The tourism pioneers park was officially opened yesterday morning at the Seychelles Tourism Academy by the President of the Republic James Michel.This inauguration of a dedicated park for tourism pioneers was part of the 2015 Tourism Day Celebrations in Seychelles.
Attending this auspicious ceremony were the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken, deputy chief executive Nathalie Didon, principal of the academy Flavien Joubert, Chairperson of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association Sybille Cardon, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marco Francis, tourism trade representatives and other guests.
Speaking at the event, Minister Alain St.Ange said having the President at this event shows to the industry that tourism as an industry is appreciated by the Highest Office of the land, as it is appreciated by the Government as a whole.
“Tourism is a business for each and everyone of us. It has become the pillar of our economy because we have all worked together in a successful public / private sector partnership to make a success of our tourism industry. We have seen dedicated Seychellois who have always stood by this industry. If it is what it is today, we must take into account that there were many individuals who have worked tirelessly even before we had our International Airport, andto is that dedication to see our tourism industry flourish that has helped give us today the industry we have. This is why the Government felt that it was time that Seychelles honours and thanks its tourism pioneers”. Minister Alain St.Ange said.
The Minister St.Ange went on to say that the Seychelles Tourism Academy was the ideal place to have such a dedicated place for our tourism pioneers. This park can serve as an inspiration for our future tourism leaders, Minister St.Ange added.
“Recognising these devoted individuals can help us to understand where we are heading as an industry,” he said.
The park was officially opened yesterday, but individual plaques with the names of pioneers will be put up during the upcoming Seychelles Ocean Festival in December.
Minister St.Ange said this is because after the call made by tourism authorities for members of the public to put forward names of people who have contributed greatly towards the industry since its start, a lot of names have been nominated. “We have actually been inundated with suggestions and we needed to have more time to take stock of all the tourismpersonalities proposed before coming up with a first list we shall recognised” the Minister said.
Kathleen Mason, who has personally been in the industryever since the opening of the island’s International Airport echoed words of thanks for this initiative of recognising people who have contributed greatly towards the industry and those who are still doing so.
“Tourism is a small world and it is important that we do not forget the reasons why visitors come to Seychelles,” Kathleen Mason said.
“We can see clearly that our industry is growing from strength to strength. Seychelles must maintain its position as a dream destination if we want to succeed”, she added.
After the opening of the park, President Michel was invited to plant a coco de mer tree to mark the occasion.
Minister Alain St.Ange and other tourism officials also took part in the tree planting activity.