Minister of Tourism & Culture of Seychelles, Alain St.Ange had the honour last week to be appointed as Senior Advisor of Small Islands Eco-Marine Tourism Development for Nias Islands of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.
The partnership has been initiated by Special Envoy of Seychelles for ASEAN, Mr. Nico Barito who raised the idea of introducing the successes of Seychelles eco-marine tourism to the small islands within the ASEAN regions. Indonesia itself, as one among the biggest nation in ASEAN, has over 17,000 islands and is an archipelago bridging the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
The Nias Islands joint partnership program started in 2014 with the Governor of North Sumatera and well supported by respective ministers of Indonesia. Nias consist of 150 islands located in the Indian Ocean with its main island of 5,120 square kilometer and home of just under a million in population.
The Indian Ocean roars onto Indonesia, arriving in one of the world’s most spectacular surf breaks on Pulau Nias, a sizeable but solitary rock off the northern Sumatran coast. Surfers have been flocking to Nias for decades for the superb waves, which has deservedly kept this far-flung island on the international surfing circuit. Away from the waves, the ancient megalithic monuments and traditional architecture has great appeal for the anthropologically inclined.
Mr. Barito expressed that Seychelles has been a pristine and niche tourism destination, where the Government never wanted to see an over built Seychelles. The recent successes of Seychelles tourism opens the possibility for the Island’s Tourism Administration to receive more revenue by sharing its experience and co-branding other small islands within the tropics especially within the Indian Ocean. This is why Indonesia has moved to seek to benefit from the expertise of the Seychelles.
Such joint partnership will reward Seychelles with global branding image, opportunity for Seychellois to follow their tourism career outside its islands and to show the world that despite being small other tourism destinations are wanting today to be co-branded by Seychelles. “This will make Seychelles proud and this will ensure that Seychelles is admired not only for the eco-marine tourism values but also for its campaigns for the values of the blue economy to friends from small islands to save the world, to protect the marine bio diversity and also its mother-nature heritage culture” said Nico Barito, the Special Envoy of Seychelles for ASEAN.
Mr Barito presented last week to Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture with the Official Documents from the Government of Nias Islands inviting him of his appointment as Senior Advisor of Small Islands Eco-Marine Tourism Development for Nias Islands of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles Envoy for ASEAN mentioned that the reputation of Seychelles and its recognised successes in the world of tourism now opens the door for the Ministry of Tourism of Seychelles to continue with similar advisory concepts as is being formalised with Nias Island with other small islands in central of Indonesia known as Derawan Islands which is located in the World Coral Triangle Centre and the Thousand Islands resorts at the off coast of Jakarta Metropolitan City, the capital of Indonesia.
Cultural Troupes from North Sumatera and Nias governments have taken part in Seychelles Carnival in 2012 and 2014.
Minister Alain St.Ange said when he received the official appointment documents that a country has succeeded what it exports it culture. “Today the doors are opening for our people to follow their career path because we have a very successful tourism industry. The world at large has recognised our successes and because of this Seychellois expertise is being sought. This should make every Seychellois proud” said Minister Alain St.Ange.
The next step of this appointment will be a formal meeting with Members of the Indonesian Government early next year which will pave the way for consultants from Seychelles to entertain contracts and or positions in Nias Islands of Indonesia.