Alain St.Ange, Seychelles’ minister for Tourism & Culture and the Senior Consultant for Tourism, Glynn Burridge, were invited to attend the prestigious 2016 PATA Summit in Guam where the minister delivered the keynote address on May 19th at the Dusit Thani Resort.
Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles addressing the PATA 2016 Summit in Guam
Founded in 1951, PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Organisation) is a non-profit association internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of tourism, to from and within the Asia Pacific region. The organisation has led from the front since 1951 as the leading voice and authority on travel and tourism in the area whose current strategic direction is to help build the business of its members, provide valuable insights, forecasts and analysis to help members make better business decisions as well as take a lead on travel issues that need to be addressed.
Hosted by the Guam Visitors Bureau, the 2016 annual summit is a 4-day programme consisting of the association’s executive and advisory board meetings, annual general meeting and PATA Youth Symposium as well as a one-day conference that addresses major issues relevant to the travel and tourism industry.
Invited as VIP key speaker at the event, Minister Alain St.Ange and his delegation was met by Guam Senator Tina Rose Muna Barnes on arrival in Guam and spent their first day preparing for the opening session which attracted an unprecedented 600-plus delegates. Minister St.Ange also conducted a radio interview with top Guam radio host Patti Arroyo where he was asked several questions about Seychelles tourism and culture and also about his visit to Guam.
In his keynote speech, Minister St.Ange addressed a packed ballroom which included Honourable Eddie Baza Calvo, Governor of Guam; Mark Baldyga, Chairman of Guam Visitors Bureau; Kevin Murphy, Chairman of PATA and John Nathan Denight, the President and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau.
Responding to the 2016 PATA theme: The Big BLUE: In Danger – yet awe inspiring, Minister St.Ange spoke about his perspective of the need to introduce a nation’s culture into its tourism to ensure that it possesses authenticity and soul. Speaking while the new Seychelles destination DVD played on two big screens in the background, the minister explained how Seychelles tourism leverages its culture to help visitors enjoy a deeper experience of the country, its traditions and way of life. He cited the Carnaval International de Victoria as one example of how Seychelles engages media interest and sets itself apart in the extremely competitive international tourism arena. Warning against taking shortcuts in creating cultural experiences which may result in their becoming insipid and irrelevant, the minister went on to praise Guam for its clean environment and the extreme friendliness of its people which he said were vital attributes of the island’s tourism.
Minister Alain St.Ange also spoke of the need for islands to work together to boost each other’s tourism profile and to help address common issues affecting tourism and travel.