Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, told the press after receiving the much-coveted award for Best Marketing approach by a Tourism Board, that Seychelles was today being recognized at yet another level. It was at the 2012 World Routes held in Abu Dhabi that the Seychelles Minister was called on stage in front of some 2,700 delegates to receive his award.
“I was honored and I felt proud as the Minister of one of the smallest countries to be the recipient of the world award. It is a testimony of the work and of the dedication of the team at the Tourism Board. We were mandated exactly three years ago to re-launch the country’s tourism industry, and this we did by working tirelessly and with total dedication. Today, as we are receiving this World Routes Award, we feel that our effort and all our work has been vindicated,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Alain St.Ange was joined by the government of Seychelles President James Michel as the island’s Director of Marketing before being promoted to the position of CEO of the Tourism Board when President Michel of the Seychelles personally took over the portfolio for tourism after the retirement of Mr. Joseph Belmont, the island’s Vice President who had been at the helm of Seychelles’ tourism for many years. Mr. St.Ange was CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board when President James Michel launched the “Seychelles Brand of Tourism,” the brand that saw the total re-launch of the island’s tourism industry. It was under the watch of President Michel that Seychelles embarked in the world of events as a means of increasing the visibility for the island’s tourism industry. This was some two years ago when Seychelles successfully organized its first Carnaval International de Victoria. This event has now been coined as the only carnival of carnivals as it brings together all the best and most known carnivals from around the world to parade side by side, followed by cultural troupes from the Community of Nations. Today Seychelles boasts a suite of spectacular events such as the Festival Kreol, the Fet Afrik, the SUBIOUS Festival of the Sea, the Francophonie, and La Fet LaDig, among many others.
When asked by the press the funding mechanism for the big events the Seychelles organized, the island’s Minister explained that the government of Seychelles stood behind the events now organized under the brand of “Celebrate Seychelles.” The government provided the budget primarily for getting press to Seychelles to ensure that the visibility of Seychelles and its partners’ PR events co-host was assured, but “Seychelles was always appreciative of all the companies working in Seychelles for always coming forward committed to what they themselves call their social responsibility support. They realize that when they stand with the ‘Celebrate Seychelles’ team, they benefit at the end,” the Minister said. He rejected the statements made by a couple of companies to the effect that they were not charitable organizations, saying that they were just short-sighted and that they could never benefit from the population’s support with that attitude.
President James Michel was also instrumental in positioning the need to diversify the island’s tourism markets when he himself led different working trips to China, India, Spain, and Lebanon. His vision was then closely followed by the Tourism Board at their annual marketing meeting and implemented accordingly. The Seychelles President also moved to have more Seychellois involved in their tourism industry. This he did by asking Seychellois to claim back their industry and to then defend and protect their important industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy. It is on these core principles that the Seychelles Tourism Board of today, under the guidance of Alain St.Ange, now the Seychelles Minister of Tourism, worked on and elaborated to be so recognized across the world.
Minister St.Ange went on to say the he wanted to say a big thank you to all the airlines who have come forward to support the nomination of Seychelles for that coveted World Routes award. “Your support is appreciated. We shall continue to be real partners of airlines working closely with us. We see you as our partners and value your continued support,” the Seychelles Minister said.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).