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Seychelles joins the world as it reaches one billionth tourist record

Seychelles joins the world as it reaches one billionth tourist record ( As Seychelles joins the globe on December 13, 2012 in celebration of reaching the one billion tourism mark, it is an apt time for reflection upon exactly what this means, not only for the world, but also for Seychelles.

To begin with, the one billionth tourist traveling the globe illustrates how very far tourism has come and how much the industry has grown since the end of the Second World War.

Today, it is the world’s fastest-growing industry, and Seychelles is typical of many nations which have come to depend on tourism as a main pillar of their economy. We live in a world where very few countries on Earth are not striving for a share of the tourism pie as attendance at any reputable trade fair will demonstrate.

In the Seychelles context, tourism remains the pillar of the island’s economy and the government has been working with the private sector in a bid to consolidate their tourism industry. Seychelles remains a success story in the field of tourism, and they have been recording important year-on-year increases in their visitor arrival numbers. “We are a serious tourism destination, and we have been looking at the way forward as a united destination. We cannot afford to fail as that would destroy the economy of our country. As the world marks the billion mark of world tourism figures, we are saying that we remain determined to continue to claim our fair share of the tourist trade. Today, we can but appeal to everyone in Seychelles to not only appreciate the benefits of a healthy tourism industry, but we must learn to understand this volatile and demanding industry, and we must learn not to take it for granted,” said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.

Minister St.Ange continued: “Indeed, to have reached the 1 billionth mark is a cause for celebration, but it also gives us occasion to pause and reflect on the effects of so many people travellng on the environment and on the very ecosystems which tourism needs to prosper. Also, let us not forget the consequences of travel to the culture of any given country, to its sometimes limited resources and also to global health.

“The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)has coined the phrase ‘1 billion tourists – 1 billion opportunities’ to mark this watershed moment and has launched a global campaign to vote for the one tip that travelers believe will make a difference in ensuring that tourism remains sustainable, which is another way of saying that what we do today we do in such a way that we shall be able to continue doing it tomorrow. The most popular tip will be symbolically revealed on December 13 and disseminated worldwide via social media.

“This concept of sustainability is crucial for the continued prosperity of tourism, because it is only sustainable practices that will allow us to properly manage and conserve our precious resources, protect our environment and fragile ecosystems, as well as the integrity and authenticity of our unique Seychellois Creole culture.
The UN World Travel Organization’s reference to ‘one billion opportunities’ is appropriate because of the global advance in technology, knowledge, and expertise and their combined potential for innovation, advancement, and the achievement of great things for humanity.

“As we celebrate this great milestone in tourism and prepare to meet the challenges associated with it, we need to ensure that we direct our energies, both individual and collective in positive, well integrated and visionary ways. The bottom line, however, remains that we each commit to better understanding the industry upon which our prosperity depends, to positively supporting it and to helping to create the right atmosphere it requires to prosper.”


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