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Seychelles FetAfrik a meeting point for believers in tourism through heritage of Africa

Seychelles FetAfrik a meeting point for believers in tourism through heritage of Africa ( Seychelles celebrated Africa Day and FetAfrik 2015 bringing together scholars in tourism and heritage studies from Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion, Zambia, and Ghana to identify existing impediments in the development of culture-based tourism in Africa and Indian Ocean.

It was Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, who officially welcomed the delegates in Seychelles and launched the symposium “Cultural Tourism in Africa: Strategies for the new Millennium.” A statistics report from World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states that over 1 billion international tourists traveled globally in 2004, and the industry generated well over 800 billion dollars in revenue.

This, according to the report, makes tourism a principal industry in the global economy. The report continued by saying that Africa’s present share of global tourism industry is significantly below its potential as it stands today at under 5% of world tourism travels, and in its contribution to the sustainable economic development of the continent.

Ivor Agyeman-Duah, the Director of the Centre for Intellectual Renewal in Ghana, presented an interesting concept looking at economic strategies to put culture and tourism to the fore. Ivor Agyeman-Duah said it is the country’s micro-economics that defines how culture tourism is promoted.

He said most African country and world leaders are “not attentive to the discussion that it is the micro-economics of a country that defines how culture tourism is promoted.”

Madagascar’s village of Marodoka is a typical case study where culture fitted well within the country’s micro-economic strategies.

The town of Nosy Be, inaugurated as an official cultural village in 2014, is considered as a Madagascar tangible heritage site. Randrian Johany Herilaza Hugues said Marodoka’s cultural amenities, such as its mosque built in 1870, brought visitors to Madagascar’s shores.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, on his part said that for long-term sustainability of tourism development in African countries, there is a need to diversity the range of products on offer in the tourism industry and that the time had come for incorporating elements of the rich and diverse indigenous African or the rich Indian Ocean culture in the continued development of the tourism industry.

“This will expand the range of tourist market segments and thus will enhance prospects of increasing tourism product demand. In addition, the development of culture-based tourism has great potential for promoting intra- and inter-country travel within and among different African countries. Furthermore, the development of authentic culture-based tourism products may help in demystifying existing negative images and stereotypes of Africa as a 'Dark Continent,'” Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said.


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