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Tourism through culture is opening new avenues says Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture of the Seychelles

Tourism through culture is opening new avenues says Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture of the Seychelles ( “The development of one's culture can only be boosted when it is put at the center of the tourism development of the country," says Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles.

Ms. Rose. who attended the recent UNWTO/UNESCO [UN World Tourism Organization/UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] conference on Tourism through Culture in Cambodia, said that Seychelles believes in the approach and that the islands have been putting culture at the center of the island's tourism development ever since President James Michel of the Seychelles amalgamated the Department of Tourism and that of Culture into the one government ministry under the leadership of Minister Alain St.Ange.

“Culture is what we have as a country that carts our very own DNA," Ms. Rose says as she explained last week that this year the May Africa Day Celebrations in Seychelles called FetAfrik will again this year be showing how through the promotion of culture, tourism of the islands is showcased.

Seychelles is repositioning its tourism marketing drive and is now using culture as a key component of this new drive. “Some five years ago the President of our Republic said that the islands needed to move away from selling Seychelles using only sun, sea, and sand. President James Michel said this even when it is known that Seychelles has the best in what is called sun, sea, and sand holidays," Benjamine Rose said.

“When we speak about culture, we are in fact saying the people of the islands. When we bring the people of our islands and place them at the center of our development, we are doing two things simultaneously. We are consolidating our tourism industry because when the people get involved, this vital industry will be consolidated for the long term. Secondly we are developing the creative industry of our islands and opening doors for their expansion. This is why we have initiated the District Cultural Awards which opens the door for our districts to not only identify their cultural strong points and assets, but we are also getting more of our people to be actively involved in the island's tourism industry," Ms. Rose said.

Culture comes in different forms. Music, dancing and food is culture, but arts and crafts is also culture, and all this falls in what the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is saying is all part and parcel of the creative and performing arts of Seychelles.

Benjamine Rose, who accompanied her minister to the Cambodia UNWTO/UNESCO Conference of Tourism through Culture, held many a meeting with her counterparts. She was seen as a reference point at the conference, because what was being discussed at this Cambodia Conference was very much an analysis of the Seychelles experience.

PHOTO: Benjamine Rose, PS for Culture, Republic of Seychelles


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