The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, was invited to address the audience of a special Indaba 2014 business breakfast hosted by KwaZulu Natal Tourism at Durban’s Hilton Hotel on Saturday, May 10.
In the presence of Tourism Ministers from Lesotho, Swaziland, and Uganda, and Ministers of the KwaZulu Natal Government, Minister St.Ange’s address followed speeches by the Deputy Mayor of Durban, the CEO of KwaZulu Natal Tourism, and ROUTES Director, Katie Bland.
Against a background of a perceived need for Africa to work more with Africa, particularly in the domain of aviation, Minister St.Ange appealed for African nations to partner with each other and synergize more in the interests of furthering African tourism interests. Citing the great success of Seychelles’ recent 2014 edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria that is now co-hosted by La Reunion, South Africa KwaZulu Natal, Madagascar, and Mayotte, the East3Route partnership between KwaZulu Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Seychelles, and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands partnership between the Comoros, La Reunion, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, and the Seychelles of the southwestern Indian Ocean, the Minister spoke of a new way forward for African nations working together as never before.
“You may think me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,” he said, quoting singer John Lennon’s famous line and referring to a new approach that is needed to enable Africa to capitalize more efficiently on its huge tourism assets.
His speech was greeted warmly by the audience and was followed by an address by KwaZulu Natal’s Minister Michael Mabuyakhulu who endorsed many of Minister St.Ange’s points, pointing towards a deepening of the friendship between Seychelles and KwaZulu Natal. Minister St.Ange then presented his counterpart with a copy of the limited edition book “Seychelles, Unexpected Treasures,” the newly-published book by Minister St.Ange himself and Glynn Burridge on the underwater world of Seychelles, and in turn Minister Alain St.Ange was the recipient of a gift from Minister Michael Mabuyakhulu commemorating the life of President Nelson Mandela, the South Africa icon.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .