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Tourism through culture is embraced by the world
19/Oct/2015
The recent UNWTO and UNESCO Meeting of Tourism and Culture Ministers in Cambodia was seen as the final call for every serious country to embrace this approach of consolidating tourism using culture and protecting culture through the tourism industry. Countries present at this UNWTO and UNESCO Meeting all spoke about their pride to be safeguarding their cultural assets. The question remains how many Ministers responsible for Tourism have moved to embrace their past and in so doing enhance their tourism industry. Ministers of Tourism as well as those from Culture from Azerbaijan to Ivory Coast, the Kingdom of Swaziland to the Seychelles were all present at this first ever UNWTO and UNESCO Meeting.

The discerning travelers on today are definitely looking more than just a safari, a sun, sea and sand holiday or a holiday where visitors are licensed to shoot the same unique wildlife so many others pay dearly to come to admire. The discerning travelers of today want the cultural side of countries they visit and this includes what is often referred to as countries political past. Some Governments have destroyed everything from their colonial era and Tourism Ministers are today doing everything possible to spell out that relations with former colonial rulers are excellent especially now that these same countries have become key source markets for these same former colonies or dependent territories.

Africa is a continent that needs tourism today more than ever before. Their Ministers of Tourism have been advocating that the African Union need to become more aware of the importance of tourism for the continent. Recent UNWTO organized meetings in Ghana as well as in Kenya discussed Africa Tourism and the need for African leaders to move to stop rhetorics about the past that often is aired to cover mistakes of the same country's more recent history. This includes relation with the press in African countries key source markets for their tourism industry.

If their is a country where journalists have learnt the joy of covering it is the mid-ocean islands of the Seychelles and this especially since one man was appointed to head these islands tourism. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture took over the islands tourism in 2009 and ever since these islands have never looked back. Many of my colleagues from the press fraternity will again this week be heading to Seychelles in the Indian Ocean to cover the largest gathering for people who call themselves Creoles. This coming October Creole Festival coincides with the United Nations (UN) International Day of Creole (28 October). Annually the People of Seychelles are joined by those who come from Mauritius, and Rodrigues and Reunion for this celebration that concentrates only on everything that is Creole. Often Creole islanders from the Caribbean also cross the world to join the Indian Ocean Creoles in this celebration that is opening the eyes of the world on a people who see themselves as Creoles.

For St.Ange of the Seychelles this celebration is what should be seen as the event that brings the island's five historical branches to be what they are today, the Creole People of Seychelles. The Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture has been advocating the need for Seychelles to celebrate their five historical branches to better able to appreciate the Seychelles of today.

"This is why we today mark or celebrate the La Francophonie with a French Day, Africa Day we call FETAFRIK, , the Commonwealth Day and are now working to have a British Day, the Seychelles - India Day Celebrations and the Seychelles - China Day Celebrations. We are a successful people and country because we respect our past as we work hard to maintain total harmony as the melting pot of cultures. Our era as a French Department as well as the period when we were a British Colony which saw the arrivals of Africans, Indians or Chinese Nationals are all respected part of our history and we have neither hatred nor bad feelings about our past that makes us what we are today. We are today an Independent Republic and proud to be part and parcel of the Community of Nations with no sanctions against us because we respect others and operate as friends of all and enemies of none" said Minister Alain St.Ange when he met the press during the 2014 Creole Festival..
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