Seychelles former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alain St.Ange recent bagged a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ITB Berlin 2023 trade fair for promotion of the Travel Trade, alongside the Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
St.Ange in an interview with ITB press spoke on the significance of the award and other successes recorded in the industry globally.
Alain St.Ange, and Edmund Bartlett, the Jamaican Minister of Tourism were both honoured at the PATWA International Travel Awards at this year’s ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin.
ITB:- You are listed as a tourism icon and you were honoured with their lifetime achievement award. Your feeling Sir?
St.Ange: “Recognition is rewarding. Both Minister Edmund Bartlett of Jamaica and myself were singled out for our successful lifelong journey in tourism and for our continued innovation in destination marketing and for our ability to manouver on the world stage in the positioning of our respective countries as successful tourism destination. It is not my first recognition award, but each time I receive one I feel good, I feel honoured and I say thank you” St.Ange answered before adding the tagline conferred on him in his home country of Seychelles. “This ITB Berlin lifetime achievement recognition went a step further to the recent accolade a Seychelles daily newspaper referred to me as when they stated that I was most tourified Tourism Minister in and outside Seychelles. This was a great title, and yes, I am grateful to see my efforts and dedication is recognised”.
ITB:- Both you, a former Tourism Minister and Minister Bartlett of Jamaica were both congratulated for being recognised as World Tourism Leaders. Any others who standout like you?
St.Ange:- Yes of course many other Tourism Ministers stand out. I am sure world bodies will recognise their efforts. I remain friendly with many former colleagues and recognise their work.
ITB:- Your tenure in office as a Minister has been referred to as successful. Why?
St.Ange:- Many politicians reach this high office as they are appointed Minister. Some technocrats or experts in their respective field, as was the case for me, are also often appointed as Ministers but many are not remembered and just fade away into oblivion as soon as they leave office. I worked as a Minister with passion and total dedication. Because of this even today many years after leaving office I am still being recognised for a job well done. The tourism industry in Seychelles even had a farewell cocktail reception at the Avani Resort for me when I left office. This is not a norm.
ITB:- You are now a tourism consultant working with Ghana. Why Ghana and not your own Seychelles?
St.Ange:- Why Ghana is simple. They advertised searching for a tourism consultant in what they called an open bidding approach. I applied after a friend from a Ghana press forwarded the advert to me. I duly applied, did my interview and won the consultancy. Why not Seychelles is also as simple. No consultancy work on offer that I know of.
ITB:- You ran to be the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and President of Seychelles. What next for Alain St.Ange?
St.Ange:- I have had a full life. Was an elected parliamentarian when I was only 25 and was re-elected many years later before being appointed the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture. My Minister was then enlarged to become the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine. A full life that primarily saw me working in tourism since my years as a student ended. What next is only being busy writing my autobiography ‘Alain St.Ange, My Journey’ which will be launched later this year as I continue working as a Tourism Consultant in different parts of the world.