Putting People At The Centre Of Sustainable Tourism Development Is Vital, Says Minister St.Ange Of The Seychelles
Putting people at the centre of its tourism industry is one vital aspect which can help to promote this sector’s sustainable development.
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture echoed these words to the Under-Secretary General and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme Achim Steiner during an official lunch hosted at the Constance Ephelia Resort yesterday.
Present were the executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Professor Rolph Payet, principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose and that of environment Alain Decommarmond and representatives of both departments.
Mr Steiner is on official visit to Seychelles to attend the 8th conference of parties to the Nairobi Convention for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean.
Minister St.Ange called on Mr Steiner to take time to see and appreciate what Seychelles has to offer to its visitors and what makes this small island state what it is.
Seychelles is blessed in having a pristine environment, but to sustain it is always a challenge, the Minister said.
“If we are to tell the foreign press to come to our shores so that they can see how pristine our environment is, we need to find new points that encourage them to visit. This is why under the leadership of President James Michel, we embarked on promoting events we host because this helps us to attract the international press members. But for this to happen it is vital for us to keep putting our people and our culture at the base of our country’s tourism industry,” Minister Alain St.Ange added.
Minister St.Ange said the diversity of our people give us the strength we have as a nation. “We know we have a pristine environment, but to adequately care for it we need a solid economy and for Seychelles this means a buoyant tourism industry. This is why we all need to embrace our culture because culture is and will remain the base for a consolidated tourism development” Minister St.Ange said.
He then presented Mr Steiner with two books on the coco de mer, which is the world’s largest nut and one of the Seychelles, festival of the sea.
The delegation then proceeded to the Seychelles National Biodiversity Centre at Barbarons on Mahe’s west coast of Mahe where Mr Steiner planted a Colea Seychellarum tree or bilenbi maron as it is known locally.
“It feels good for me to have the honour of planting such an endemic plant here in Seychelles and I hope to be back to see it grow. This is a great example of tourism and conservation bonding together,” Mr Steiner said.