A Seychelles tourism delegation led by Minister for Tourism & Culture, Alain St.Ange, and including the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt; Senior Marketing Executive, Amy Michel; and Tourism Consultant and Copywriter Glynn Burridge has attended the World Routes aviation conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, between September 30 and October 1, 2012.
Routes is the world’s leading aviation forum dealing with route development, a chief ingredient of the success of the global tourism industry, and provides an important networking opportunity for aviation and tourism professionals worldwide. Seychelles played host to the Routes Africa forum between July 8-10, 2012, achieving never-before-seen numbers for a Routes Africa event and earning valuable media coverage.
Minister St.Ange, accompanied by Mr. Barry Faure, the Secretary of State in the President’s Office and Chairman of the Tourism Board, and Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Tourism Board, were on a day’s working visit to Dubai en route to Routes. The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism arrived in Abu Dhabi in time to address a Routes session on the challenges associated with the development of regional tourism. The minister made a compelling case for the creation of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional umbrella organization responsible for the marketing of the tourism of the islands of the western Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, Mauritius, and Comoros of which Minister Alain St.Ange is the newly-elected President.
“We live in an increasingly interconnected world in which no island can afford to be an island unto itself,” explained the Seychelles Minister for Tourism & Culture, “and it is for this reason that we countries of the western Indian Ocean are pooling resources to promote the tourism of our region in a win-win partnership of which we shall all be the ultimate beneficiaries.”
Minister St.Ange spoke at length about future synergy between the islands, explaining how flesh is gradually being put on the bones of the collaboration, which will soon be taken to the next level with the appointment of the Vanilla Island’s CEO and of a Director of Marketing. The minister’s address sparked a good deal of interest in the audience and a question-and-answer session ensued in which he was asked to clarify aspects of the Vanilla Islands promotional drive, both in terms of the general philosophy behind the initiative and the future infrastructure and financing which will be required to carry it forward.
Speaking to the press after his address in Abu Dhabi the Seychelles Minister took time to answer questions with regards to what the press called the spate of piracy off the coast of Africa. Minister Alain St.Ange said that the Seychelles Coast Guards and the Special Tazar Unit needed to be congratulated on their outstanding efforts to combat the effects of the perpetrators of organized crime operating out of Somalia. “Seychelles has taken a leadership role in this fight against the organized criminal elements. This is a global problem, which requires a global response from all civilized countries working with Seychelles towards a long-term resolution of this modern scourge,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Seychelles has been one of the regional countries to have been congratulated by the Community of Nations on their commitment to deal with the perpetrators of organized crime operating out of Somalia.
Seychelles is a founding member and Routes is an associate member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).