Seychelles and South Africa have signed on Monday this week a Memorandum of Understanding which is set to see a consolidation in bilateral ties. The agreement was signed by the South African Minister for Tourism, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk and his Seychellois counterpart Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture at the historical La Plaine St Andre site. It was highlighted at the signing ceremony that this MOU will pave the way for new avenues of cooperation between Seychelles and South Africa and that this MOU will echo a clear message to the world that Africa is working with Africa for the betterment of its tourism industry.
“It is with a lot of pride that I welcome the South African Minister for Tourism, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk in Seychelles for this working visit which will also include the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Seychelles and South Africa. Both Minister Van Schalkwyk and myself have echoed the same statement on the need for Africa to be seen to be working with Africa. This agreement between South Africa and Seychelles solidifies our willingness to re-position Africa in the world of tourism, and solidify our cooperation in the field of marketing, training and etc.,” said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture.
Minister St.Ange also took the opportunity of the gathered press to state that Seychelles would be supporting the re-election bid by South Africa for an African seat on the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive committee.
“As African countries we need to work with intelligence, and we need to work together as Africa to reap the needed benefit for the continent. We value and appreciate the support we receive from South Africa. You are like our big brother. Today we say openly that together we can work to help further develop tourism to Africa. We also believe in having a solid partnership with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and we believe that we should use the power of the organization to increase the visibility of the USPs of the African continent,” Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said.
It’s the first time ever that Seychelles signs a Memorandum of Understanding with South Africa that will pave the way for future cooperation in the field of Tourism. Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister for Tourism has hailed the signing of the MOU with his Seychellois counterpart as a positive step forward. Minister Van Schalkwyk emphasized that it was a “practical agreement that would bring benefits for both countries.”
Minister Martinus Van Schalkwyk said that Africa remains a “key tourism target market” for countries like the Seychelles and South Africa itself. “Africa is also key for our destination’s growth,” the South African Minister said. He went on to outline three strong tourism trends which are beneficial for the African region: air connectivity, aviation growth and growth in regional visitors.
“These trends are good news for the region. We should never underestimate the potential of African tourism markets which continue to drive Africa’s fastest-growing economies. We should keep looking at both traditional and at new emerging markets. Let’s us put Africa high on our priority list,” said Minister Martinus Van Schalkwyk.
Minister Martinus Van Schalkwyk ended by commending the work of Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles in the field of tourism. “The Seychelles Minister has since the last couple years positioned Seychelles in the world of tourism, and he has increased the visibility of the Seychelles as never before. Today I will end by assuring Seychelles of my Ministry’s recommendation to our Committee that looks at voting at World Bodies to echo support for Seychelles bid for election to the African seat on UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive committee,” the South African Minister responsible for Tourism said.
PHOTO: Minister Martinus Van Schalkwyk and Minister Alain St.Ange at the historical La Plaine St Andre in the Seychelles.