By Alain St. Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture, Seychelles
Islands Tourism Investment & Development Meeting at World ROUTES Meeting in Las Vegas
It has been a lot time in the making and it was finally at the 2013 World ROUTES Meeting that was held this week in Las Vegas that a dedicated Islands Tourism Investment & Development Meeting was organised.
Though set towards the final stages of this 2013 World ROUTES Meeting, it did not take long for all present to appreciate the merit of such a meeting that was called for the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Island Tourism Ministers and Heads of their Tourism Bodies.
This first historic meeting was Chaired by Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture and the moderator for the meeting was Professor Geoffrey Lipman, the President of the ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners).
The meeting attracted Tourism Leaders from far and wide including the Falkland Island, New Zealand to representatives from the Azores and Malta and it saw the participation of the Minister for Economic Development and Tourism from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and also the Heads of the Tourism of Gabon. Ged Brown, the Director of Tourism for World ROUTES, Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, the Chairman of the ICTP and Mt Adam Wu from the China Development Organisation were also present for this historic Islands Tourism Investment and Development meeting.
Both Minister St.Ange and Professor Lipman congratulated the World ROUTES Meeting Organisers for calling this Islands Tourism Investment & Development Meeting and asked for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to continue to be heard at the World ROUTES Meetings.
Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said when he opened the meeting that island states immaterial of where they are situated faced the same challenges, obstacles and adversities. "It was therefore important for us all to meet regularly to not only exchange ideas, but to also help opened new doors for each other" Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Access to new development money and planning a sustainable tourism development strategy were tabled and discussed.
All agreed that more such meetings needed to be called and more Small Island Developing States encouraged to participate together for the betterment of island tourism industries.