ALAIN ST.ANGE A LIFE IN TOURISM – A Biography to be launched on 30th September in Bali
- 23 Sep, 2023
- 472 views
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Minister responsible for Tourism, CivilAviation, Ports & Marine remains the known tourism personality who has hada succesful working life in tourism. He is known and respected both inSeychelles and across the tourism fraternity right across the world. Last year heannounced that he was finalising his autobiography that will be launchedunder the title of ‘Alain St.Ange – My Journey’, but those who know him andwho have worked alongside him have decided to his tourism successes havenow published a book that marks his lifelong dedicated life in tourism and fortourism.
A biography “Alain St.Ange – A Life in Tourism” will be launched during atourism summit that will be held in Bali on the 30 th September 2023. PascalViroleau of La Reunion, the Author of the biography writes in his Preface: ‘Thisbiography of Alain St.Ange dedicated on his life in tourism starts neverthelessfrom his early years as the La Digue Island boy, who was brought up to becomea loving father and grandfather, and who rose through the ranks with hardwork, tenacity, and an unwavering passion for Seychelles. I am well placed tobe the author of a biography of Alain St.Ange on his life in tourism. As the Headof Tourism of Reunion Island, and later as the CEO of the Indian Ocean VanillaIslands, I worked closely with Alain St.Ange during his years as Director of
Marketing and as CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and later as theSeychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, before his appointment as theSeychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine. It was underhis leadership, that I not only witnessed, but participated in the creation of theIndian Ocean Vanilla Islands where I was appointed CEO of this RegionalOrganisation I also followed and supported his bid to become the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and waspresent in Madrid, Spain when the announcement reached him that Seychelleshad withdrawn his nomination to represent the islands just a day before theseUNWTO election. I was also present when he addressed the UNWTO GeneralAssembly on the UNWTO Election Day and delivered a speech in both Frenchand English, the speech that was considered by most present as the mostemotional address ever delivered at a UNWTO General Assembly and where hereceived a standing ovation which left many tourism ministers present crying ashe left the hall surrounded by his daughter Michelle, his brother Jose and wifeMichelle and sister in law Babette. This is why I can say that in writing thisbiography I spent time as his friend collating after a series of interviews is apersonal story of The Life of Alain St.Ange in Tourism. It is not only about his lifehe says that he has been proud of, but it is also about his family that helpedshape him into the man he became. Alain St.Ange says that his love for historyis why he agreed to sit and open up to place on record not only his life intourism, but also the family who stood by him, his wife Ginette St.Ange, néeMichel and his daughters Christine and Michelle. This work became inspired bythe desire to document and preserve his life in tourism for future generations. Itis said that most of us will be forgotten within four generations; this promptedAlain St.Ange to say that his descendants, the People of Seychelles, and theTourism Community at large will understand where tourism in Seychelles camefrom and the work he did. I am writing this biography about the Life of AlainSt.Ange in Tourism now as time waits for no one, and Alain St.Ange is at thebest stage of his life to reflect and dedicate the time required for the neededinterviews needed to collate this document. Alain St.Ange said that he wasproud of his story and felt that it may well inspire others. It is with this frame ofmind that he kept working and digging through family historical records andfrom documents he was personally working on for his Autobiography MyJourney. Alain St. Ange says he realizes today more than ever before pains andtribulations of past generations, from as far back as those who were slaves,where even the family name was adapted to the one who freed them, to today
only six generations later, for him to have participated in the SeychellesPresidential Elections of 2020. The saying that ‘Not all storms come to disruptyour life, some come to clear your path’ can be seen as true and real in the caseof the St.Ange family. The many challenges Alain St.Ange faced will be seen inthis biography as well the realisation that he needed to be more concernedwith his character that his reputation. Alain St.Ange was born on 24 October1954, and through this biography he recounts his life in tourism and his work intourism. “YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER, BUT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. I HOPESOME DAY YOU’LL JOIN US, AND THE WORLD WILL LIVE AS ONE‘.
Alain St.Ange re-echoed these famous words of John Lennon when, as CEO of Tourism inSeychelles, he was officially opening the first edition of the ‘CarnavalInternational de Victoria’ in 2011, and even today, these words continue toguide him. Alain St.Ange says that he has lived a full life with no what-ifs andthat he has remained true to himself throughout. What more can one ask fromlife?”
