UNWTO Africa: Open Letter of Support by eTN Publisher Juergen Thomas Steinmetz
ETN Publisher Juergen Thomas Steinmetz is issuing this open letter of support for the Hon. Alain St.Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Republic of the Seychelles, and I as publisher of TravelVideo.tv wholeheartedly endorse Mr. St.Ange as well. The following is Mr. Steinmetz’s letter:
Dear Friends & Colleagues:
After serious consideration, I am personally pleased to support the Minister of Tourism and Culture for the Republic of the Seychelles, Alain St.Ange, in his bid for election to the African seat on the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Committee.
As many already know, this election will be held in late August during the UNWTO Annual Summit being jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The summit is uniquely scheduled to be held on both sides of the magnificent Victoria Falls, and will bring renewed focus to African tourism, which according to available statistics, only received some 53 million visitors last year, compared to well over a billion travelers worldwide. This constitutes a modest 5 percent of global tourism movements, something Alain St.Ange is intent to change.
In the Seychelles tourism, Minister Alain St.Ange has launched multiple highly-successful, original marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the archipelago, working closely with global media outlets to substantially increase awareness and passenger arrivals to his destination. Since his appointment as the Director of Tourism Marketing, Alain was tasked to take over a reinvigorated and reinvented Seychelles Tourism Board before being appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture last year in March 2012.
The Seychelles has been in the media spotlight continuously since his appointment, and his many friends across Africa are keen to see him bring his substantial expertise to the UNWTO Executive Council where he would bring the same level of commitment and energy to market Africa like he marketed the Seychelles and double the continentâ€™s arrival number within the next few years.
Alain St.Ange understands the role a positively-inclined media can play in helping shape a destination and subsequently created media alliances spanning the entire globe, with the Seychelles gaining awareness far beyond expectations and beyond an island destination, even with 115 islands and 220,000+ visitors in 2012, which might ordinarily be commanded.
Alain’s passion for his home islands undoubtedly will translate into the same passion to get Africa a seat on the world tourism stage should he be elected, something many of his colleagues in Africa want to see happen.
When St.Ange was still the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, his brainchild was the Carnaval International de Victoria. The idea was to bring the world together to Africa. It was not just about the Seychelles, it was meant to be the carnival of the world. I had the privilege to attend all the carnivals, and I can attest here that Africa came together on this small island nation.
His dual destination/holiday partnerships with African mainland destinations, promoting both safaris as well as top-tier beach vacations on Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, and the other islands across the extent of the Indian Ocean, also brought him many admirers on the continent who appreciate how he is tuned into promoting not just his home islands but destinations well beyond their own shores.
The Vanilla Island cooperation of Indian Ocean islands from as far as La Reunion over Mauritius, Madagascar, Mayotte, Comoros, and the Seychelles demonstrates that Alain St.Ange looks well beyond his own shores, a rare quality among professionals and more so politicians, a quality normally reserved for visionaries from the private sector.
Minister St.Ange is indeed a genuine visionary and thinks big, while not forgetting the small details that make up the framework of successful tourism marketing. Alain has well-thought-out, meaningful directions and ideas to bring Africa together, and his philosophy of friends of all, enemies of none, has gained him respect in all parts of the globe.
ETurboNews has proudly been a partner of the Seychelles to help convey this philosophy globally. With St.Ange elected as Africa’s representative on the UNTWO, global tourism and Africa will benefit greatly.
I have personally known Minister St.Ange even before he was involved with the Seychelles Tourism Board. Way before he became involved with Seychellesâ€™ tourism, Alain contributed to numerous articles from a wide variety of African destinations. He always was careful to unite Africa and has become a highly-regarded African tourism role model and leader.
It is my personal belief the Honorable Alain St.Ange will bring fresh and original African insights with a keen global vision to the UNWTO Executive Council.
On behalf of our global eTN publication, I fully support his nomination to join the UNWTO Executive Council.
Very best regards,
(L to R): Juergen T. Steinmetz & Alain St.Ange at the IIPT conference Lusaka 2011