The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has circulated a notice to Member States that Seychelles had put its name for consideration as a member of the organization’s Executive Council to occupy one of the seats allocated to the region of Africa.
The next election of the UNWTO will be held at the 55th meeting of the Regional Commission for Africa to be held during the twentieth session of the General Assembly in the Victoria Falls area, Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2013.
The notice from Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization reads as follows:
ED/119/2012, Madrid, December 21, 2012 – The Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization presents its compliments to the members of the Regional Commission for Africa and has the honour to inform them that Seychelles has just presented its candidature to occupy one of the seats allocated to the region of Africa on the Executive Council during the period 2013-2017. The elections will take place at the 55th meeting of the Regional Commission for Africa, to be held during the twentieth session of the General Assembly in the Victoria Falls area, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in 2013.
Members are reminded that, in accordance with Article 15 of the Organization’s Statutes, one-half of the membership of the Executive Council is renewed every two years during the sessions of the General Assembly, which proceeds with the election based on the recommendations of the Regional Commissions.
The Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Members of the Regional Commission for Africa the assurances of its highest consideration.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, told the press following that notice issued by the World Tourism Organization that Seychelles felt that as it remains a tourism destination dependant on tourism, and one where the industry remains the pillar of its economy it was felt that it could play a part to increase the importance of tourism for Africa as a whole and to push for more visibility of Africa and its islands as twin-center holiday possibilities with a difference.
“Africa has everything to be the new continent for tourism. From the Big Five Safari concept to spectacular island beach holidays with unrivaled swimming. Africa also offers ski holidays on the equator with cultural tourism possibilities, to big game fishing, sailing holidays, or diving breaks. Africa has its natural wonders of Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Aldabra Atoll of the Seychelles, the Table Mountain of South Africa, to name just a few of the mind boggling attractions, and this we need to work through the World Tourism Organization to consolidate it for our respective countries,” the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture said.
“The time has come to work with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to take tourism in Africa to greater heights. This we can do by getting our Africa Union (AU) to see tourism as one of their development growth areas. With giants like South Africa and Nigeria working together through the African Union (AU) alongside their many smaller tourism destinations, the sky is the limit,” Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said.
Seychelles, as small as it is, remains a country that believes in working together in synergy. Earlier this year, Seychelles hosted Routes Africa and brought together many African Tourism Ministers, and Seychelles is the sitting President for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization. They remain the tourism destination seeing remarkable growth in their visitor arrival numbers even when their main tourism markets are facing economic difficulties.
Seychelles will finish 2012 with a 7% increase in visitor arrival figures. This is over and above the 11% they recorded at the end of 2011 over their 2010 figure. We have put forward an event where the Indian Ocean islands and where the African mainland can showcase their people and culture as they fly their flag in front of the world media. This is the Carnaval International de Victoria, now known as the only “carnival of carnivals,” and it remains the event on the equator where the world descends to for an annual meeting.
Seychelles made this move when the island’s President, Mr. James Michel, personally held the tourism portfolio, and after he has launched for the islands the “Seychelles Brand” of tourism which was aimed at Seychelles claiming back its tourism industry and which wanted to get the Seychellois as a people more involved in their industry. “This was initiated by our President in a bid to consolidate the industry for the long term. The President wanted the Seychellois at large to see themselves in the industry that remains the pillar of their economy. That was a sure way for the people of our islands to not only support the industry, but also to defend it and ensure that everyone works for the consolidation of the industry,” Alain St.Ange, the current Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture said.
We wish Seychelles success with its bid for a seat on the UNWTO Executive Council.
Seychellit on Kansainvälinen matkailukumppaneiden koalitio (ICTP), which has more than 100 destination members.