Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, and now candidate for the post of Secretary General (SG) for the United National World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), was met at the Seychelles stand at ITB by the current SG, Taleb Rifai, as well as the current Seychelles Tourism Minister and many other tourism officials from the islands of his home country and other countries around the world.
The Seychelles stand at ITB in Berlin was buzzing on Thursday late afternoon as Taleb Rifai arrived at the Seychelles stand with his entourage for the island’s cocktail event. Also present was Anil Gayan, Tourism Minister of Mauritius; Najib Balala, the Tourism Minister of Kenya; Joachim Duster, from the Federal of Germany Federal Office; Lela Krstevska, from the Government of Macedonia Tourism; a number of officials from tourism departments from around the world, and also members of the tourism trade.
Edith Hunzinger, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, was the one honored to open the formal part of the evening before handing over to Sherin Francis, the CEO of the Tourism Board, who spoke about the successes of the islands’ tourism before speaking publicly to her former Minister Alain St.Ange saying that she wanted to wish him well and assured him that the islands’ Tourism Board was proud of him and supported his candidature.
Roy Kinnear, the CEO of Air Seychelles, on his part spoke about the Air Seychelles new direct non-stop flights to Dusseldorf and then called on Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the new Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, who used the opportunity to formally endorse Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles candidate for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO. “We are right behind you; we wish you success in the coming UN elections, and we look forward to tango with the UNWTO,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
Alain St.Ange started off his address by thanking Minister Loustau-Lalanne for his support and good wishes and also Sherin Francis and her Tourism Board team for their support. Former Minister St.Ange also thanked Taleb Rifai of the UNWTO for being present at the Seychelles function with his entourage and also Minister Anil Gayan of Mauritius and Minister Najib Balala of Kenya for being present. “Today, I say thank you to Taleb Rifai, the outgoing Secretary General of the UNTWO for being present. We worked closely with you and appreciated your successes and accomplishments for tourism. I need to reassure you and your team at the UNWTO that if I am chosen as your replacement, your legacy will be safeguarded as we also move the UNWTO forward to face the challenges of the new era. Much will be done to face the challenges of each region as the UNWTO grows to respect aspirations of each Member State and together face their challenges. I assure everyone to remain focused on May 11 and 12 when the UNWTO elections will be held,” said St.Ange of the Seychelles.
Taleb Rifai took the mike to deliver the final speech of the night and thanked Alain St.Age for his work for tourism and for getting him to Seychelles for the second edition of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria. “It was a trip that I remember vividly, as the welcome, the people, and the beauty of the islands marked me,” Taleb Rifai said before adding that he wished Alain St.Ange well in the coming elections for the new SG of the UNWTO.