Archive for April 21st, 2017

St. Ange candidacy for the UNWTO top job cruising towards election day


(Posted 21st April 2017)

The global tourism industry will soon have a new leader, with six remaining candidates bidding to become the next Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization.

Talking to Travel Daily this week, one of the candidates, Alain St Ange, vowed to place sustainability at the top of the agenda. Outlining his manifesto, the former minister of tourism for the Seychelles said that it is time for the UNWTO and member states to “push the point” of sustainable tourism, as a means of promoting long-term prosperity and alleviating poverty.

Commenting on the continued expansion of the tourism industry, in terms of cross-border arrivals, St Ange said that growth would only be sustainable if the tourism industry works for all.

The growth today is still sustainable, but for how long?‘ St Ange asked. ‘The numbers game will be unsustainable if we are not looking at ploughing back returns into towns and villages to ensure the people see themselves as part and parcel of their tourism industry. In the Seychelles a few years ago we launched an appeal for the people to claim back their tourism industry. This brought about many a small business and got the people involved instead of them being just bystanders‘.

The Seychellois candidate also used his home country as an example of positive environmental practices, after the islands protected its land and took steps to curb mass tourism.

The islands are small with a fragile eco-system and yet depend on tourism which has become the pillar of its economy‘ St Ange told Travel Daily. ‘We know that the numbers game in tourism is not enough and for that we do not allow charter flights and support instead regular carriers. We have introduced our very own sustainable tourism label for establishments to ensure they become good custodians of what our islands have been blessed with‘.

St Ange also identified safety and security, equality, training, and cross-sectoral interaction as being key to the future of the industry, and vowed to try to bring non-UNWTO member states, such as the US, into the fold.

With just a few weeks to go for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) elections for the position of Secretary General Spain’s The Lobby Hospitality Trendsetters have come out to say they are supporting the Candidature of Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Candidate.

The European Votes and their lobby is seen a extremely important in this coming elections where two candidates are from the Americas and a further two candidates coming from Africa over and above the candidates from Georgia and Korea. The Balkans, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East will also be very important and a lot of lobby is presently taking place to secure the votes before the 12 May elections that will be held in Madrid Spain.

An endorsement for the Seychelles Candidate for Europe is seen as good timing especially as the UNWTO HeadQuarters is based in madrid itself.

In a letter by Andrés Fernández, the CEO of The Lobby Hospitality Trendsetters of Spain it is written: ‘I am hereby writing to you in reference to the forthcoming election of the Secretary General of the UNWTO to express our strong support to Mr. Alain St.Ange by endorsing his candidacy based on his ability to have positioned Seychelles tourism industry to the highest standards during his times as Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine.
We at The Lobby Hospitality are a group of professionals related to the Tourism industry for over the past 25 years as part of a group of Companies with International experience in more than 35 destinations worldwide, being Seychelles one of our preferred destinations when aiming to achieve the excellence in service, quality, based on the extraordinary commitment of this country to support the International inbound tourism operations

This is great news‘ said Alain St.Ange who was in Addis Ababa for a CAF Tourism Ministers of Africa Meeting. ‘We keep getting endorsements and this shows that we have the needed visibility. We are now raising the bar to seek direct and personal lobby by all those who endorsed our candidature to Tourism Ministers who will be voting on the 12 May in Madrid. We have said it before and will repeat ourselves again ‘Tourism is too important an Industry to play politics with. We need the best person to fill the shoes of Dr. Taleb Rifai and ensure we do not go backwards. Many a country’s economy and millions of workers depend on tourism, let us ensure it works‘ said Alain St.Ange as he appealed to Voting Ministers in Ethiopia for their votes.

Seychelles continues to market the islands


(Posted 21st April 2017)

The Seychelles Tourism Board took part in the Salon des Comités d’Entreprise’ held in Reunion recently with the aim of promote group leisure travel to Seychelles.

Presidents and Chairpersons of over 20 social committees from large to small companies were all seeking the best offer for forthcoming holidays planned for workers within their companies.

“Salon des Comités d’Entreprise’ took place in a workshop format, whereby companies stopped over at different exhibits to see the products and services on offer.

STB believes that such market segment is very important to help increase the destination market share from Reunion especially during low and shoulder seasons‘ said STB’s senior marketing executive based in Reunion, Bernadette Honore.

During the two-day event held in St.Gilles, STB used its presence to network with social committee presidents, gave out information about the destination and convinced the companies to include the Seychelles for their forthcoming holidays.

Compared to 2016, STB witnessed a marked rise in interest from companies to visit Seychelles this year.

Seychelles Tourism is also attending the Africa Travel Week, with Deputy CEO Jenifer Sinon and the Director for Africa and the Americas David Germain – incidentally also a speaker at the WTM Africa 2017 Forum – attending the Cape Town based tourism show’s World Travel Market Africa.
Now that Air Seychelles is flying to both Johannesburg and Durban have interest levels in destination Seychelles significantly increased and the numbers of trade show visitors and hosted buyers frequenting the stand of the Paradise Islands spoke volumes for their market standing in South Africa and across the rest of the continent.

