The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, at the kind invitation of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the government of Angola, will represent Seychelles at the UNWTO 56th Commission Meeting for Africa (CAF), and the Regional Seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity in Africa, to be held from April 28-30, 2014 in Angola.
This meeting is held on a yearly basis for the Commission Meeting for Africa members, and allows them the opportunity to discuss and debate at the highest level about the most important issues related to tourism development in the Africa region. Under the leadership of Zimbabwe, the CAF Chairman, H.E. Eng. Walter Mzembi, the Zimbabwe Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe will table issues including the anti-poaching initiative in Africa, funding for African tourism development, the image of the region, and other issues that are high on the UNWTO agenda for the region. The thematic discussion of the session will be on “Tourism and Biodiversity: Zero Tolerance for Poaching in Africa 2020.”
The Regional Seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity in Africa will address critical issues related to bridging air transport and tourism policies, including the current regulatory framework, taxation, and the way forward in facilitating travel processes. UNWTO is committed to improving air connectivity through a closer coordination of tourism and aviation policies to ensure the sustained growth of the tourism sector and that of air transport.
This seminar is organised under the framework of the 20th session of the General Assembly, held in Livingstone (Zambia) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) in August of last year, the 2013 edition of the UNWTO & World Travel Market (WTM) Ministers` Summit entitled “How to bridge the gap between tourism and aviation policies,” and in view of the first edition of the joint UNWTO & International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Tourism and Transport Ministerial conference to be held in October 2014 in Seychelles.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said that it was important to be present in Angola to work with mainland Africa for the consolidation of the continent`s tourism industry and secondly to confirm that the historic first edition of the joint UNWTO & International Civil Aviation Organization Tourism and Transport Ministerial conference will be held in Seychelles in October 2014. “We all often talk about how dependent tourism as an industry is on civil aviation. This is why this historic first meeting of tourism and transport ministers is so important, as the UNWTO and the International Civil Aviation Organization jointly coordinate this meeting. We need to now be selling this coming meeting to ensure it is the success we all expect it to be, and my work promoting the Seychelles meeting will start in Angola itself,” said Minister St.Ange.
The Commission Meeting for Africa and the Regional Seminar are being hosted by Angola, a country fuelled by oil and diamond extraction. The Angolan economy has demonstrated exceptional economic indicators. The main tourism indicators are supported by business tourism flows accounting for the largest share of travel and tourism which has contributed to Angola´s outstanding performance.
The Angolan government is putting in place all the necessary technical and logistical conditions for a successful event. During their stay in Angola, Commission Meeting for Africa (CAF) members will also have the chance to visit one of the fastest-growing countries of Africa and experience some of its tourism products and destinations.