The Zambian Minister for Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, the Honorable Catherine Namugala, M.P., singled out the Seychelles in her official opening remarks at the Meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for Tourism, held in Livingstone, Zambia, on June 23, 2011.
A three-man Seychelles delegation consisting of the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange; regional Seychelles tourism director for Africa, David Germain; and the Board’s copywriter and tourism consultant, Glynn Burridge was present at the meeting following Seychelles’ successful bid to join RETOSA, the regional tourism organization for Southern African countries at the 46th RETOSA board meeting held a few days earlier at the same venue.
The Honorable Minister Catherine Namugala M.P., in her official opening remarks of the SADC Ministers Meeting, cited Seychelles as an example of a SADC country where the tourism industry is interacting successfully with the local population. “They are succeding, and we all need to see what they are doing and learn from it,” Minister Namugala said.
Commenting on the statement made by the Minister, Alain St.Ange remarked that the success of the Seychelles’ tourism industry is the direct result of the country’s unique “Seychelles Brand” of tourism launched by Seychelles President James Michel, which has empowered the private sector to take back ownership of their industry and which has brought the Seychellois population on board.
“Tourism is the pillar of our economy, and through our brand of tourism we were able to encourage our people to get more involved. We needed to do this if we wanted to consolidate our industry for the long term. The President of the Seychelles spelled out his vision for the industry at the right time. Today, we are seeing that our successes are being recognized, and it was a real pleasure to hear the Minister for Tourism of Zambia refer to the Seychelles as an example to follow in her official opening address of the SADC Tourism Ministers meeting,” Alain St.Ange said to the press after the SADC Tourism Ministers official opening eeremony.
Seychelles has now been elected a member of the RETOSA Ececutive Committee and a member of its Marketing Committee.