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Seychelles Minister of Tourism & Culture meets press as he transits New York

Seychelles Minister of Tourism & Culture meets press as he transits New York (Forimmediaterelease.net) Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, this morning met with the press as he transited New York on his way back to Seychelles via Dubai. The Seychelles Minister was heading back after having participated at the UNWTO Conference on Multidestination Opportunities for Regional Integration that was held in Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

After talking about the Seychelles and the importance of tourism for this mid-ocean tourism destination, the Minister who had candidly accepted that he was tired from the long travels of that week, opened the floor to questions.

On the question of the importance of tourism for the Seychelles, the Minister explained that tourism remained the pillar of the economy and went further to comment on a joke from a radio journalist he said that he and his team at the Ministry of Tourism&Culture and at the Seychelles Tourism Board felt the weight of the economy of the islands on their shoulders.

To the question of the USA as a source market for Seychelles, the island's minister replied that the world at large was today a big tourism market for Seychelles. “The air connectivity available today has never been better and has never made it as easier for Americans, north or south, to decide to discover the Seychelles. Our Tourism Board is promoting Seychelles in the Americas in conjunction with a 'Big Five' Safari on mainland Africa or a Desert Safari in the Middle East. South Africa for a Safari&Seychelles for the beach and pristine nature is a good combination, for example, because when in South Africa a hop over to Zambia will give you the Big Victoria Falls as well and a second Africa stop in the Kingdom of Swaziland for example where culture, which is key to unity of that Africa country with their very own royal family. This is one example, but many more such options are available like a Desert Safari in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and then on to the turquoise blue seas of Seychelles. East Africa and Seychelles or the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion with its volcano and its Swiss-like mountains and the Seychelles is also a good combination. The options are many, but Seychelles remains the one and the only one that fits each and every combination," Minister Alain St.Ange said.

Before taking the press to the Multidestination Opportunities Conference that he had attended, the Minister from the Seychelles said with a smile that “Seychelles is for those who love nature, who love culture, or who are just in love."

On the UNWTO Multidestination Opportunities for Regional Integration, the Seychelles Minister explained that he was present, because Seychelles believes in the spirit of togetherness. “No island can be an island unto itself today," the Minister said. He explained the working partnership the Seychelles today had with the group called the “Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands" that comprised the Seychelles itself, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, and the Maldives. He talked about the “East3Route" that is comprised of South Africa KwaZulu Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique and the Seychelles as examples where Seychelles displays the desire to work with its neighbors for growing what he calls the tourism cake.

“We believe in this push for multidestination because it is a win-win for the travelers and for the destinations who are working together," Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said before referring to research being done for the Indian Ocean islands by James MacGregor of ECOPLANNET. “James MacGregor wrote in his preliminary report that he sent to me the following: ‘We concluded market research of these niche markets including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, and even China. Finally we built a tourism strategy on many of the intrinsic values of multidestination travel including: 1 - regional integration (cost sharing and distribution of regional tourism markets), 2 - promotional opportunities based on the diversity of multi island experiences and, 3 - fostering inter-island cooperation, support, and agreements.’ I have quoted James MacGregor, because I believe in the research he is conducting, and I remain sure that he will help me push the wheel barrow on the hill of strength in unity," Minister St.Ange said.

Before ending his dialogue with the press, the Seychelles Minister spoke about a cultural event that is staged annually in Seychelles that was conceived to bring the world together. “You have here the United Nations, but this is a collection of divided political beliefs coming together to try to find cohesion. At the annual April Carnaval International de Victoria in Seychelles, we see the world coming together as one, and this beyond political beliefs, beyond political affiliation, and beyond the color of the skin. The event is for the world these countries to be seen flying their flag as they showcase their culture, because through their culture that are showcasing their people," Minister St.Ange said as he ended with the John Lennon line he says he enjoys saying, “You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one… One day the world will live as one."

PHOTO: Minister Alain St.Ange this morning in New York in dialogue with the press

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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