets to raise the profile of Seychelles. Having worked as CEO of Seychelles Tourism and now as minister of Tourism and Culture for more than a year, St.Ange helped to reinvigorate and reinvent Seychelles Tourism.

A sought-after speaker and conference presenter, St. Ange has become a highly-regarded African tourism leader and has worked with other countries in helping to put together portfolios to increase tourism arrivals. Many global organizations leaders in Africa are supporting St.Ange’s nomination to UNWTO. His philosophy of “friends of all, enemies of none” has gained him respect around Africa and beyond. African Diaspora Tourism believes that St.Ange will be a valuable asset if he is elected to the African seat on the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Committee.

On his part Mr. Louis D’Amore, the President of the IIPT spoke to the press about his support for the Seychelles candidature for the UNWTO Executive Council Seat from Vermont in the USA and said: “Since becoming the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, the Hon. Alain St.Ange has been continuously in the media spotlight. As a member of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council, Minister St.Ange would bring this same energy, marketing expertise, and commitment to the Council, as well as his media alliances throughout the world, with the aim of doubling arrivals to Africa in a few short years.
It is for these reasons that the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is pleased to support Minister Alain St.Ange in his nomination for election as a member of the UNWTO Executive Council.

Minister St.Ange is a strong believer in strategic regional marketing approaches as demonstrated by the successful Vanilla Island Cooperation of Indian Ocean Islands. He has also developed win-win marketing partnerships with African mainland destinations promoting combined safari-beach vacations and thereby reaching new markets for both partners.

In supporting the Hon. Alain St.Ange for the Executive Committee, IIPT President Louis D’Amore stated: “IIPT was honored to have Minister St.Ange as a keynote speaker at the Fifth IIPT African Conference – Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism – during which he clearly demonstrated his visionary and insightful thinking. We have observed since that time, the impressive manner in which he has marketed the Seychelles as a global destination and the creative new initiatives he has implemented such as the Carnaval Internationale de Victoria (The Carnival of Carnivals).”

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Mr. D’Amore continued: “As Africa’s representative to the UNWTO Executive Council, he will similarly use his marketing skills and expertise to bring world-wide media attention to all of Africa as a premier global destination of the twenty-first century. Moreover, his Seychelles philosophy ‘friends of all, enemies of none’ is a philosophy supportive of IIPT’s vision of ‘Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism’ and our belief that ‘Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.’”

IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”

ETN Publisher Juergen Thomas Steinmetz also issued an open letter of support for the Hon. Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Republic of the Seychelles, for these mid-ocean islands’ bid for a seat on the Executive Council of the UNWTO.

ETN Publisher Juergen Thomas Steinmetz is issuing this open letter of support for the Hon. Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Republic of the Seychelles. Mr. Steinmetz wrote:-

After serious consideration, I am personally pleased to support the Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Republic of the Seychelles, Alain St.Ange, in his bid for election to the African seat on the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Committee.

As many already know, this election will be held in late August during the UNWTO Annual Summit being jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The summit is uniquely scheduled to be held on both sides of the magnificent Victoria Falls, and will bring renewed focus to African tourism, which according to available statistics, only received some 53 million visitors last year, compared to well over a billion travelers worldwide. This constitutes a modest 5 percent of global tourism movements, something Alain St.Ange is intent to change.

In the Seychelles tourism, Minister Alain St.Ange has launched multiple highly-successful, original marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the archipelago, working closely with global media outlets to substantially increase awareness and passenger arrivals to his destination. Since his appointment as the Director of Tourism Marketing, Alain was tasked to take over a reinvigorated and reinvented Seychelles Tourism Board before being appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture last year in March 2012.

The Seychelles has been in the media spotlight continuously since his appointment, and his many friends across Africa are keen to see him bring his substantial expertise to the UNWTO Executive Council where he would bring the same level of commitment and energy to market Africa like he marketed the Seychelles and double the continent’s arrival number within the next few years.

Alain St.Ange understands the role a positively-inclined media can play in helping shape a destination and subsequently created media alliances spanning the entire globe, with the Seychelles gaining awareness far beyond expectations and beyond an island destination, even with 115 islands and 220,000+ visitors in 2012, which might ordinarily be commanded.

Alain’s passion for his home islands undoubtedly will translate into the same passion to get Africa a seat on the world tourism stage should he be elected, something many of his colleagues in Africa want to see happen.

When St.Ange was still the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, his brainchild was the Carnaval International de Victoria. The idea was to bring the world together to Africa. It was not just about the Seychelles, it was meant to be the carnival of the world. I had the privilege to attend all the carnivals, and I can attest here that Africa came together on this small island nation.

His dual destination/holiday partnerships with African mainland destinations, promoting both safaris as well as top-tier beach vacations on Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, and the other islands across the extent of the Indian Ocean, also brought him many admirers on the continent who appreciate how he is tuned into promoting not just his home islands but destinations well beyond their own shores.

The Vanilla Island cooperation of Indian Ocean islands from as far as La Reunion over Mauritius, Madagascar, Mayotte, Comoros, and the Seychelles demonstrates that Alain St.Ange looks well beyond his own shores, a rare quality among professionals and more so politicians, a quality normally reserved for visionaries from the private sector.

Minister St.Ange is indeed a genuine visionary and thinks big, while not forgetting the small details that make up the framework of successful tourism marketing. Alain has well-thought-out, meaningful directions and ideas to bring Africa together, and his philosophy of friends of all, enemies of none, has gained him respect in all parts of the globe.

ETurboNews has proudly been a partner of the Seychelles to help convey this philosophy globally. With St.Ange elected as Africa’s representative on the UNTWO, global tourism and Africa will benefit greatly.

I have personally known Minister St.Ange even before he was involved with the Seychelles Tourism Board. Way before he became involved with Seychelles’ tourism, Alain contributed to numerous articles from a wide variety of African destinations. He always was careful to unite Africa and has become a highly-regarded African tourism role model and leader.

It is my personal belief the Honorable Alain St.Ange will bring fresh and original African insights with a keen global vision to the UNWTO Executive Council.

ETN Publisher Juergen T. Steinmetz concluded, “On behalf of our global eTN publication, I fully support his nomination to join the UNWTO Executive Council.”

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