Alain St.Ange from the Seychelles confirms his presence in Madrid for FITUR next week where he will be lodging his documents for the coming elections for the position of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
Alain St.Ange has confirmed he is a World Tourism Organisation Secretary General Candidate. The Former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine was born on 24 October 1954 on the island of La Digue where he spent much of his youth on his family’s agricultural estate, primarily dedicated to vanilla and coconut plantations, before pursuing his formal education at the Seychelles College in Mahé. He later continued his studies in Hotel Management in Germany and Tourism in France.
Afterwards, St.Ange held several positions in the hospitality field throughout Seychelles, the Channel Islands and Australia, eventually managing key properties in Seychelles and ending his resort management days with the Denis Private Island. In addition to his extensive experience in the hospitality industry, St.Ange’s upbringing led him into politics as his father, Karl St.Ange, was an influential political figure during the early years of Seychelles independence.
In 1979, St.Ange was elected as a Member of the People’s Assembly for the La Digue Constituency for the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front. In 2002, he was elected as a Member of the National Assembly for the Bel Air Constituency for the Seychelles National Party. Following that, he was appointed as the Seychelles Director of Marketing in 2009, and in 2010, promoted to CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.
In 2012, St.Ange was elected as the first President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation, an affiliation comprised of island nations (Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros & Mayotte) within the Indian Ocean, aimed at forming a new tourism destination brand. That same year, he was also named by then Seychelles President, James Michel, as the Minister of Tourism and Culture. In 2013, under his leadership as Minister of Tourism and Culture, the Seychelles candidacy was unanimously approved and elected by the commission of the Africa region (CAF) as member of the Executive Council of the United Nations world Tourism Organization with the term ending in 2017.
As part of his service to Seychelles tourism, St.Ange worked endlessly to establish the tropical island as one of the world’s most attractive and visible travel destinations. Under his leadership, tourism in the Seychelles saw an unprecedented growth of up to 19% a year.
Through empowering businesses to licensing and working to become a role model in sustainability efforts, St.Ange was a tenacious and resourceful minister. As a direct result of his work, the country has seen a significant increase in capital investments from resorts, hotels and destination management companies.
Upon his resignation to run for leadership in the World Tourism Organisation, many prominent figures have publicly thanked him for his exceptional contribution to the promotion and development of the archipelago and announced their support for his candidacy, including Seychellois President Danny Faure and Hotelier Christopher Gill.
If Alain St.Ange attains the position of Secretary General, he will be the first African United Nations WTO leader.
St.Ange has received numerous awards and honours, including the Mahatma Gandhi Honour Award (2014) for his work in strengthening Indo-Seychelles relations, a Plaque of Honour from the House of Lords in London (2015), and most recently, the Tourism Eminent Achiever Award in Africa (2015). He has also authored and co-authored several books about Seychelles, including:
Seychelles, What Next? (1991); Seychelles, In Search of Democracy (2005); Seychelles, The Cry of a People (2007); Seychelles, Regatta 2010 (2010); Seychelles, Enters The World of Canival (2011); Seychelles, Remembers Karl St.Ange (2011); Seychelles, The Coco-de-Mer (2012); Seychelles, Festival of the Sea (2012); Seychelles, State House (2013) and Seychelles: Unexpected Treasures (2014).
St.Ange is married to Ginette Michel of Les Mamelles, Mahé and has two daughters, Christine and Michelle.