Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture added another prestigious accolade to his already impressive collection when he received the 2015 Tourism Eminent Achiever Award in Africa last week. “This is a sign of appreciation for one's work” said the Minister. Just in September the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce & Industries (SCCI) presented Minister Alain St.Ange with a Certificate of Recognition.
"This is the first ever Certificate of Recognition from the private sector" Marco Francis, the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industries said.
Addressing the full to capacity Banquet Hall of the SAVOY Resort & Spa at Beau Vallon, Marco Francis congratulated the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its Tourism Board for their work to keep the tourism industry of Seychelles on the right path and for it to continue to remain the pillar of the Seychelles economy.
The Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) said that the Chamber had for the first time decided to recognise Public Service personalities for their dedication and for their hard work and that he wanted on the occasion of Tourism Day 2015 to recognise Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture for setting a record for Seychelles Tourism arrivals for 2015.
Minister St.Ange was presented with their Certificate of Recognition by Marco Francis in front of the island's tourism trade and public sector officials present at the 2015 Seychelles Tourism Ball.
It was the first time that the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) moved to recognise a sitting Government Minister.
The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture was only last September also honoured at the House of Lords in London by the Rt. Honourable Baroness Sandip Verma, Minister of International Development of the UK when he was presented with their Plaque of Honour in a room full of delegates attending the Global Indian Summit 2015.
The Plaque of Honour presented to Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles says:- "Plaque of Honour presented to Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Seychelles by Rt. Honourable Baroness Sandip Verma, Minister of International Development of the UK in recognition of Dedication, Passion, Courage, Commitment, Spirit, Ethics & Excellence for his Outstanding Endeavours. At the House of Lords, on 21 September 2015, London".
After receiving his Plaque of Honour Minister Alain St.Ange said that he was humbled to be standing in the House of Lords in London to be recognised for his works for tourism. "We were up until as recently as 1976 a British Colony and the House of Lords was the institution we all saw on the news only. Today standing here in this great institution I am overwhelmed with emotion" said the Seychelles Minister.
Alain St.Ange has received many awards and recognitions ever since he assumed Office as Minister in the Republic of Seychelles. He is a regular Speaker at International Tourism Forums and has become a very popular Minister among his peers in the World of Tourism. Minister St.Ange said as he took to the podium at the House of Lords in London to address the Global Indian Summit, that he felt privileged to have been chosen from all the Tourism Ministers from the Community of Nations.
Minister Alain St.Ange has also received the Mahatma Gandhi Honor Award for his tireless effort in strengthening Indo-Seychelles relations.
Addressing press and members of the Indian business community on the occasion of this award presenting ceremony, Mr. Gurinder Singh, a member of the Press Council of India, said: "Indo-Seychelles relations have been characterized by close friendship, understanding, and cooperation. Diplomatic ties were established with Seychelles after its independence in 1976, but links date back even earlier. There have been high-level exchanges from both sides since Seychelles achieved its independence. President France Albert Rene has visited India several times. President James Alix Michel paid his state visit to India in February 2012 and again in February 2012. Former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, President Shri R. Venkataraman, Vice-President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice-President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Shri S.M. Krishna, Defense Minister Shri A.K. Antony have all visited Seychelles on goodwill mission[s]. India has an important link with Seychelles in the form of Indian nationals who have been among the earliest inhabitants of this island. On this occasion I also take the opportunity to invite the Honorable Minister for our Golden Triangle event to be held in January, and we invite him to be our Chief Guest of 2015," Mr. Guriner Singh said.
On his part, Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh, a former Cabinet Minister of the government of India and Governor of Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, also said before presenting the Mahatma Gandhi Award to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, that Indo-Seychelles relations have been characterized by close friendship, understanding, and cooperation. Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh used the opportunity of his address to retrace the bilateral agreements existing between the two countries, and he spelled out in great detail the cooperation that existed in the areas of economic and commerce cooperation before touching on the existing cultural relations existing between India and Seychelles.
Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh said: "The first edition of the Seychelles-India Day 2013 was celebrated in Victoria Seychelles between October 4 and 6, 2013. Top Bollywood stars, play back singers, a leading choreographer, a culinary expert, and musicians from India showcased their talents together with local artists in the celebration. A dance workshop, food workshop, music concert, and dance performances, etc., were conducted by them to enthrall the Seychellois and Indians on those three days with the culmination of a grand gala evening show focusing on the “100 years of Bollywood” on October 6, 2013."
