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Marijuana Tourism: Untapped Seychelles Market

Marijuana Tourism: Untapped Seychelles Market
Marijuana Tourism
Written by Alain St.Ange

With some in Seychelles being known for indulging in recreational cannabis use, its continued prohibition is government’s way of saying: do as I say, not do as I do. With New Zealand’s referendum on the legalization of marijuana fast looming, former Prime Minister Helen Clark has become quite vocal on the topic saying she wants the referendum to pass because it would end the prohibition on the popular drug so that citizens do not have to get their supply from “tinny houses.” This while also pave the way for promoting marijuana tourism.

She has stated forcefully that older politicians who are calling for prohibition are typically Boomers who hypocritically used the drug themselves in their university days. She added that the reason it became illegal in the first place, while tobacco and alcohol did not, was because the latter were in widespread use in “powerful Western societies” while cannabis was more popular in other parts of the world.

Clark also stated: “I’ve been around long enough to know that when you say to young people: ‘don’t do it,’ they do it. That’s the nature of youth. … People are going to use this stuff. … It’s not like this is some wild crazy thing to do. A lot of countries have worked out … that trying to prohibit the use of something up to 80 percent of New Zealanders will try in their lifetimes is pretty ridiculous. … So it’s better to deal with this on its merits, on the evidence, recognize that as a drug it’s immensely less dangerous to your health than tobacco smoking is, and less dangerous to both your health and society than alcohol is, and put some rules around it … legalize and regulate. Put rules around it, take it out of the black market, and deal with the responsibility as a state.”

With the Seychelles tourism industry in need of a boost as a result of COVID-19, Seychelles is in need of some re-branding or at the very least a hook to attract tourists to its shores once more. Marijuana tourism is an untapped market for Seychelles with many tourists flocking to destinations considered to be “weed friendly.”

The country’s presently struggling economy can stand to benefit from all the money moving from the black market into the formal system, thereby allowing the government to collect tax revenues from the industry. Tax revenue from marijuana tourism could be used to fund vital infrastructure improvements including roads, water, schools, hospitals, and healthcare facilities.

In 2015, three years after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, the Colorado Tourism Office conducted a survey that revealed almost 50 percent of visitors to the state were influenced by the availability of marijuana. Colorado has reportedly seen increases in tourism spending year over year since legalization and continues to see massive increases in consumer spending as well.

The only way to progress is through innovation and fresh approaches to governance. With the nation’s economy in its present state, the time for playing it safe and being too afraid to rock the boat has long passed. Half the population has been crying out for “change” for years. The time for marijuana legalization and marijuana tourism has come – the tourism industry can use this new revenue generator.

#rebuildingtravel

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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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