Seychelles set its print into the Golden Book of the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign. The unique book is compiled with heads of state and government quotations taken while being presented with an open letter by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, as proof of their acknowledgment of travel and tourism in facing today’s global challenges.
In this first edition, Seychelles President James Michel has joined the wall of fame of world leaders from twenty-five countries which have received the open letter and pledged their support for the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign.
Seychelles makes this symbolic gesture on March 2, 2012 during the official opening of the second edition of the Carnival International de Victoria.
Seychelles is now listed as one of the countries which valued the concept of sustainable tourism. On the Seychelles page, the tourism sector is put to the fore as the sector which the country’s economy and “prosperity” depends on.
“In the case of Seychelles, conservation of our unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity is key to maintaining tourist interest in the region and needs to be brought to bear fruit in such a way that the long-term interests of these assets are not sacrificed for mere short-term gains,” quoted the Golden Book.
From Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, world leaders have jotted down their concept of tourism and its role in their economy.
Seychelles President James Michel portrays tourism as “mankind’s great voyage of discovery in modern times,” whereas to Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, he said, “Tourism is one of the greatest avenues through which the people of the world are able to sample the varied cultures and natural attributes that are to be found globally.”
The Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, sees tourism more than an important economic sector but as an “unparalleled means for intercultural dialogue and effective catalyst for good international relations and mutual respect” and for world leading economies like France where tourism is a leading sector, it represents one of the “economic sectors that generates the highest rate of job creation and businesses around the world.”
All world leaders who have received the UNWTO Secretary General’s Open Letter are featured in this first edition of the Golden Book which also features a written statement of Taleb Rifai and one from David Scowsill, the President and Chief Executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
They have both outlined the remarkable achievement of the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign, which started with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico in 2011.
The objective, according to David Scowsill, is to expand the distinguished movement of the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign.
Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, was in Seychelles at the invitation of Mr. Alain St.Ange, the current Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, for the 2012 edition of the annual Carnaval International de Victoria, and it was at the carnival’s opening ceremony that he presented Seychelles President Michel and President de la Region La Reunion, Mr. Didier Robert, with the Global Leaders for Tourism Letter.