ETW Staff– Mumbai
Tourism and Transport Ministers are to meet in a historic first joint Ministerial Conference on tourism and air transport in Africa on October 14-15, 2014 in the Seychelles. The announcement was made following the signing of an agreement between the United Nations World Tourism Organisation(UNWTO ) and International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) during the UNWTO Commission For Africa (CAF) ministerial meeting held in Angola last week.
The Tourism and Transport Ministerial Conference will address critical issues related to bridging air transport and tourism policies, including the current regulatory framework, taxation and the way forward in facilitating all the travel process. UNWTO is itself committed to improving air connectivity through a closer coordination of tourism and aviation policies to ensure sustained growth of the tourism sector and that of air transport.
It was Taleb Rifai, the secretary general of the UNWTO and Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles minister responsible for tourism and culture who signed the agreement for Seychelles to host this historic joint ministerial conference. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Boubacar Djibo, the director air transport bureau of ICAO and effected at the CAF ministerial meeting in Angola.
About the joint Ministerial Conference between Tourism and Transport Ministers, the UNWTO stated; Tourism is considered as an engine of economic growth and development, especially for small and emerging economies. Intrinsically, tourism development has become a critical target for many governments, especially in developing countries. There is a general agreement that tourism is not only one of the most important export sectors that boost exchange earnings but also increases employment opportunities, prompt tourism industry growth and in virtue of this stands as a stimulus to the economy as a whole.
Reacting on the first edition of the UNWTO & ICAO Tourism and Transport Ministerial Conference to be held in Seychelles in October 2014,
St.Ange, said, “Seychelles salutes the effort by the UNWTO and ICAO to make this Tourism and Transport Ministerial Conference a reality. We all know that it was needed and at the October Meeting in Seychelles a new page in history will written. As Seychelles we remain committed to unity as much in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and in Africa as we believe in unity in purpose to ensure that tourism continues to make a major contribution to economic growth and development.”
The Tourism & Transport Ministerial Conference is set to attract a large number of ministers to Seychelles this coming October. Tourism organisations are also being invited for this historic meeting.