Added information about the Seychelles is available via

Air Mauritius to launch Geneva flights during next winter season


(Posted 21st April 2017)

It was confirmed yesterday that Air Mauritius plans to operate a once per week flight from Port Louis to Geneva / Switzerland, effective on 18th of November.
The flight will initially leave Mauritius on a Saturday but switch to a Friday departure effective 22nd of December.
The service is expected to run until late February 2018 at which stage Geneva will again be served via Paris through a code shared connection flight operated by Air France.
The aircraft deployed on the route will be an Airbus A340-300.
The start of operations to Geneva will stimulate traffic from the Swiss market. The decision is in line with our strategy to reinforce operations to Europe following the announcement earlier this year regarding the introduction of Amsterdam‘ stated Raja Buton of Air Mauritius.
He added that the flight will cater for the higher demand during the peak tourist season since in 2016 the number of tourist arrivals from Switzerland grew by 18% to reach 36,272 overall.

Meanwhile was it also learned that the airline is again seeking a new CEO with the application deadline set for 24th of April. Expectations however, given the short period of time available for selection, that the new boss will take office already in May, are thought to be unrealistic though by mid year will the vacancy no doubt be filled.
Towards that end, make sure you watch this space to catch the latest breaking and regular aviation news from this part of the world.

Africa Travel Week 2017 judged another big success


(Posted 21st April 2017)

The Africa Travel Week, which kicked off on the 19th of April with its main event, the World Travel Market Africa, is now well underway in the South African port city of Cape Town.
The main hall of the exhibition on the ground floor of the Cape Town International Convention Center was filled to capacity with exhibitors from not just South Africa but some 20 other countries on the continent and beyond – Thailand and India once again had major stands at WTM Africa 2017 – and all 235 of them did brisk business on the first two days.
National Tourism offices from among other countries present in Cape Town were Tanzania including Zanzibar – notably the only such organization from Eastern Africa – but also Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Egypt and from the Indian Ocean islands Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius.
A series of presentations were made on Day 1 of the event with this correspondent giving a 45 minutes overview on the aviation sector in Eastern Africa with special emphasis on RwandAir’s phenomenal rise in recent years. This received wider media attention from among others Louzel Lombard Steyn of Traveller 24 who wrote:

On the 20th of April did part two of three then join the action when the one day IBTM Africa kicked off, dedicated to MICE travel, business travel and notably a whole afternoon discussion session dedicated to sports tourism.
This correspondent was one of the invited speakers to present Rwanda as a rising MICE power in Africa, the country presently ranked by ICCA as number 7 on the continent but with a further improvement anticipated when the global body will release their 2016 ranking list in just a few weeks time.

Last but not least will the luxury travel segment have its own meeting as part of the Africa Travel Week, called ILTM Africa, similar to events organized by Reed Exhibitions elsewhere around the world.
Here are the selection criteria even more stringent and hosted buyers must show their capacity and numbers before they get on the list for the event which will run from the 21st to the 23rd of April, when the Africa Travel Week 2017 will draw to a close.

Reed Exhibitions this year attracted 28 main partners for the event, led by host city Cape Town and among others Carlson Rezidor, Air Mauritius, Tsogo Sun and of course South African Airways.
15 Gold Association Partners were named, among them such global heavy weights like the Africa Travel Association, London based ATTA, ABTA – the African Business Travel Association, RETOSA and SAACI – the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry.
This was followed by 10 Gold Media Partners which came on board for the 2017 edition of the Africa Travel Week.
This year’s catalogue then showed 22 tightly filled pages with exhibitors from across the continent of Africa and beyond, underscoring how far the Africa Travel Week has come in recent years, against initially strong and not always fair opposition from rival INDABA.
Nearly 200 hosted buyers were invited to Cape Town for the event, coming from 47 different countries, again showing the growing importance of the Africa Travel Week with its three main events, WTM, IBTM and ILTM.

Said Carol Weaving, CEO of Reed Exhibitions: ‘2016 so far was our biggest yet with nearly 5.000 travel professionals from 77 countries coming to the Africa Travel Week in Cape Town. Our events over the past three years have injected a further estimated 330 million US Dollars into the tourism industry in terms of additional business. The Africa Travel Week is the only such event in South Africa which caters for both inbound and outbound travel. And we have widened the time frame for speed networking for travel professionals but also for the media to 90 minutes per session‘.

There you have it, the Africa Travel Week is now an established part of the tourism trade fair circuit in Africa and as such an event which can only be ignored at the peril of companies who are not present and miss out on opportunities to become more visible, market their services and help to promote travel to Africa.

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