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Africa: UNWTO elections hots up, Reunion endorses St . Ange

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UNWTO elections hots up, Reunion endorses St . Ange

UNWTO elections being discredited by racist attacks and the belittling of the work by Taleb Rifai as Tourist Office Reunion Island Federation comes out for the Seychelles Candidate.

The UNWTO elections for the post of Secretary General is set for the 11 May in Madrid and the World of Tourism is taking note of the countries coming out as candidates. So far on the list has Zimbabwe, Georgia, Brazil, Korea and the Seychelles.

Every candidate is working in different ways to caster the votes of Member States sitting on the Executive Council of the UNWTO. Richard Quest of CNN in an interview with Taleb Rifai, the outgoing SG of the UNWTO spoke about the negative campaigning by some.

Sadly for the UN in 2017 racism attacks have been a strategy used by one member state and a direct attack on the much loved Taleb Rifai’s work through an article published last week saying to “surrender the UNWTO Secretary-General-ship to yet another bureaucratic succession will be to condemn the Organisation to further peripheralisation and irrelevance within the global system”.

The tourism trade though continues to air their views and one by one coming out to echo support for a candidate or for another.

From the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean a statement published this week by Azeddine Bouali, the President of the Tourist Office Reunion Island Federation openly states:-

“I know Alain St.Ange since many years as former Seychelles Tourism’ Minister. While being a strong partner of the Tourist Office’ Reunion Island Federation, I can say with confidence that he is one of the best tourism’ manager I have met over the years. His dedication and high standards in completing whatever was required to succeed was remarkable. Mr St.Ange is a very driven and hard-working person of whom I think highly. Considering his current interest, I strongly recommend Alain St.Ange for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

He knows the importance to ‘live with and from tourism’. He has excellent interpersonal skills and is an effective team member with great spirit. He is able to look tourism with one voice and has experience to lead an international organisation as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. Overall, Alain’s enthusiasm, his remarkable ability to lead, his generosity, energy, high standards and dedication will make him an excellent Secretary General. Besides being a joy to work with, Alain St.Ange is a person who is able to present creative ideas and communicate the benefits,  so I highly recommend him.

When the Seychelles candidate for the post of Secretary General was contacted by the press on the negativity surrounding the coming elections where he himself was targeted by racist attacks, the former Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine simply said that he was concentrating on telling the world of tourism what he would do if elected Secretary General. “We do not speak about other candidates.

The UN is a democratic body and we need to respect the rights of countries to be candidates. It is the world of tourism who needs to decide who they will elect. On the work by Taleb Rifai, the outgoing Secretary General of the UNWTO the Seychelles Candidate said that every Member State has recognised the good work done by Taleb Rifai and it is sad for anyone to try to belittle his achievements” Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles said.

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