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Where was former UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai last week?

RifaiSEZ
RifaiSEZ
Written by Alain St.Ange

Dr. Taleb Rifai, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) visited Seychelles very briefly last week and met with Alain St. Ange, former Seychelles minister of Tourism.

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Dr. Taleb Rifai, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) visited Seychelles very briefly last week.

The much loved and respected former Secretary-General of the UNWTO met with caught up with Alain St. Ange. He said: Together we discussed many of the achievements enjoyed by Seychelles when I was the islands’ Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, and the efforts in creating the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, which he personally supported when he organised the UNWTO meeting in Reunion Island.”

It was during a working lunch at the Eden Blue Hotel that Dr Rifai and former Seychelles Minister of Tourism Alain St.Ange  discussed future endeavors of mutual interest.

A year ago, Seychelles was fighting to take the position of Secretary-General of the UNWTO and move for a “tourism for all” as the driving principle.

It is to be recalled that Seychelles was in with a winning chance to assume this prestigious post, which would have been a first for Africa, before the Seychelles Government abruptly pulled the plug on my campaign 48 hours before the elections, which was held in Madrid, Spain.

Dr Taleb Rifai, the former Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has been admitted as the first not UK citizen into the Hall Of Fame by the British Travel & Hospitality Group.

This was a great recognition for the man who let World Tourism for over ten years. His achievements was recognised by countries right across the world and the recognition by the UK Tourism demonstrate the affection the world had for him. UK is not a member of the UNWTO and yet recognises his work and tenacity with which he steered tourism in the troubled world we are living in today.

It was Anita Mendiratta of CNN TASK who presented the achievements of Taleb Rifai to the packed banquet room with of tourism professionals at the Dorchester in London a week ago.
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About the author

Alain St.Ange

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel.

He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of

After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization.

In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation.

At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange.

St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style.

His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body.

African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor.

As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart.

In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere.

St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada”

Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit.

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