Alain St.Ange said then when he took to the podium to address the ceremony after having received the Mahatma Gandhi Honor Award that he was honored by the gesture which he accepts on behalf of his team at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and also at the Seychelles Tourism Board. "Today you have shown that when we work hard, our work is recognized well beyond our own borders," Minister St.Ange said.
Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles has also received the Key to the City from the U.S.A. of America and he is an Ambassador for Reunion Island. At the presentation of the Certificate of Merit – Ambassadeur Ile de la Reunion to Mr. St.Ange by Mr. Azeddine Bouali which was in the presence of Mr. Pascal Viroleau and other officials from La Reunion tourism. Alain St.Ange said that he was honored to have been awarded this Certificate of Merit by La Reunion. “We had agreed to work together to strengthen our region and increase its visibility as an important tourism region where diversity exists. Inviting La Reunion to be a co-host of the carnival was to help our region have a bigger carnival, but at the same time help put La Reunion in the forefront in the eyes of the press, and to get them more known in the world of tourism. They have appreciated our effort, and it pleases me. Seychelles always believes that a strong region will ensure a more consolidated tourism industry for all our Indian Ocean Islands,” Alain St.Ange said.
Following the recognition for the work being carried for tourism in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands by Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Madagascar recognised Minister St.Ange only months after La Reunion bestowed on the Minister a Certificate naming him as an Ambassador for La Reunion.
The "Order National" by Madagascar, duly signed by Andry Nirina Rajoelina, the President of the Republic, was presented to Minister Alain St.Ange at a formal ceremony during the 2012 edition of the International Tourism Fair of Madagascar, by Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, the Madagascar Minister responsible for Tourism, in the presence of Mrs. Annick Rajaona, the Director for International Relations and Spokesperson for the President, Mr. Eric Koler, President of the Office National du Tourisme de Madagascar, and other dignitaries.
With the full Guard of Honor and trumpets blaring, Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy read the Official "Ordre National" Number 2012 – 570 of May 30, 2012 confirming Alain St.Ange as "Commandeur de l’Ordre National," before placing the medal on Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles and presenting him with his Official Certificate.
Madagascar said that they were thankful for the key role being played by the Seychelles Minister in the development of tourism for the region and for increasing the visibility of the region. “Your work and your support is assisting Madagascar tourism find its rightful place. For this we are thankful, and we count on your continued personal involvement. We thank you for being in Madagascar for the International Tourism Fair to express solidarity for the island’s tourism industry,” Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy said.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister Alain St.Ange said that he was honored and emotional to be so decorated by Madagascar. “I can only said that I remain committed to the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands concept and that I will work with the six islands of the Indian Ocean group to ensure we all see success for our respective island’s tourism industry,” Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said.
It must be remembered that this recognition came soon after La Reunion who had on their part used the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin, Germany, to present the Seychelles Minister Alain St.Ange with a certificate recognizing him as an Ambassador of La Reunion for his tireless work in the promotion of the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands region. The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture then received a Certificate of Merit as an “Ambassadeur Ile De La Reunion,” not only for his tireless work in the promotion of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands but also for his contribution to showcase La Reunion through the Carnaval International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival.
Alain St.Ange was responsible for inviting La Reunion to be co-host alongside the Seychelles for the 2012 Carnaval International de Victoria and this had helped La Reunion to be more visible in front of a large bank of press coming from the four corners of the world. At the press briefing at the Kempinski Resort, the day before the official opening of the Carnival International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival, after promotional video clips of Seychelles and La Reunion were shown to the seventy plus press gathered, Alain St.Ange spoke about La Reunion as the Indian Ocean island that offered “Swiss like” mountains and a gentle passive volcano. “Seychelles and La Reunion complement each other as ideal twin-center holiday options,” Minister Alain St.Ange had said.
It must be remembered that President Didier Robert, the President of La Region La Reunion, personally led his island’s 100-plus delegation to the carnival in Seychelles. He was accompanied by Pascal Viroleau, the Head of the IRT (Ile de La Reunion Tourisme).
Both Seychelles and La Reunion form part of the six islands of the Vanilla Islands region in the Indian Ocean, and both these islands at that time reconfirmed their willingness to continue to cooperate in the field of tourism promotion as they agreed to continue to seek to convince the other islands of that block to also embrace the Carnaval International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival, as the event that can increase visibility of the region.
Seychelles, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, and Comoros all form part of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands group. The Islands have undertaken joint marketing initiatives to increase their regions visibility. Last year, that Vanilla Islands group organized an airline meeting in Mauritius to discuss with all airlines serving the islands of the Indian Ocean on the way forward. Since that Mauritius meeting, much has changed in the world of aviation and in the individual situation of all the airlines (Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Air Austral, and Air Austral) of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has also been conferred the high recognition of Commander of the Order of Moheli of the Comoros.
