Oct. 29, 2023: Tony André Mathiot, a Seychelles Government Researcher and Archivist at the island’s main Victoria Museum published a lead article in the Seychelles ‘Nation’ Newspaper of Thursday the 26th October entitled “Alain St.Ange – Simply the Best!”. We reproduce the article after getting in touch with Mr St.Ange and getting his own comments on the article that appeared in the Government’s daily Newspaper.
Mr Mathiot said: - “In 1981 when 27-year-old Alain St.Ange was Deputy Director of the newly-established Seychelles Tourist Board, the logo of the Seychelles Tourism Industry was ‘Unique by a Thousand Miles’. A total amount of 60,425 visitors arrived in Seychelles during that year. A decade later, in 1991, arrival figures increased to reach a milestone 100,000 mark. That was eight years after Air Seychelles had launched its international operations. In 2012 when he was appointed Minister for Tourism and Culture he was also appointed President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation which he had co-founded. The Vanilla islands or ‘Les Iles Vanille’ formed a new travel destination brand to promote and to market the region, comprising of Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, Comoros and Mayotte, as a combined tourism destination.
This organization is actually the successor of Alliance Tourism Ocean Indien which had been established in 1967. In June 2015 the 22nd World Travel Awards ceremony was held at Kempinski Resort, Baie Lazare. That this most prestigious event happened on his ‘watch’ redounded to his wise conviction that Seychelles should participate on the International arena and that Seychelles clinched the three most coveted trophies testified to the minister’s confidence in the potential of Seychelles as an International playground for holiday makers.
As Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange encouraged and promoted various calendar activities that magnified Seychelles’ visibility on the world map, particularly the ‘Carnival de Victoria’ which he had spearheaded in 2011 when he was CEO of STB (Seychelles Tourism Board). This annual event which animated the month of April with boisterous glee and excitement saw the participation of floats from all corners of the globe. Yes, Global, is the perspective from which Alain had always viewed Seychelles as a holiday destination, meaning he wanted all nations of the world-from Austrians to Zambians-to discover the Seychelles experience. Worldwide recognition for Alain St.Ange’s indefatigable commitment and tenacity of purpose is the staggering amount of accolades, awards and honours that he has accumulated during his ‘Life in Tourism’, the latest of which is the ‘Man of the year 2023/2024 award’ which was bestowed on him by the African and Asian Union in Egypt recently on 17th October 2023 a mere seven months after he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in March this year.
Pascal Viroleau’s biography of Alain St.Ange aptly entitled ‘A life in Tourism’ which was launched in Bali on 29th September 2023 tells us about the life of a man who, if the neologism is correct, must be the most ‘tourified’ person affiliated with the Seychelles tourism industry. His involvement in practically all aspects of the tourism industry cannot be adequately summed up. In fact, one does not have to rake the Thesaurus for superlatives to describe him - his name has become a hallmark or a synonym for ‘excellence’. If someone tells you that you are an Alain St.Ange in your profession, you should be exceedingly proud!
This biography is a tapestry of events and achievements, and yes daring attempts and dismal failures of the boy from La Digue who once handle tourists’ luggage at his family’s small establishment ‘Cabanes des Ange’ and almost became the Secretary General of World Tourism Organisation (WTO) in 2017 and got to be awarded the Man Of The Year 2023/2024 for Travel and Tourism.
Let’s agree to say that this elaborately and copiously illustrated biography of our former Minister of Tourism and Culture will inspire more than a few of us to aspire to become an Alain St.Ange in our specialised field”.
“I am indeed honored to have seen the article in our ‘Nation’ Newspaper and to have been recognised for my years of dedicated service to the tourism industry of Seychelles. Tony Andre Mathiot is a very reputed Seychellois who often publishes articles in the Seychelles local press, but these always under his own name. I am humbled that in his latest article he chose to recognise my work in tourism. I felt humbled when reading the article and rung Mr Mathiot to say that you to him and to the ‘Nation’ Newspaper. I can say that I did my work with passion and always with my heart. I continue to work for tourism through my Tourism Consultancy in different parts of the world. I only returned a week ago from Egypt and this but days after attending a tourism summit in Bali in Indonesia. On my travel list now to end of the year is one or two trips to Dubai, one to Nigeria, one to Brazil and one to Senegal. These are confirmed but requests continue to surface which keeps me busy and happy” said Alain St.Ange