UNWTO Secretary General candidate St.Ange: I have a job to do at home


A run on the number one position in the global travel and tourism industry is on the way, and it’s behind the scene. eTN reported about the ambition of several potential candidates to succeed the current UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, in 2017.

Recent reports also published on eTurboNews mentioned among others His Excellency Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism for the Republic of the Seychelles, as a possible candidate.

Last night at a press conference in the capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, the minister was asked by eTN if he was a candidate for the post of the next Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

When asked, Minister St. Ange conceded that many countries and many individuals had approached him and expressed their confidence in him that he should be nominated as a potential successor when a new Secretary General is elected at the Beijing UNWTO General Assembly next year.

Minister St. Ange, however, made it clear that his first duty was to his country and the Seychelles tourism industry. His role is to safeguard the gains of past years and build on the foundations of success for yet even better results in the future.

He said: “It took the Seychelles 40 years to reach 130,000 arrivals, and in the space of the past 7 years we more than doubled that figure.

“It shows we are doing something right.” He mentioned the industry is going through challenging times. “When one market goes soft to due unforseen situations including terror, we are now able to accelerate growth from other marketplaces. This development must be safeguarded. I have a duty to my country, and as a member of the cabinet of ministers, my first and foremost obligation is to the Seychelles.”

Notably he did, however, not expressly rule out a candidacy at a later time.

Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister openly announced his ambition to become the new UNWTO Secretary General and discussed this also with eTN in an interview at the recently-concluded World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) summit in Dallas, Texas. At the very last minute, Zimbabwe sent a delegation to the Seychelles to attend the carnival in that country.

As the annual Seychelles Carnival, aka Carnaval International de Victoria, is getting into gear, the official opening ceremony will be held tonight at the Stade Popiler in the presence of President James Alix Michel.