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Secretary General of world tourism body and Seychelles Tourism Minister meet at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid

Secretary General of world tourism body and Seychelles Tourism Minister meet at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid (Forimmediaterelease.net) Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization) last week received Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture at the Headquarters of the UNWTO in Madrid.

Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles was in Madrid for FITUR 2014, the Spanish tourism trade fair, and for the 5th edition of INVEST TOUR.

Mr. Taleb Rifai received Minister Alain St.Ange accompanied by a UNWTO delegation made up of Mr. Marcio Favilla, the UNWTO Executive Director for Operational Programs and Institutional Relations; Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, Program Director Regional Program for Africa; Mrs. Emi Maccoll, Chief of Cabinet at the UNWTO; and Mr. Helder Thomas, the Deputy Director for Regional Program for Africa. On his side, Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles was being accompanied by Mrs. Bernadette Willemin, Director for Europe for the Seychelles Tourism Board.

The discussions in the offices of Mr. Rifai at the headquarters of the UNWTO was the opportunity for the Seychelles Minister to discuss among many other points the historic ICAO&UNWTO Tourism and Transport Ministers meeting scheduled to be held in Seychelles in early October. Minister Alain St.Ange, who is also the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands (Comoros, La Reunion, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, and the Seychelles), used the meeting to update the UNWTO Secretary General on the progress achieved by this regional organization.

The Seychelles Minister also discussed the historic Slave Ruins of Venns Town at Mission Lodge, Sans Soucis, on the main island of Mahe in the Seychelles. “This multi-million dollar site is the only remnants of the macabre part of our island`s history, and we need help to have it protected for generations to come. We believe that this is what cultural tourism is all about, and we are appealing to you to work with us to help us achieve getting the UNESCO World Heritage Site for this unique property," Minister St.Ange told the Secretary General of the UNWTO. This Slave Ruins of Venns Town at Mission Lodge, Sans Soucis, is where young slaves were cared for by a Scottish priest after having been freed at sea and brought to Seychelles.

Minister Alain St.Ange said to the press after his meeting with Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, that he was very satisfied the meeting. “I took the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Rifai and the UNWTO for their work and for keeping tourism in the limelight. I also told Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt in the presence of the Secretary General that, as a Seychellois, I was proud of her achievements as the new Program Director Regional Program for Africa,” Minister St.Ange said.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) www.tourismpartners.org/

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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