This was for Tourism Destination. The nominated countries for this category were:- Tourism Australia, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Turismo de Tenerife, Republic of Turkey - Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Seychelles Tourism Board.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture who was personally in Las Vegas for the 2013 World ROUTES meeting said he was honoured to have again seen Seychelles nominated for the Destination category. "We are small when compared to the other countries nominated, but we can say we are walking tall with these giants with our head high" the Seychelles Minister said to the press at the Garden of the Gods at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas.
Seychelles is one country where tourism remains the pillar of its economy. The Government of these mid-ocean islands have long recognised the importance of tourism and some two years ago created a fully fledged Ministry responsible for Tourism. "Our tourism industry is working today more than ever before. We are small in size and budget, this we know and accept, but we work hard to remain relevant in the world of tourism and to remain visible. On a year to date basis we are recording an increase of 13% in visitor arrival numbers and this positive result has scenario has been repeated year after year since 2009 when the Seychelles relaunched its tourism industry with a new approach called the Seychelles Brand of Tourism. Today this approach is bringing result because through this brand we ensure that our people are directly involved in their country's tourism industry. This is why the people of Seychelles support and defend their tourism industry" Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said.
The Seychelles Minister went on to spell out that Seychelles prides itself of not only the exceptional beauty of its 115 islands made up of both flat coral islands and of lush mountain clad granitic ones, but also of its diversity in population called the Seychelles Creoles united as one people.
On the successes in the field of tourism Minister Alain St.Ange said that he cannot look at tourism figures of Australia or of the USA as all is relative. "We can say that ours is working because of our Tourism Master Plan drawn up from a bottom up approach after lengthy consultative meetings. Today we see that our visitor arrival numbers are over two and a half times of our total population and over five times our adult workforce. We are see tourism retaining its position as the pillar of our country's economy. These indicators show that our industry is working for us, for our economy and for our people" Seychelles Minister St.Ange said.
The World ROUTES Award winners are decided by a panel of judges made up of senior members of the airline network planning community. The 2013 panel consisted of the following experts:
- Mr. Rick Wagstaffe, Vice President Procurement & Logistics (Airline) for Emirates
- Mr. Marcus Siebenschuh, Manager Network Planning Commercial Frankfurt for Lufthansa
- Mr. Andrew Buchanan, Managing Director, International Planning for United Airlines
- Mr. Jose Montero, Senior Vice President of Finance & CFO of COPA Airlines
- Mr. Chee Khuan Liew, VP, Network & LT Planning for Malaysia Airlines
- Mr. Mark Kopczak, Vice President, Network Planning for Spirit Airlines
- Mr. Keith Green, Manager Network Planning for South African Airways
- Mr. Lukas Johnson, Vice President, Network and Pricing for Allegiant Air
- Ms. Jean Ritch, Manager Network Planning Commercial for Cayman Airways