Message from the Minister Sylvestre Radegonde for the occasion of the World Tourism Day 2021
On this day each year, Seychelles joins 158 other member states of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in commemorating World Tourism Day. This day highlights the significance of the travel and tourism industry, and also as a day of celebration and reflection. Under our theme “Shaping our future”, we applaud our people and their contributions.
UNWTO has designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on Tourism for Inclusive Growth. Inclusive growth is what we are striving for as we seek to recover from the impact of the pandemic. And it will be driven by tourism. It concerns everyone of us, and every Seychellois, every sector of economic activity in our country should be involved in this process. Especially in this “new normal”.
Confronted with the near-collapse of our industry, we realised that adaptation to changing circumstances was the key to our survival. We took immense but calculated risks, linking economic recovery and the protection of our people’s and our guests’ health and safety through the launch early in 2021 of a robust and wide-ranging vaccination programme against COVID-19, allowing us to boldly open up to the world in March. We are now reaping the dividends of those measures that we took together.
But we should not, and cannot, be complacent. We are not alone in adapting to the new normal. Our competitors are equally aggressive and innovative in their tourism marketing campaigns. In the face of fierce and unrelenting competition, we must continue to offer value for money. We must ensure that the accommodation and services we offer are up to standard, and even superior to what is accepted and expected. We should focus more on offering a greater degree of authentic and community-based tourism experiences reflective of our brand. Also, and of no less importance, we must continue to stamp out all illegal and underhand practices that undermine our tourism and hospitality industry, and bring disrepute to our image.
En cette Journée mondiale du Tourisme, j’appelle donc à l’unité, l’unité au sein du secteur du tourisme. Car, au-delà des statistiques, nous savons que derrière chaque chiffre concernant cette industrie, il y a un opérateur, il y a des femmes et des hommes. Ainsi pour élever notre industrie du tourisme à des normes supérieures et surmonter les défis à venir, sans marginaliser personne, nous devons unir nos forces. En partageant tous la même vision et le même désir de voir le tourisme prospérer, en travaillant surtout ensemble, nous en sortirons triomphants. Cela ne fait guère de doute.
With great admiration for your dedication and passion, we thank you for putting your hearts into our tourism industry.
Today we celebrate you. Happy World Tourism Day!