St. Ange candidacy for the UNWTO top job cruising towards election day


(Posted 21st April 2017)

The global tourism industry will soon have a new leader, with six remaining candidates bidding to become the next Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization.

Talking to Travel Daily this week, one of the candidates, Alain St Ange, vowed to place sustainability at the top of the agenda. Outlining his manifesto, the former minister of tourism for the Seychelles said that it is time for the UNWTO and member states to “push the point” of sustainable tourism, as a means of promoting long-term prosperity and alleviating poverty.

Commenting on the continued expansion of the tourism industry, in terms of cross-border arrivals, St Ange said that growth would only be sustainable if the tourism industry works for all.

The growth today is still sustainable, but for how long?‘ St Ange asked. ‘The numbers game will be unsustainable if we are not looking at ploughing back returns into towns and villages to ensure the people see themselves as part and parcel of their tourism industry. In the Seychelles a few years ago we launched an appeal for the people to claim back their tourism industry. This brought about many a small business and got the people involved instead of them being just bystanders‘.

The Seychellois candidate also used his home country as an example of positive environmental practices, after the islands protected its land and took steps to curb mass tourism.

The islands are small with a fragile eco-system and yet depend on tourism which has become the pillar of its economy‘ St Ange told Travel Daily. ‘We know that the numbers game in tourism is not enough and for that we do not allow charter flights and support instead regular carriers. We have introduced our very own sustainable tourism label for establishments to ensure they become good custodians of what our islands have been blessed with‘.

St Ange also identified safety and security, equality, training, and cross-sectoral interaction as being key to the future of the industry, and vowed to try to bring non-UNWTO member states, such as the US, into the fold.

With just a few weeks to go for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) elections for the position of Secretary General Spain’s The Lobby Hospitality Trendsetters have come out to say they are supporting the Candidature of Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Candidate.

The European Votes and their lobby is seen a extremely important in this coming elections where two candidates are from the Americas and a further two candidates coming from Africa over and above the candidates from Georgia and Korea. The Balkans, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East will also be very important and a lot of lobby is presently taking place to secure the votes before the 12 May elections that will be held in Madrid Spain.

An endorsement for the Seychelles Candidate for Europe is seen as good timing especially as the UNWTO HeadQuarters is based in madrid itself.

In a letter by Andrés Fernández, the CEO of The Lobby Hospitality Trendsetters of Spain it is written: ‘I am hereby writing to you in reference to the forthcoming election of the Secretary General of the UNWTO to express our strong support to Mr. Alain St.Ange by endorsing his candidacy based on his ability to have positioned Seychelles tourism industry to the highest standards during his times as Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine.
We at The Lobby Hospitality are a group of professionals related to the Tourism industry for over the past 25 years as part of a group of Companies with International experience in more than 35 destinations worldwide, being Seychelles one of our preferred destinations when aiming to achieve the excellence in service, quality, based on the extraordinary commitment of this country to support the International inbound tourism operations

This is great news‘ said Alain St.Ange who was in Addis Ababa for a CAF Tourism Ministers of Africa Meeting. ‘We keep getting endorsements and this shows that we have the needed visibility. We are now raising the bar to seek direct and personal lobby by all those who endorsed our candidature to Tourism Ministers who will be voting on the 12 May in Madrid. We have said it before and will repeat ourselves again ‘Tourism is too important an Industry to play politics with. We need the best person to fill the shoes of Dr. Taleb Rifai and ensure we do not go backwards. Many a country’s economy and millions of workers depend on tourism, let us ensure it works‘ said Alain St.Ange as he appealed to Voting Ministers in Ethiopia for their votes.