The Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization, Mr. Taleb Rifai, paid a courtesy call on Seychelles President James Michel yesterday afternoon at State House.
Mr. Rifai, who was accompanied by the UNWTO Regional Director for Africa, Mr. Ousmane Ndiaye, is on a two-day visit in the country on the occasion of the second edition of the “Carnaval International de Victoria,” due to launch this evening.
President Michel discussed his vision for the Seychelles tourism industry and its importance in the development agenda of Seychelles, as well as the emphasis that the country is putting in linking tourism with sustainability, not just environmental sustainability, but also social and economic sustainability.
The Secretary General said in an interview with the local press that his visit to Seychelles on such an occasion is a signal and sends a strong message of support as an international community, hence making sure that the carnival will become something of a brand not just to Seychelles, but to the region and the entire continent.
The two also discussed the significance of taking the local tourism industry to a bigger community by creating a regional tourism organization of the Indian Ocean and Eastern Africa with the assistance of UNWTO in creating a network to support each country of the region.
Mr. Taleb Rifai also met with Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure where they discussed capacity building and education for the tourism trainers and the restructuring of the tourism administration.