Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister, President of the African Tourism Board (ATB) and a founding member of the World Travel Network (WTN) gave an engaging speech on the urgent need to give African as well as ASEAN destinations their desired visibility in all ramifications, especially during this pandemic period.

He made the appeal to the global leaders present, yesterday at the ongoing Global Tourism forum, Jakarta 2021 in Indonesia.

St.Ange, whose speech being part of a discussion panel was much awaited in Africa, as he was known to have been championing trade increment and tourism ties between Africa and the ASEAN Block.

He started by emphasising that tourism needs political support and that remains key for the industry’s success . He also congratulated both the Vice President and the Tourism Minister for being present at this year’s edition of the Global Tourism Forum. He went on to remind the Indonesian Government of the many tourism potentials the country has been blessed with, but with a caution, “such potentials and investments in developing them would be wasted if Indonesia does not use everything at its disposal to increase visibility of the country”, he advised.

Alain St.Ange also pointed out that in the new normal era, and as post covid is being discussed, it would be important to note that every tourism destination would be fishing from the same lake for their discerning visitors and that the most innovative and prepared destination would be better placed to embrace post covid trading benefits.

The former Seychelles minister also spoke about niche markets from the traditional one to agro-tourism, religious-tourism, sports-tourism, halal-tourism etc, saying that every stone must be turned in the search for new tourism markets.

He spent time elaborating on the need to set the course for the country and to then deliver on price matching service, bearing in mind that the country is the destination and that the country needed to be prepared before someone from the panel reinforced that ‘walk the talk’ was now more important than ever.

The former minister also spoke about joining forces with neighbours and friends and cited Africa and the African Tourism Board as a good example of an organisation supporting tourism industry in the continent and going all out to make it work.

St.Ange, with the World Tourism Network founder, Juergen Steinmetz are working to increase visibility of tourism destinations in Africa/ ASEAN to give a long-overdue voice of small and medium-size travel and tourism businesses right around the world which was not surprising to hear the interest from the continent about his address.

A Tourism Consultant who was based in Indonesia for a while, has also been working through FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economics AFRICA ASEAN) to push trade and tourism to Africa from the ASEAN Countries.

The Global Tourism Forum 2021 saw the Vice President of Indonesia and former Prime Minister of the UK as well as Dr Taleb Rifai, the former SG of the UNWTO , the current and former Tourism Ministers of Indonesia, all listed alongside the President of the Global Tourism Forum.

By Kazeem Balogun

Kazeem Balogun is the Managing Editor of Kalo Africa News.

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