MINISTER ST. ANGE ADDRESSES MINISTERIAL ROUND TABLE AT UNWTO MEETING
(Posted 27th August 2013)
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture has last weekend addressed the Ministerial Roundtable meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Dr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO chaired this Ministerial Roundtable meeting of Tourism Ministers from the Community of Nations who were all in Zambia and Zimbabwe for the 20th General Assembly of the UNWTO. Sources have confirmed that the meeting was focusing on simplifying border control in a bid entice and also to increase tourism. This is in line with encouraging travel across the continent and have tourists consider multi destination holidays, however reality on the ground is largely different still from the many verbal commitments governments have in the past made, including here in East Africa.
The Seychelles Minister spoke with his usual passion about unity in Africa saying that Africa needed to work together for the spirit of open borders to become a reality. He also referred to the One Europe through the European Union saying that for this block a one visa policy was working. ‘But for Seychelles I need to state openly that as far as we are concerned, we see the Community of Nations as friends and as such we apply a NO VISA policy in Seychelles’ said Minister Alain St. Ange in reference to his own country’s groundbreaking approach to admit every visitor to the archipelago, as long as certain logistical requirements are met.
The Seychelles Minister also spoke about the need for Africa to pat itself on the back now that the African Union (AU) had agreed to look at the idea of having a tourism chapter as part of its responsibilities. ‘Tourism remains the one industry that can create employment for the people of Africa, and it can put money in the pockets of our respective peoples if we work together to consolidate it for the long run’ Minister Alain St.Ange added.
He then went on to speak about the move by Seychelles to sign a number of MOUs and these included the ones already signed with Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, La Reunion Island and with Mauritius.
Speaking to the international and Zambian Press after the meeting the Seychelles Minister said that his delegation had been working long hours to meet all the deadlines for meetings already planned with the different countries and Tourism Organisations. ‘We can come here alone and leave with possible successes of a man, or you can come as a team and work to maximise possibilities of your working visit’.
The Seychelles’ delegation membes at the 20th General Assembly of the UNWTO reported that they are satisfied with the progress they have made vis a vis bilateral and multilateral talks, expressing their confidence that their presence at the UNWTO meeting will bear fruits for the country and which will make every patriotic Seychellois proud. Minister St. Ange was elected last weekend to the UNWTO Executive Committee and the immediate former CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board appointed as the new UNWTO Regional Director for Africa. Seychelles, truly Another World.