Seychelles was this year represented at the IFTM Top Resa Tourism Trade Fair in France by an impressive delegation made up primarily of the private sector.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture led the Seychelles delegation to IFTM Top Resa and he was accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board. Also present this year was Rosemarie Hoareau, the Director of Marketing at the Tourism Board.
An interview with Alain St.Ange made the front cover of the IFTM Top Resa Daily and that was also featured on the centre spread has been referred to by French Tour Operators as "Les Seychelles a l'honour".
It is quite clear that Seychelles has surprised everyone by pulling the front cover of what is the Official International daily of the IFTM Top Resa with a long and detailed interview by the island's Minister of Tourism. In an article entitled "Strength through Unity IFTM Top Resa 2014…where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles speaks openly about tourism as the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy.
Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles speaks about 'The Seychelles Brand' and on the importance of claiming the tourism industry back for the people. "When the people are themselves involved, the people defend the industry" Minister St.Ange tells Richard Barnes, the Editor in Chief of the IFTM Daily in the presence of Gerard Lefebvre, the paper's publisher.
"The Seychelles Brand of tourism is an all-inclusive programme to develop our tourism industry. The President of the Republic launched this concept when I was still CO of the Tourism Board. It was felt that we needed to get our people implicated. When the people are themselves involved, the people defend the industry, the people work with us to consolidate the industry. We did this calculating the risks, wanting foreign investors - there is a place for them - but the statement was made, 'Lat us claim back our industry…let us get our people in the forefront'. If we have hotels, we want to see our Seychelles colour in the forefront. In our tourist offices overseas, we wanted to see our people selling our islands, and they do that with their heart …it's not just a job.That was what we felt was important for the islands, in creating a Seychelles Brand" Minister St.Ange is quoted as saying.
The Minister from the Seychelles then spoke about the Blue Economy concept and about his tenure of Office as the first President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Group.
Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles was in Paris for the annual IFTM Top Resa Tourism Trade Fair.