Minister St.Ange was recognized for his work done for the Indian Ocean Islands through the Vanilla Islands Regional Organization. He was the first President of the Vanilla Islands and served two consecutive mandates as the Regional Organization's President.
It was at a private function that Jean Claude Pech delivered the recognition of Commander of the Order of Moheli of the Comoros Award to Minister Alain St.Ange.
This prestigious Order of Moheli Award that was created by Djombe Fatima in 1862 is a symbol of the Indian Oceanie Group International which recognizes courage and devotion which will now seal strong links of friendship between Moheli in the Comoros and the Seychelles.
Minister St.Ange said that he was honored to have received this award by the Comoros. "I believe in regional cooperation, and I worked hard to unite our islands under the Vanilla Islands Organization. As a region, we are a strong tourism destination with diversity that can only be the envy of other tourism regions. I thank the Comoros for this recognition," said Minister Alain St.Ange.
The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, who was in India as the Chief Guest at the 34th International Congress of the NRIs, was also honored with the highest recognition of "Global Achievers Award" for Outstanding Contributions and Services in Strengthening Indo-Seychelles relations. Minister St.Ange was to deliver a keynote address at this year's International Congress.
When he received his trophy and certificate, Minister Alain St.Ange said that he was proud to see the small mid-ocean islands of the Seychelles being recognized by India for the work being done to forge closer relationships between one of the most populous nations and Seychelles with its 90,000 population.
The ceremony took place in the General Assembly of the Congress which was full of members coming from the four corners of the world.
Air Seychelles had started direct non-stop flights between Mumbai and Seychelles only months before this important gathering in India, and this presence at the 34th International Congress by the island's Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture will go a long way in increasing the visibility of Seychelles in India as the event is being well covered by the national media of India.
Now it is the 2015 Tourism Eminent Achiever Award in Africa that went to Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture as a sign of appreciation for his work seen as a silent revolution to reposition Seychelles Tourism. The Minister was awarded this latest recognition at the Travellinks’ annual anniversary award ceremony held in Ibadan, Nigeria. Travellinks Media organises the awards to recognise the efforts of personalities in Africa who work towards the promotion and development of tourism on the continent and in the whole as a whole.
Minister St Ange, whose award was the highest given out at the ceremony, was absent for the event, but was represented by the Seychelles Tourism Board’s manager for South Africa, Lena Hoareau.
Travellinks had said upon Minister St Ange’s nomination for the award, that his efforts in “rebuilding the Seychelles Tourism and laying down a structure and mechanism that would enhance tourism to contribute to socio-economic and well-being of the country” has been impressive and commendable.
“You have, through sheer determination and sincerity of purpose, embarked on a silent revolution to reposition Seychelles tourism, by developing its infrastructures and laying an enduring foundation for the sector to flourish. The giant strides of your able leadership, is agreat testimonial to the strength of your character as a good visionary leader, a team leader and a quintessential manager of men and resources,” Travellinks had added.
Upon addressing the guests on Thursday on the Minister’s behalf, Mrs Lena Hoareau thanked Travellinks for recognising what Seychelles is doing to bring its own contribution towards the development and expansion of tourism in Africa.
“Seychelles may be small but we are today regarded as a role model in Africa. We have many success stories to share in tourism and we believe that by working collectively, we can learn from each other and help grow this industry in Africa and beyond,” she said.
“Minister St.Ange has a strong belief and one that will take Africa further. He believes that if Africa is to succeed, Africa needs to work with Africa. His messagetoday is that Seychelles is ready, willing and prepared to work and help advance tourism in Africa,” Mrs Hoareau said on behalf of Minister St Ange.
The award was presented to Mrs Hoareau by the Publisher of Travellinks Media, Mr Gbenga Oluboye who said that Minister Alain St.Ange was a role model for the continent as a whole.
In his note of thanks read by Mrs Hoareau, Minister St.Ange said he was very humbled by winning this prestigious award.
“I can reassure you all today of my determination to work for Seychelles and our great continent. We all know that Africa needs to work even more with Africa if Africa is to become stronger than it is today. You have my commitment that I will work for tourism for our continent and the world, with as much determination that I work for tourism in Seychelles,” said his message read on behalf of Minister Alain St.Ange.
Speaking from Seychelles yesterday, Minister said Ange said he felt honoured that his work was being recognised beyond the shores of Seychelles and it is an achievement that he would like to share and dedicate to Seychelles and its people.