Dr. Nico Barito Special Envoy of Seychelles for ASEAN who writes the Forwordto the book on his part said: “I have known Alain St. Ange since he served asDirector of Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) back in 2009. Our country Seychelleswas then still reeling from the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The number of touristarrivals in the archipelago was stalling and the contribution of the tourismindustry to the gross domestic product declined very rapidly. I was a newlyadopted Seychelles citizen representing the country in Indonesia then and I wasglad to meet with Alain and his modalities to promote tourism, not only thesun, sea, and sand but also eco-culture tourism through the SeychellesInternational Carnival. Since then, we have worked hand in hand to include thediversity of cultures from Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, and othercountries in the world to showcase their local, unique wisdom in the annualSeychelles carnival. The event incorporates international medias, celebrities,and local governments from every walk of life to join Seychelles in promoting amelting pot of culture. The overall effort was rewarding. In 2010, Seychellesrecorded a 7.3 increase in international tourist arrivals, compared to just over3% in 2009, and booked a 2.89% hike in tourism revenue to reach $373.3million. Since then, tourist arrivals and tourism revenue have rapidly increasedevery year. We are proud that our country’s tourism industry withstood theCovid-19 pandemic and was able to reopen for public again by early 2021…”.
The Book ‘Alain St.Ange – A Life in Tourism’ starts with a section of his years asa ‘Proud Farm Boy of La Digue’ that says right at the start that most politicians
fade away into oblivion as soon as they leave public office. Not Alain SaintAnge. Years after resigning from his post as Seychelles’ minister of tourism,civil aviation, ports, and marine, the father of two remains a most sought-afterspeaker, trainer, and consultant of global tourism industry. Alain, 69 years old,is currently working closely with different tourism boards and tourismministries in different parts of the world. He has since February 2023 beenhired as an international technical consultant for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts,and Culture of the Republic of Ghana and is tasked with helping the WestAfrican country become number one tourism destination in the continent andincreasing the sector’s contribution to Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP).As recently as July 2023, Alain was appointed as African-Asian Union (AFASU)Vice Chairman for Tourism Division and Vice Chairman of AFASU GoldenAwards Committee. A private sector entity based in Cairo, Egypt, AFASUpromotes tourism, craft development, research, and e-commerce with the goalof growing tourism sector and improve people’s livelihood throughtechnologically advanced measures.
He is currently the deputy secretary- general of FORSEAA, the Forum of Small Medium Economic AFRICA-ASEAN in Jakarta, a consultant for Travel Marketing Network in New York, co-chair ofStrong Universal Network (SUNx) Organisation in London, and vice presidentand founding member of International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).Locally, he remains in regular contact with many players in the industry andtherefore he remains part of the tourism industry’.
His life on La Digue as well as his years at Seychelles College is covered beforethe Section 2 of the Book that covers his long working years in tourism thatstarted with working with his father Karl St.Ange at the Cabanes Des AngesHotel at La Digue. As a respected Tourism expert today, Alain Saint Ange hasreceived a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Trade Fair in Berlinlast March 2023. Alain did spend his working life in the tourism industry,managing hotels and restaurants in Seychelles, Guernsey in the ChannelIslands, and Australia. His years in the public service started with Minister ofTransport and Tourism Mathew Servina who personally asked Alain to join hisministry during a trip to La Digue in early 1981. His up and down saw himpromoted to the position of Assistant to the Director of Tourism by JohnEnright in 1982 before being terminated by President Albert Rene and joinedthe long list of Seychellois living in exile and later returning to the Civil Servicewith President James Michel in 2009 to be Director of Marketing after theprivate sector trade led by the Tourism Association Chairman Louis D’Offay had
convinced the Government that tourism marketing needed to be overseen bythe private sector. He then became the CEO of the Tourism Board and finallyMinister of Tourism after many years in the private sector trade in Seychelles.The book covers the drive by Alain St.Ange to achieve the highest level ofvisibility for the islands quoting his as saying: “Visibility is everything intourism industry, it guarantees success. If you are not visible, you fade out. Asthey say ‘out of sight out of mind’ and in tourism it means not relevantanymore as a possible holiday destination”. Alain’s creativity and hard work inmarketing Seychelles were duly recognised on the world stage in 2013 whenthe World Economic Forum released its Travel and Tourism CompetitivenessIndex report that put Seychelles at the top of the sub-Saharan region and 38thoverall. “Before this era Seychelles was not even rated in the hit-parade ofWorld Tourism analysed and issued in the World Economic Forum’s Travel andTourism Competitiveness Index. Suddenly recognition was everywhere, withthe Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranking Seychelles forthe first time at the top of the sub-Saharan region and 38th overall” Alain isquoted as saying in the book.
The book by Pascal Viroleau also republishes a number of articles by tourismpersonalities and press about Alain St.Ange before ending with his UNWTOsaga when he ran to be Secretary General of the World Body.