Seychelles’ success of the annual Indian Ocean Vanilla Island’s “Carnaval International de Victoria” was closely watched by many of its international partners. Today it is accepted that the word-of-mouth and the huge press coverage surrounding this carnival of the Indian Ocean Islands and of Africa has not only confirmed the Seychelles’ reputation as an event-based destination, but it keeps intriguing the Community of Nations on how Seychelles, a small island state, has made a very successful giant leap in the world of carnivals and of events.
In the 2013 edition of Carnaval International de Victoria, Zambia, South Africa, and Mauritius were present when Seychelles, the island of La Reunion, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe joined together as co-host partners of this annual carnival.
Boarding the carnival wagon for the first time earlier this year in Seychelles with the Communities of Nations in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands carnival, has encouraged Zambia to bring the experience back home and host its own first cultural festival in June.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Seychelles has met with the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture to bring the great news that Zambia will be hosting its cultural festival from June 7-9, and the Ambassador has invited Seychelles to be represented with a cultural delegation. Ambassador Mary Mildred Zambezi spoke of the Zambian festival saying that it’s been inspired by the successful Seychelles appellation of their “Carnival of Carnivals.”
“Zambia has learned so much from the Seychelles carnival. On behalf of the Minister responsible for Tourism in Zambia, I am extending an invitation for you, Honorable Minister, to come to Livingstone with a delegation and showcase the Seychelles culture in the Zambian June Cultural Festival. We have witnessed the success of the Seychelles carnival, and we have learned from you. We appreciate your hard work which has made it possible for Seychelles, as a small nation, to mount a spectacular event for the world. We need your support to now rally behind our festival,” said Ambassador Zambezi.
Such news of Zambia hosting its first cultural festival has been warmly welcomed by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, who has responded positively to the invitation, and to the call made by Ambassador Zambezi, to support the Zambian Cultural Festival. Minister St.Ange said that his Ministry will consider the proposal, and see how Seychelles could be showcased in the Zambian festival.
The Seychelles bid for a seat on the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council was also discussed. This issue often pops up in discussions with Minister St.Ange with high dignitaries calling at his office, and the courtesy call by Ambassador Zambezi from Zambia was an opportunity for Minister St.Ange to remind the Ambassador that as African countries we “must stand together” if Africa wants to see their tourism industry develop and if Africa is to receive a greater share of the tourism trade.
“For Africa to get a bigger share of the tourism industry, we must work together as a continent. Africa needs its voice in the World Tourism Organization. We need to work to ensure that at the UNWTO, Africa is talked about, and we need to make the unique selling points of our continent more known, and this as much as those of Europe, of the Americas, or of any other countries that are talked about in the organization,” said Minister St.Ange.
Seychelles Minister St.Ange said that he has been behind the movement in getting UNWTO to host its upcoming General Assembly meeting in the African cities of Livingstone and Victoria Falls of Zambia and Zimbabwe in August. The Seychelles Minister explained that in this meeting, the time has arrived for the African Union (AU) to have a tourism secretariat to work alongside the UNWTO. “This will help give Africa more focus as a continent in its work to achieve its appropriate visibility, and it can become the vector of change for a more progressive African tourism industry,” Minister St.Ange said.
Ambassador Zambezi said that her country appreciates the points raised by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism. In concluding, Minister St.Ange expressed his “sincere wish to work closer with Zambia’s tourism.”
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).
By: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Date: 8 April 2013