It’s a full on revolution as South Africa’s tourism private sector has turned their backs on their own tourism minister to support Seychelles’ Alain St. Ange for Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Both were front runners for the job as voting commence in Spain this week.
Prof. Wolfgang H. Thome writes in his daily Aviation, Travel and Conservation News from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands e-newsletter SA’s tourism operators are “at odds with their own tourism minister’s stand… They keep defying her with statements of support for Seychelles’ Alain St. Ange”.
The sentiment is seen as a revolt against Tokozile Xasa (pictured), SA’s new tourism minister since March this year when president Jacob Zuma concluded a controversial cabinet reshuffle that saw the rand tumble and the country downgraded by financial institutions to junk status.
Last week Marlan Padayachee, a well know South African tourism media personality from KwaZulu Natal said Alain St.Ange is her candidate for Secretary General of the UNWTO. Now Kader Miller, from the Midea Group of Companies in Cape Town has also come forward to encourage Africa with the Seychelles bid to head the world’s largest tourism office.
Miller said: ’We have worked closely with Alain St.Ange as the Seychelles Tourism Minister. I can attest to his strength of character and professionalism. He is a leader with excellent communication skills and I have no doubt that he is the perfect candidate for the job. Mr St.Ange is very often invited to speak and lecture at important tourism events in Africa and around the world. He has assisted and given advice and guidance to tourism boards and organisations in Africa.”
The UNWTO Executive Committee will commence its 105th meeting in Madrid tomorrow, 10 May, and conclude the proceedings on the 12th of May with the election of a new Secretary General, making its recommendation for endorsement to the next General Assembly of the United Nations to be held later in the year.