Seychelles President James Michel, who is also holding the portfolio as Minister of Tourism, underscoring the ranking of the sector within government, has on the occasion of the globally celebrated World Tourism Day sent this message to the tourism fraternity and Seychellois at large:
This years world tourism theme is Tourism – Linking Cultures. Over a year ago, I launched the Seychelles Brand, that diverse suite of attributes that differentiates our paradise islands from other destinations. The Seychelles Brand is the foundation upon which we are building our modern Seychellois tourism industry, but it is also the bridge, the link, between our culture and the culture of other civilisations in the world.
Thousands of people from other countries come to Seychelles on holiday. They are bearers of their own cultures. We have our own way of life to proudly share with them. Our dynamic Creole way of life has given us social cohesion and a vibrant culture. Our unity and tolerance provide us with harmonious living. Beneath our nations skin are our rich history, colourful art, environment friendliness, an authentic Creole cuisine, our creativity and hard work. Our family-run tourism businesses which we are encouraging are serving our reputation as a welcoming and hospitable nation.
The Seychelles Brand is for maximum participation of the entire Seychellois population in an industry that is theirs. Increasing Seychellois ownership of our tourism industry gives our people the chance to gainfully showcase to international visitors our attributes as a nation of diverse backgrounds living together in harmony, at peace with nature, creative, and welcoming.
I encourage all of us involved in the tourism industry to preserve these values for the sustainability of our tourism industry.
Tourism is the main pillar of our economy, a solid foundation of our prosperity, but it should also remain a dynamic force to promote a safer, more tolerant, more understanding and united world. That is why I have called upon the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and the Seychelles Tourism Academy to embrace the ten principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. These guidelines for sustainable and responsible tourism development are based on the proven interaction between tourism and peace, human rights and understanding.
Today, as we observe World Tourism Day, our message is clear: our business is that of creating links with the rest of the world by making people from other cultures and diverse corners of the world become more aware about our culture. Today, through our leadership in world tourism, we also strengthen our own commitment to contributing to a more tolerant, open and united world.
I take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in our tourism industry, from STB to our trade partners and stakeholders in the industry, as well as our people in general, as we observe this World Tourism Day.