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First ever UNWTO/ICAO Africa Tourism & Air Transport Ministerial Conference set for Seychelles

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The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have now launched invitations for tourism and for air transport ministers of Africa to gather in Seychelles for the first ever of its kind joint meeting with UNWTO & ICAO.

The invitation that is jointly signed by Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO; Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture; and Mr. Raymond Benjamin, the Secretary General of the ICAO says:

“On behalf of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the Government of Seychelles, we have the honor to request your participation in the First UNWTO/ICAO Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air Transport in Africa. The event will be held in Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles, from October 14-15, 2014, with a preparatory meeting for the experts to be held on October 13, 2014.

The tourism sector in Africa has reached an above-average growth rate. However, its full potential still remains untapped. In recognition of tourism’s high dependency on air transportation and in light of the critical importance of both tourism and air transportation in the context of economic growth and sustainable development, the conference will focus on tourism and air transport in Africa, with the aim of exploring how to maximize existing resources.

The main objective of the Ministerial Conference is to highlight and analyze the critical linkages between a robust and revenue-generating African tourism sector, combined with safe, efficient, and profitable air transport operations, and forward-looking economic policies that optimize both immediate revenue potential and sustainable socio-economic prosperity for Africa.

As outlined in the enclosed provisional program, the expert panel discussions will generate ideas and high-level inputs which will then be shared with the ministerial participants for consideration. We firmly believe that this joint UNTWO/ICAO ministerial event represents an important milestone for the two sectors and builds on the Luanda Declaration on Tourism and Air Transport Connectivity, approved earlier this year on the occasion of the 56th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to participate in this unique setting and occasion, and we are confident that the knowledge and expertise that will be shared, not to mention the distinctive perspectives of participating African States, will contribute significantly to the delivery of pragmatic, forward-looking proposals that will allow international governments to obtain their fair share out of the future growth of global tourism, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable tomorrow for Africa.

We would appreciate if you could confirm your participation by registering at the following link: http://africa.unwto.org/node/40994

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, told the press following the launch this week of the official invitations issued by the UNWTO and by ICAO that he was thrilled that this historic meeting was taking place in the Seychelles. “For the Seychelles tourism remains the pillar of our economy. Because we are a mid-ocean tropical island nation, we are dependent on air access for our tourism industry. The conference on tourism and air transport by the UNWTO and the ICAO is covering the two key components of life in Seychelles and the economy of Seychelles, and delegates to the conference by being in Seychelles will be able to better appreciate the importance of the topic,” said Minister St.Ange.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture

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