The Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alain St.Ange was in Morocco for the African Ministers meeting taking place on the sidelines of COP 22 and he restated the island government’s commitment to drive sustainable tourism in the country.
Minister St.Ange said as he addressed the panel alongside colleague Ministers that the Seychelles government has demonstrated that it has the political will to do so and that the Seychelles were doing so. Minister St.Ange was being accompanied at this important UNWTO organised meeting by Anne Lafortune, the Seychelles PS for Tourism, the island's Senior Government Official accredited to UNWTO dossiers.
As he spoke at a panel of African Ministers of Tourism, who met on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, on Thursday, Minister Alain St.Ange said that sustainable tourism, green tourism of eco friendly tourism is today the buzz words, but that the Seychelles had been advocating such an approach even since they were a British Colony (an era that ended in 1976) but that the approach was then simply referred to as 'Conservation' and for the people of Seychelles to be seen and remembered as having been good custodians of what they had been blessed with. "This is the first step to put a sound footing on a consolidated tourism development" the Minister said.
”Seychelles knows that it has a rich diversity in culture and it its tourism offerings. This is why we have a successful tourism industry, we have what the world wants to see. We today have gone as far as declaring over 50% of our total land are to protected National Parks. These are some of our stories the world wants to hear" Minister St.Ange said.
”But the challenge for us is to continue to safeguard our safety label, one that to-date remains untouched. Our tourism industry players are most vulnerable if this is ever compromised and they need to continue to work with us to safeguard this key USP we have” he said to the gathered press.
"Today we all joined together to sign the African Charter. Seychelles is proud to be part of this historical event. An African Charter for Africa by Africa. We shall now all have to live up to safeguarding our tourism industry through best practices. Sustainable Tourism practices will ensure that what we have today will still be attracting visitors to our shores for the longterm. We were part of the instigators alongside Cote D'Ivoire and Morocco and we were advocates to have such a tourism ministers meeting on the sidelines of COP 22. " Minister Alain St.Ange said before ending his statement with "Our tourism cannot thrive without security. As we work on continuing to improve our air access with more point to point connections from tourism source markets we need our continued stability to attract airline companies to include Seychelles on their routes. Security is a situation of the day in Seychelles even at this time of so much insecurity in the world. This security and safety keeps our economy strong and our people in employment because it keeps our tourism industry to be performing well" the Seychelles Minister said to the press covering this historic African Ministers meeting