Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine on Monday the 14th November delivered the Keynote address at the Conde Nast Traveller Forum at the Park Hyatt in Dubai. Conde Nast Traveller is the respected and popular tourism publication with a worldwide appeal.
Speaking after Rhea Saran, the Editor-in-Chief of the Conde Nast Traveller Middle East, Gerald Lawless, the Chairman of the World Tourism Council and Julie Wagner, the CEO of the Beverley Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, the Seychelles Minister took to the stage for his now customary off-the-cuff address in the presence of Sherin Francis, the CEO of the Tourism Board and her Team from the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Offices as well as Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands.
Minister St.Ange who was addressing the Conde Nast Traveller Forum on Luxury Destinations took the delegates on a tour of what was a luxury tourism destination as a promotional DVD of the Seychelles was played on the large screen that was the back drop to the stage.
“What makes a holiday destination? Is it a hotel or resort? if this is the case then the three Ps of Price, Product and Position for success needs to be analysed because this is what we all learnt in sales and marketing. But since then a fourth P has been included and that is People and the need to be aware that culture is part of the equation” said Minister St.Ange.
The Minister then addressed the air access citing the extensive network from the Middle East to Seychelles with flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai and from December by Qatar Airways as well. He also spoke about the option of private jets and cruise ships serving the Seychelles as a tourism destination.
“But for the discerning traveller of today the country is the destination. Therefore the need for maintaining a pristine environment and for Seychelles safeguarding its turquoise blue seas that is always clear and clean as well as its white sandy beaches that are also powdery white and clean and lapped 365 days of the year by the warm turquoise blue seas. This and our cared for landscape provides for us a good base for our tourism industry, the industry that is today the pillar of our economy” the Seychelles Minister said before adding that for today a destination cannot be deemed luxury if safety and security cannot be assured.
“On Saturday the 12 November, The National Newspaper in Dubai carried on its front page and article that highlighted the importance of safety and security with the headline PARIS, ON ITS KNEES A YEAR LATER, an article that spoke about the Paris bombings and the effect this has had on its tourism industry. A troubled world with new challenges and safety has become synonymous with luxury” said the Seychelles Minister.
He then addressed the need for respect of diversity as this borders with luxury. “In Seychelles the colour of the skin, of religious belief and of political affiliation is respected. Our 90,000 inhabitants coming from five main historical lines all today live in harmony as one Seychellois Creole people in the one country with our rich and diverse culture”.
“Culture is also part and parcel of luxury, but one’s culture need to be seen as that puts people at the centre of tourism development. Culture when seen and understood will help increase public hygeine in many a destination and rid object poverty in others. In ending I can safely state that Luxury Destination is a situation of the day in Seychelles. Seychelles lives it and Seychelles confirms it is the way to go” the island’s Minister St.Ange said to great applause.