The recent drive by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to promote tourism through the consolidation of culture and to reposition culture as a story board of one’s country through tourism is gathering momentum and today recognized across the world as the way forward.
Seychelles has been one of the countries that had been proactive in this marriage of tourism through culture ever since the island’s President amalgamated the Departments of Tourism and Culture into the one ministry in 2012. Earlier this year when the UNWTO and the UNESCO organized the Cambodia Conference of the promotion of tourism through culture and the consolidation of culture through tourism, more and more countries have been embarking on this approach as the way forward. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, was one of the government ministers who participated at the Cambodia Conference accompanied by his PS for Culture Benjamine Rose.
Seychelles organizes a number of cultural events in its continued bid to keep its tourism industry visible and in so doing relevant in the very competitive world of tourism. Each of the cultural events organized by Seychelles touches one of its tourism source markets or one of its niche tourism markets. The biggest single cultural event organized by Seychelles remains its annual April Carnival named the Carnaval International de Victoria and nicknamed by the international press as the Carnival of Carnivals. At the last edition of this unique carnival in Seychelles that took place from April 24-26, reputed international press houses were represented in large numbers (109 press houses to be exact were in Seychelles) and every participating delegation or country were all eager to be noticed by the gathered press to help increase the visibility of their respective countries. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, often says that at tourism trade fairs it is often so difficult to get near to a respected press house let alone to be interviewed. At the carnival in Seychelles, every participating cultural delegation and every tourism business present has such a rare opportunity to mingle with the press to showcase to the world what they stand for.
But the vision by Seychelles does go even further as the island of La Digue, Bird Island, and the Sea Shell Charters among many others appreciated. Serge Marizy and Magalie Oger of Zone Austral used their presence in Seychelles to cover the islands’ biggest and most popular cultural event to discover and report on the natural beauty and on the tourism attractions of Seychelles. The two film producers and photographers were received on Bird Island by the Savy family and were also able to enjoy a cruise to the inner islands on Sea Shell Charters. They have been distributing their photos through their own channels, and they have been singing praises for what they have seen. “This is using a cultural activity to promote tourism,” said Minister St.Ange.
A BBC TV crew on the islands, also to cover this year’s carnival, was hosted by a big game fishing charter operator for time on the turquoise blue seas of Seychelles for fishing for a marlin. The tag and release excursion gave Seychelles rare footage for an international TV channel. Again, as Minister St.Ange says, these are classic cases of a cultural event opening the door for the promotion of Seychelles as a tourism destination.
|Photoof Bird Island by Serge Marizy & Magalie Oger|
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .No tags for this post.