ITB 2023 in Berlin |13 March 2023
Seychelles’ former minister speaks on new initiatives for world tourism
Alain St Ange, the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine took to the podium recently at the PATWA World Tourism and Aviation leaders’ summit to speak on the important topic of 'New Initiatives for World Tourism'.
Mr St Ange was part of a panel of speakers that included chief executive and director of Tamara Leisure Experiences, Shruti Shibulal; chief executive of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Winnie Muchanyuka; Bulgarian Tourism Minister Ilin Dimitrov, and the Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
After opening remarks by Yatan Ahluwalia, secretary general of PATWA in front of a packed conference room, Mr St Ange spoke about the need for tourism destinations and everyone involved in tourism to take stock of what existed before as key USPs (unique selling points) and to analyse why they did not bring the needed returns or if they had worked, how to increase their potential further, using the most sustainable approach possible.
He addressed at length the different niche markets and the potential each of them continues to carry and used cruise ship business as one saying that more could be achieved if the merits of this vital industry was understood.
He said it remained the tourism destination’s duty to work with cruise ship companies to get the maximum number of passengers to disembark at a port call and secondly to work to maximise follow-up potential from all passengers who do not disembark and to look at them as a tourism trade fair on a public day.
"Each passenger on board has friends and family members who are potential visitors for the destination if the passengers were properly sold the destination. We should never miss such opportunities," said Mr St Ange before talking on future strategies and initiatives.
The Seychelles former minister spoke about consolidating the workforce and for destinations to 'claim back' their tourism industry as it has the potential to put money into the pockets of each and every citizen of their respective countries. "The time to walk alone is gone, join forces as regional blocks, and create new tourism destinations as was done in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands. Make the USPs of one become the USPs of every member in the region. Be innovative and always bear in mind that together one is always stronger than being alone and isolated,” pointed out Mr St Ange.
He ended his address on the essential need of increased visibility for each tourism destination. "Out of sight is out of mind and not relevant anymore as a possible holiday destination," he concluded.
Text and photo contributed